I have been meaning to blog about how to prepare for your family/lifestyle/engagement session for quite a while now because I get the same questions with 90% of my clients: what to wear for the photo session? Can you suggest any location? etc…So I thought I’d address them in one FAQ blog post and refer people looking to get professional photos done, to this post. Thanks so much for all the input I got from my friends!!

Q: The big question: What Do We Wear? A: My answer is always this: wear something you’re comfortable in. If you get a new outfit that you’re unsure of or it fits too tight or too loose, it will show in your photos. I’d rather have you wear your favourite pair of jeans that you’ve had for years and be yourself, enjoy your time during the photo session than be self-conscious.

For clothing and color suggestions (and I do mean it – they’re nothing more than suggestions, although you can go out and buy a variation of those outfits if you like them!) I suggest the clients check out my Pinterest page Outfits For Photo Sessions. It should help them co-ordinate colors if there’s more than one person in the shoot. If you look at my website and blog you will see the general trend of what people choose for their outfits – more often than not it’s something comfy, casual, neutral colors maybe with a bright accent on an accessory. The stress here is on comfy. 🙂 If it’s a family or a couple’s shoot don’t feel like you all should be wearing the same colors, but colors have to match (see the link above for ideas on matching colors).

Q: Can you recommend any locations for our photo session? A: I love Calgary and area and know a lot of interesting spots to take a family or a couple out for a photo session. Nose Hill Park, Inglewood, Kensington, Fish Creek, Riley Park, Drumheller, Langdon are a few of my favourite locations. I do love it when my clients ask me to take photos in their favourite location – be it a local park, downtown Calgary, I also don’t mind travelling to Canmore, Kananaskis or Banff for photos. We’re lucky to have such an amazing backdrop right in our backyard. Newborn sessions take place in clients’ home and I do ask that somebody comes in and helps clean up the house a bit for the photos. 🙂

Q: Should I get hair and make up done? A: Ideally, yes. I had my own family photos done not long ago and had my nails and makeup done, Trena even fixed my hair a bit :). I can’t recommend this highly enough, it’s such a confidence boost and it really helps make the photos special because you feel special. For my engaged couples I recommend scheduling their trial make up and hair run for the day of the session, it makes a huge difference.
P.S. If you plan on getting a haircut do so at least 1-2 weeks before the session to make sure you love the new haircut.

Q: Do we need to bring props? A: Usually, no, but if a couple wants to do a themed engagement session they can create a theme and bring props for it – like a Picnic Theme, Country Theme or Balloon Theme, etc. I always welcome my clients’ creative ideas! If we’re doing a shoot where there will be small kids or toddlers, I suggest the parents bring the kids’ favourite toys to make them more comfortable in the very beginning. In my experience, it doesn’t take the kids more than 10 minutes to warm up and show their best side.

Q: Do we need to arrive early? A: Nope, just arrive on time, it’s perfect enough. 🙂

More tips: get lots of sleep the night before, stay hydrated and bring your smile.

Lori and Derek’s session will be posted in the blog shortly. They chose Kananaskis as their location for the engagement session and it was beautiful!!
HOW TO GET READY FOR A PHOTO SESSION, HOW TO PREPARE FOR A PHOTO SESSION, WHAT TO WEAR FOR A PHOTO SESSION, OUTFITS FOR PHOTO SESSION, ENGAGEMENT SESSION CALGARY, NEWBORN SESSION CALGARY, AIRDRIE, BANFF ENGAGEMENT PHOTOS, KANANASKIS ENGAGEMENT PHOTOS

Alyssa and Trevin suggested Banff and I happily drove there to photograph them. Love this cute little city! More photos from this session are coming soon!

HOW TO GET READY FOR A PHOTO SESSION, HOW TO PREPARE FOR A PHOTO SESSION, WHAT TO WEAR FOR A PHOTO SESSION, OUTFITS FOR PHOTO SESSION, ENGAGEMENT SESSION CALGARY, NEWBORN SESSION CALGARY, AIRDRIE, BANFF ENGAGEMENT PHOTOS, KANANASKIS ENGAGEMENT PHOTOS

I photographed baby Eloise in the comfort of her own home in Airdrie. Beautiful family and it was great to capture them in such an amazing time in their lives.

HOW TO GET READY FOR A PHOTO SESSION, HOW TO PREPARE FOR A PHOTO SESSION, WHAT TO WEAR FOR A PHOTO SESSION, OUTFITS FOR PHOTO SESSION, ENGAGEMENT SESSION CALGARY, NEWBORN SESSION CALGARY, AIRDRIE, BANFF ENGAGEMENT PHOTOS, KANANASKIS ENGAGEMENT PHOTOS

Amy, Paul and their beautiful baby girls drove to Riley Park for their Mother’s Day mini-session and we had a wonderful time despite the rain. Amy picked up the cutest outfits for everyone in Old Navy! Full blog post is coming up as well! 🙂

Lissette and her family wanted family photos down by the Ranche in Fish Creek Park and they all looked great in their chosen colors!
HOW TO GET READY FOR A PHOTO SESSION, HOW TO PREPARE FOR A PHOTO SESSION, WHAT TO WEAR FOR A PHOTO SESSION, OUTFITS FOR PHOTO SESSION, ENGAGEMENT SESSION CALGARY, NEWBORN SESSION CALGARY, AIRDRIE, BANFF ENGAGEMENT PHOTOS, KANANASKIS ENGAGEMENT PHOTOS

Shaleen and Justin came up with the White Balloon Themed engagement session and we had a blast playing with them in Fish Creek Park!
HOW TO GET READY FOR A PHOTO SESSION, HOW TO PREPARE FOR A PHOTO SESSION, WHAT TO WEAR FOR A PHOTO SESSION, OUTFITS FOR PHOTO SESSION, ENGAGEMENT SESSION CALGARY, NEWBORN SESSION CALGARY, AIRDRIE, BANFF ENGAGEMENT PHOTOS, KANANASKIS ENGAGEMENT PHOTOS

I hope these tips will help you in planning your photo session, please feel free to add your tips or ask questions in the comments!

posted by

  1. Our Family Photos | Calgary Wedding Photographer: Svetlana Yanova reply

    […] I’m the one behind the camera all the time I thought I should follow my own advice and get my make and hair professionally done. It totally created a different experience! So huge […]

  2. FAQ (post #1) – For Photographers | Calgary Wedding Photographer: Svetlana Yanova reply

    […] did a blog post about it not long ago and am emailing it out to me clients when they ask about it – saves me […]

Leave your reply

* – required