Portrait Session Style Guide
What Every Client Needs to Know
I am so excited for your portrait session! Whether I’m capturing your sweet family, or celebrating a special moment in your life, like a graduation, birthday, anniversary or new baby, I’m so honored to help you create memories you’ll cherish for a lifetime. I’ve created this guide to help you get the most out of your photos, and by the time you’ve read through this, you'll have all your questions answered and feel more than ready and prepared for your session. Then I’ll take care of the rest! Your only job is to be yourself, laugh a lot and let me create photos you’ll love forever. I can’t wait to get you in front of my camera!
Choosing Time & Date
I’m a natural light specialist because I believe that natural light, from the sun and its reflections, create photographs that feel fresh, timeless and truest to you. I begin most portrait sessions two hours before the scheduled sunset during “the golden hour,” when the light is the dreamiest. Use a sunset calculator online to determine the scheduled sunset for the date and location you’d like to do your session. Then, just subtract two hours to figure out your start time. Remember, the sun sets much earlier during the colder months of the year and much later during the warmer months, so make sure to factor that in when choosing your portrait session date, especially if you’re taking off work or have evening plans afterward. To get the most out of your session, please plan a buffer when getting ready so you can arrive a few minutes early to your session and be ready to start on time. We’re only able to shoot when natural light is still in the sky, so we’ll want to take advantage of every minute we have together before the sun goes down. If you’re wearing two outfits, save your favorite one for the second half, and if you’re wearing one, arrive in that.
QUICK TIP: My weekends fill up fast and far in advance, as does our fall season. You can get a Fast Pass to the front of the line by scheduling mid-week or off-season.
Selecting the Right Location
The location of your portrait session is up to you! Like you see throughout this guide, most of our clients choose to showcase the natural beauty of their home state. For most of our sessions, outdoor, open-air environments are always our first choice. I love shooting in wide-open natural spaces because the light is divine, especially during golden hour. There are great options all around the state, so even if you've never seen me photograph in a specific spot before, I’m always up for exploring a new spot together!
Think Outside the Box
This is the time to think outside the box! I encourage you to brainstorm unique locations that you might have special access to that most people don’t. For example, maybe you, or someone in your personal or professional network, can secure permission to a location that would otherwise be off-limits, like a beautiful private estate, country club or resort. Maybe it’s a family ranch, upscale hotel or even a boat, airplane hangar or a rooftop view. The sky is literally the limit! Spend a few minutes thinking about it and checking around. You’ll be surprised with what you come up with. Plus, if something seems out of reach, just remember: you never know until you ask! My clients have secured permission to some pretty amazing places in the past. If you get stuck or need inspiration, check out my albums and keep browsing through this guide. I have some great go-to locations around town that I can always hit, too. Just let me know which type of session you’d love and I’ll go from there! Easy-peasy.
Destination Portrait Session
Your portrait session includes travel time anywhere in the Cincinnati Metro area. If you’d like to go somewhere outside the city, I’m up for the adventure! The travel fee for one to two-hour drives to places like Lexington, Louisville or Red River Gorge is $299. I love traveling and are actually on the road quite a bit. I’ve done different types of sessions from coast to coast, everywhere in between, and even in Europe, too, so if we’re already going to be in or near an area you’ve always dreamed of doing your photos, and we can coordinate our schedules, let’s set it up. I’d love to make it work! If you’d like me to meet you in a destination outside of Cincinnati for your portrait session where I don’t already have plans to visit, just let me know and we can get you a custom quote.
Styling your Session
Want your photos to look more editorial? Bring a little extra something with you! Fresh flowers bring an extra “wow” factor to just about everything, especially when they’re attached to something else, like a bicycle basket, tree swing, tent, picnic basket, balloons or car bumper. Whether you want to incorporate larger items like classic cars or bikes, or smaller ones like blankets or hats, even planning for just one extra styled item could be a fun way to make your session more unique.