Our Top Tips for a Successful Lifestyle Photo Session with Us

If you haven't gotten to know us a little bit by reading our About Us page or following along on our Instagram account, give us a follow and get up to speed before resuming this post. Done? Okay, good. To recap what we can't stress enough: we aren't your cookie cutter photography team and we prefer to take a laid-back approach to our sessions to make sure you're comfortable and having a good time during our time together — because nothing is worse than forced, fake smiles that scream "I'd rather be anywhere but here!" We don't dig those and doubt you do either. 

So, we've outlined a few tips below to set you up for success for your next photo shoot with us.  

1. Act natural

Dad Lifting Daughter Up for a Kiss

Because we take a photojournalistic approach to our photo sessions, we want you to forget we are there — or at least try. We know that sounds a little silly since you hired us to be taking your photos and all that. But the best moments are the ones where we capture natural interactions and emotions as if we were observing as a fly on the wall. So don't think that you all need to be perfectly posed and all smiling at the camera for your winning shot. While it may help break the ice and get you accustomed to the snap-snap-snap of our shutters, we're not going to force these out of you, and they're often our least favorite photos from our sessions. Our best photos are often toward the end of the session when you've warmed up, gotten comfortable and are just relaxed and having fun. And remember: it's our job to make you guys look good, so leave that up to us, relax and just be yourselves! 

2. Chose your clothing wisely

Sibling coordinating outfits for photo shoot

We're often with our clients for an hour or two and we want you to be comfortable while we are taking photos. So please don't wear uncomfortable shoes or clothing that is going to make you want to leave 20 minutes into our session. Plus, when you're uncomfortable it reads on your face and will translate to your photos. Trust us. Dress comfortable, but leave the sweatpants for when you get home. Also, coordinated outfits are a great idea; matching ones — not so much.

3. Pick a setting or activity that helps tell the story

Couple with adorable puppy photo shoot

Is there something you and your loved ones enjoy doing together? Great! Let's find a way to capture that. Instead of going to some random field you've never visited in your life and will never go back to, let's find a space that you visit together or incorporate an activity that you enjoy doing together on a regular basis. Capturing you all naturally interacting is where the magic truly happens. Have props you'd like to include somehow like an adorable puppy? Great — we can work with those, too. 

4. Have kiddos? Let them be, well, kids

Child playing during photo shoot

Chances are your kids aren't going to like being told what to do, especially if it involves cheesing for the camera. Relax. If your kid loves to run and has high energy — we will run right there next to them. Your kids don't have to be on a leash to get great photos. In fact, letting their little personalities come out to play will help us capture their true spirits and show the dynamic of your family. We build in extra time during these sessions so we can take breaks if needed. Make sure to bring their favorite toys and treats for bribes. Trust us, they work. Also, if you're relaxed, your kids will be too. So enjoy playing with them and leave the rest up to us. We've got this. 

5. Don't go down the Pinterest rabbit hole

Pinterest Inspiration

While Pinterest is an amazing place for inspiration — we use it for client boards and ideas before shoots — don't put too much pressure on yourself to make sure you can recreate the "perfect" shot that was likely captured with the help of a crew the size of a small army and a Hollywood budget. Also, comparison is truly the thief of all joy, and while it may make you feel a bit at ease to check out a few pins to send our way so we know the vibe you're going for, don't put pressure on yourself or your loved ones if you don't have access to a wardrobe stylist and a white sandy beach during golden hour while riding unicorns into the sunset. This is about us capturing you being yourselves. And when in doubt, refer to tip #1 and relax. We'll take care of the rest.

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Haven't booked your photo session with us yet but you're finally ready to get this scheduled? Shoot us a message hello@28westcreative.com. We can't wait to hear from you.