5 pro tips to slay your next portrait session!

Hello there, I’m so happy you’re here! Whether you book me as your portrait photographer or not, I created this helpful resource for anyone to rock their next photo session!

I’m Taylor Moulton, a small town portrait and wedding photographer that’s photographed dozens of families and couples over the last six years and I’m happy to say I’ve learned a thing or two when it comes to having a truly rewarding portrait session and it boils down to these top five tips.

1. Outfits

The single most, immediate question that *probably* shoots through your mind when you are either thinking about booking a session or just have is:

“What am I/or we going to wear?”

And it’s completely normal and totally valid. And my most helpful tip when I’m asked this question is this –

Start with a print.

No matter who is wearing it; You, dad, brother timmy or little sister susie…find what print you like and then pull everyone’s colors/patterns and textures from that. Here is an example from a family session I did where you can see all their colors aren’t exactly matching but they are all in the same family or relative to the print mom is wearing and it all looks really cohesive and put together.

*Bonus tip* make sure you feel comfortable in whatever you choose to wear and can easily move around/sit. My sessions always have some kind of movement involved and a long flowy dress you can twirl around in, is an added plus!

2. Embrace the chaos

This tip is more for families with younger kids or kids entering that “independence stage” and you might be cringing right now at the thought of your kid mid photo session having a level five meltdown but rest assured…We will make it out alive and we will get some good ones of them. I promise. Some of the best photographs I’ve taken of children with their parents have happened in the middle of a temper tantrum. It’s the loving grace and patience that comes out of you when you see your babies breaking down, it’s scooping them up in your arms and holding them close to you and telling them it’s going to be ok. And in that moment of you naturally mothering them, I’m capturing it all for you and it’s almost as though I planned for it to happen that way. It’s ok if it gets a little messy, it’s ok if your kids don’t act the way you thought they would. This is your beautiful family and your very unique story that is so worthy of being documented and you will love to look back on it.

3. Connection over Perfection

If you’ve seen the viral trend going around right now about “smiling FOR the picture vs smiling IN the picture” this tip is exactly that. Personally, I like getting a few images of you smiling at me, because yes of course I want to photograph your beautiful faces but I LOVE taking photos of you smiling/laughing and looking at each other because then I’m getting to photograph your connection – your love for one another and I think that’s an even more beautiful moment to hang on your walls and walk by every day. So tip number three, fight the urge to constantly look at the girl with the camera and fall in love with looking into your significant other’s eyes again.

4. The First 20 minutes

Alright, you’ve booked the session – you’ve read my outfit tip and you have a fabulous wardrobe laid out. You get to the location and meet up with me and now the session is about to start and suddenly you have butterflies going crazy in your stomach because you’re so excited but also a little nervous…You’ve never done this before and don’t know what to expect. Girl, I got you. Just know that the first 20 minutes is going to feel a little awkward, especially for couple sessions. Unless it’s your norm to be constantly rubbing your noses and dancing together in the streets like some cheesy rom-com movie…which it may be and there’s no harm in that…but for many couples I meet; it’s not – just know and understand that the first 20 minutes feels awkward for just about everyone and that’s not a weird or bad thing, I promise it’s a very, very normal thing and it will feel immediately better with just a little time.

5. Don’t come starving

My best advice for moms of little kids or wives of hangry husbands or even moms to be – really this tip is for anyone and everyone. Don’t show up starving to a photo session and also don’t come completely stuffed full either, you don’t want to feel uncomfortable moving around for an hour. Eat a reasonably clean, small snack right before we start. Since my sessions on average last an hour to an hour and a half we don’t want anyone super famished and already cranky before we even start. Here are some good options to set everyone up for success:

  • Apple slices
  • popcorn
  • cuties oranges
  • pretzels
  • peanut butter crackers…ect

The idea here is we want to stay away from anything super juicy, sugary or “cheese dusty” Lol. And then as a great reward for following directions and participating with Ms. Taylor – eating at someones favorite restaurant or getting a treat afterwards is a wonderful idea too!! 🙂

And another bonus tip *Just have fun!!* Photo sessions become immediately less stressful when you just only have one goal in mind;

have fun and trust the photographer to capture it beautifully.

I hope these five helpful portrait session tips come in handy for you for your next session and I’m praying I’ll be the photographer you entrust with your story!! 🙂

Be blessed,

Taylor