Your Photoshoot – What to Wear and Prepare

So, you’ve booked your shoot, but have no idea what to wear. Does this sound familiar? One of the questions I get asked the most (apart from ‘you want us to meet what time?!’) is ‘what on earth should we wear?’

I know how daunting it can be – I have taken thousands of photos but even I still get panicked when I’m going to be in front of the camera. So, I’ve done a bit of legwork and homework and put together some simple pointers to make prepping for your big fun shoot, a little easier:

Try co-ordinate colours, but don’t be too ‘matchy matchy’. Long gone are the days of blue jeans and white shirts for everyone. Rather, try pick a few colours and mix and match clothes to fit the theme. When in doubt, browse websites and Pinterest boards for inspiration.

Look at your home décor – if you are planning on printing and hanging the photos then try keep in line with the mood and style of your home.

Dress for the shoot location. If we are shooting at an outdoor location such as a garden or forest, then keep it casual and relaxed with jeans, shorts or dresses. Similarly, if we are shooting inside a formal location then jazz it up a notch – you don’t want to look out of place in your surroundings – so try pick outfits that work with where we are doing the shoot.

Try to keep a theme going. It’s quite off-putting when one person is wearing blue stripes and the other is wearing a floral print. Keep colours in the same theme and add pops of colour here and there with accessories such as hats or scarves.

Please avoid slogans, character clothes and brand names. These can all be pretty distracting and most photographers will end up editing out logos and brand names anyway!

Try and avoid all white, all black and overly neon/bright colours such as red of fuschia. Especially if you’re shooting in a garden environment – these bright colours can make you look as if you are floating and can appear quite aggressive in the images.

Be practical – we will be trying all sorts of poses on the day and you want the outfit you’re wearing to be relaxed and comfortable. If there are kids involved then avoid wearing short skits as you will be on the floor and running around with them which means the chances of an accidental ‘undie slip’ will be very high!

Lastly – keep in mind the season. I love shooting in the Cosmos over Easter time, which means the theme would be pinks, creams and blush tones. In Winter, navy blues and greys look lovely.

Other Tip and Tricks:

The best time to shoot an outdoor lifestyle session is 1-2 hours before sunset and after sunrise. This is when the lighting is perfectly soft and has that lovely golden glow.

Photo shoots can be tiring work, so make sure everyone is fed beforehand, babies are well rested and make sure to bring snacks and water to the location – especially for the littlies! (I am totally for a little bit of bribery on the day, as well!)

Bring along some toys or favourite games for the kids. They will get bored and antsy, and often the loveliest photos are taken when they are distracted doing something they enjoy, or playing.

Not all photos will be posed. For larger groups it is important to get the group and planned photos out the way, but most of the time I simply enjoy watching everyone interact in a relaxed and fun environment. It’s not all about looking at the camera and saying cheese. The more you relax and have fun, the better the outcome of the images. Most of all, relax and have fun! Nothing ever goes perfectly and all rules are made to be broken! See below for a few examples of some really great colour combinations and setups that have worked well for me in the past

 

Hey photographer, what’s with the crack-of-dawn start time!?

There are two types of people in this world – the early birds, and the night owls. Luckily, for the type of work I do, I am an early bird so waking up raring to go at 4 am is never an issue for me. However, some people can’t even bear the thought of doing anything remotely productive until after 9 am and atleast 3 cups of coffee.

Unfortunately, when it comes to the type of photography I do, the sun waits for no one – not even the morning haters. I get a lot of shocked comments when booking shoots with clients. They hear me say ‘7 am’ start time and go into panic mode. I promise, it’s not because I enjoy torturing you 🙂

As a natural light photographer, and when shooting outside, I am dictated by the sun. Where it sits, how it shines and ultimately how it affects images. All natural light photographers love one thing, and it’s what we call the magical ‘golden’ hour. Typically, golden hour happens one hour after sunrise and one hour before sunset. It’s when the sun is soft and buttery and golden and casts gorgeous dreamy light on the subjects and surroundings. Anything after 7/8 am means the sun has been awake for too long, is too harsh, too high up in the sky and generally means that photographs will end up over exposed, with harsh shadows and looking flat and lifeless.

Below is an example of a photo taken during the golden hour, and one taken at noon. Can you see the difference?

No professional photographer likes delivering images that are less than amazing – and to do this we require a little bit of assistance from Mother Nature. So, when I suggest an early morning call time it really is to ensure you get the best experience out of your shoot investment and that you get images that are timeless and beautiful, that you get to treasure forever!

That being said. There are times when an early morning or late afternoon just isn’t viable, and for these situations I will do my best to work with you to find an alternative time or location.

I hope this little blog post helps you to understand why time and light is one of the most important ingredients in creating an epic photo shoot session!

 

 

 

 

Olivia Jackson – Newborn Shoot

I simply adore a casual at-home lifestyle session, and this shoot was just that. Olivia was just 10 days old when I met her, and the newest addition to the Jackson clan. She is utterly gorgeous – just like mom – with olive skin and a mop of thick black hair. Older brother Jayden is probably the sweetest 1.5 year old I have ever met, with the most charming smile I’ve ever seen. Meeting Candace and Ricky (mom and dad) was such a treat – they are both so nice and relaxed and made me feel right at home. I loved the classic decor of their home and the windows that all had THE BEST LIGHT (any photographers dream!).  Continue reading

Bailey Grey Pillay

Meet gorgeous 2.5 week old baby Bailey Grey Pillay. She is sister to the sweetest prettiest Dakota-Blue and daughter to Nicky and Darryl. Guys, there’s just something abut a little baby girl that gets me all melty, and I was so excited to try my handmade flower crowns on all the ladies! Thanks for inviting me into your home guys, and for letting me cuddle baby Bailey longer than I should have 😉  Continue reading

Elana Shaw and Family

It was quite weird meeting Elana ‘officially’ as I feel like we are totes besties – all thanks to social media! We have been following each other on Twitter and Instagram for years now and I marvel at her post baby body, run pace and adorable son Sam. Elana booked me for an Express shoot with her mom Elma and sister Estèrre as well as their gorgeous kiddies Sam, Stella and MJ. Delta Park never fails to disappoint and I’m really glad we could shoot while the last few Cosmos were in bloom. I think our loud screams for the kids to ‘say cheese’ scared half the park goers away 🙂 Thank you for a fun, wet and coffee-fuelled morning.  Continue reading

The Cooper Family

I visited Belinda, Alec, Nathan and Cassidy at their home in Fourways to snap some pics of their family. Cassidy was a little bit hesitant at first but warmed up once her and dad got jumping on the trampoline 🙂 and little Nathan was all fat cheeks and sweet smiles. Thanks for letting me into your home and the delish cup of coffee guys!

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The Joannides Family – Maternity Shoot

I met up with an old friend Nestor, his gorgeous expecting wife Tamlin and their beautiful 2.5 year old Jason this morning, to take some family maternity photos before they welcome their little girl into the world in March. I loved, loved this shoot. Delta Park never fails to disappoint and the light was just so soft and romantic against Tams gorgeous belly. It was also wonderful to catch up with Nestor and Tam and discuss plans for the newborn shoot next month. Jason had the best fun looking for dragons and showing me all the animals in his book. He even helped take some pics 😉 I love all the photos from this session, and am so excited to share this beautiful family with you! Enjoy your sneak peek!

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The Ristic-Regine Family

Shana, her hubby and most beautiful daughter Ari are out from Spain visiting family, and wanted a big group photoshoot to celebrate everyone being together again. We met up last month and it was so lovely to be in a new venue and to watch little Ari run around in the long grass. Apparently there are no creepy crawlies in Spain (lucky!) so she wasn’t at all bothered by all the new bugs and insects in her path. So nice to meet you all, enjoy your pics! Continue reading