Informational Portrait Photography

7 Tips to take the stress out of picture day

Originally I wrote this with family sessions in mind. As I edited it, I realized that it really pertains to all photography. If you’re having any picture day stress – whether that’s family portraits, engagement portraits, senior portraits, boudoir portraits, or even a simple head-shot, read on to take away the picture day stress.

Well Prepared Family Portrait in StudioWhen it comes to family picture day, a lot of stress can be associated with the session. That doesn’t have to happen. I’m here to help you relax and be prepared all at the same time. Here are some tips:

  1. Find the outfits you want everyone to wear a month in advance and set them aside somewhere safe. Then try them on a week ahead of time to ensure everything still fits comfortably and that you didn’t miss any stains or holes that you couldn’t see before they were worn. 
  2. As soon as your family changes out of their photo attire, make sure it is clean and pressed to be ready for the big day. Set the clothes together (sorted by person) and place them somewhere free from harm and dirt. Be sure to tell everyone that these are picture clothes and not worn until picture day. This will help to be sure that no articles of clothing go missing. Don’t forget about shoes, jewelry, belts, and other accessories.
  3. About three to four days prior to the session, start talking with your husband and kids about the session and what happens and how they should behave. If you plan to use a bribe, now is a good time to set that in place. Continue to talk to your children daily to prepare them for the session.
  4. Two days prior to the session, pack a bag of everything you need on picture day – snacks, props, bribery, etc. and put it somewhere you can grab it and go. Include wipes in case things get messy, an extra hairbrush, and other “emergency” items, such as bobby pins and a backup lipstick. If you forget something, don’t stress it. I carry an infamous Mary Poppins box of everything possible for a photo session. I do not carry make-up or food though.
  5. On the day of the session, make sure everyone eats a light snack. No one wants sick little tummies from overeating, but we even worse is “hangry” (angry because they are so hungry). Do not dress in photo clothes until after eating and brushing of teeth. This prevents spills and other messy accidents.
  6. If you have young children, avoid any colored drinks the day of the session until after the session. Also, get them to wear a bib or drop cloth if they drink anything on the way to the session. This prevents wet spots or stains. 
  7. Once you get to the session, try to relax. If you have set a bribe, please let your photographer know so they can use that throughout the session if the children is restless. Trust your photographer – know that:
    1. I don’t stress.
    2. I take care of things
    3. I create amazing photos of your family.
  8. BONUS TIP – choose a photographer that knows how to interact with you and your family to draw out the best results. May I suggest one of St. Louis’ best photographers? MDKauffmann Photographycheck ’em out!