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What To Bring to Your Session

I always send a reminder list of what to bring to your sessions to my clients, so thought I’d share and expand in more detail on the blog today. These items are useful to have in a bag ready for your session.

What to Bring to Your Portrait Sessions

  1. Flats or flip-flops for walking between locations
    • Some sessions build in two distinct locations, and most sessions of mine include walking around to capture different light and backgrounds and poses. It can be helpful to give your feet a break if you’re donning heels
  2. Complete second outfit (if you’re doing two)
    • Two outfits can open up the range of possibilities for a shoot if you decide you want to try this. Things to think about for a second outfit: if your first one is more casual, then pick a second to really dress it up! Portraits are about making memories, and how often do you get to do this? Don’t forget jewelry changes, or the complete color scheme of outfit #2 (for example, men may want to change their shirt out or even entire suit/vest to complement outfit #2)
  3. Touch-up makeup
    • A dash of coverup, lotion and/or powder, and lipstick does the trick. In this vein, consider bringing an extra comb or hairbrush
  4. Water bottle
    • I used to note this as only for warm sessions, but let’s be real, when is the DC area not a warm session? Full water bottles are always a good idea, no matter the time of year
  5. Coat or cover-up (for colder sessions)
    • Show off those shoulders anytime! But when it’s extra chilly, bring a coat or a blanket to cozy under between shots. My sessions are at least an hour long, ideally a bit longer – and engagements are 2 hours. We’ll take breaks for you to warm up before snapping some more pics. Your comfort level will show in the final images!
  6. Snacks 
    • Long portrait sessions can be tough for kids – or anyone. Bring a few snacks to have on hand for a break. 

Specifics for Kids and Families:

  1. Small eye-catching toys to hold toddlers’ attention
    • I definitely have a few tricks up my sleeve for children, but if you have a favorite toy to bring, that can help a lot. By the way, I’m working on another blog about keeping the kiddos focused, so stay tuned for that!
  2. Patience
    • This I bring up especially for family sessions. It’s a struggle getting everyone’s outfits sorted and on, plus your own outfit and preparation, rolling everyone out the door, and traveling to the session location. On time! It’s a lot, and it can feel really stressful. When you arrive, we’ll all take a moment to breathe. There is plenty of time. I build in extra buffer room for breaks or the rare tantrum. They happen, I get it, it will be fine. I promise! If the kids need to literally run off some energy, then I capture parents-only pictures during that time (when was the last time you did those?). This is all to say: I’ve got this. You focus on being present and making memories together 🙂

Specifics for Engagement Sessions:

  1. Cleaned ring
    • Your engagement ring will be the star in several photos, so make sure you clean it before you arrive
  2. Clean or painted nails
    • Similarly, you may want to consider getting nails fully done, or simply cleaning them up before you come

What other kinds of things have you brought to photography sessions that really made the difference? Share here!

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