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What to wear on Family photoshoot

Families are some of the most closely knit people in the world and friends come and go in a person’s life but families will remain with them till the end.
Of all the memories we all hold on to, the ones we never learn to let go of are those of our family. They are the people who are there for you from Day 1, there by your side through your cuts and bruises, trials and triumphs. But there comes a day when we have to be independent, stand on our own two feet and move out of the nest, either for studies or for work or to build our own family.
Before leaving, why not make an awesome family portrait that will remind everyone that they are always in your heart.
When styling a photo session, I like

to start out with a basic color palette and go from there. It can help to have one rock star in the photos who carries a pattern in their outfit that the rest of the group’s clothing or accessories pulls from, while keeping everyone else’s outfits more simple. You can do this with a neutral and a few colorful brights, or try a softer palette that has different tonal ranges of the same shades..
1. Think outside the box. Scarves, hats, flowers in the hair for girls, jewelry, sweaters, vests, jackets, etc…all these things can colorful life to the subject… I believe that especially with sweet babies and toddlers that they don’t need much in the way of accessories & Little kiddos are beautiful in their simple purity, and I want them to be the star of the show instead of making one’s eye go straight to a giant headband as big as their head as they sit awkwardly in a big bucket. I want the viewer to notice my subject and their personality first. The accessories and clothing should just complement them & not be center stage. (I’ve listed some details about the

2. Pay attention to the details: scarves, hats, shoes, jewelry… these all play a part in making you “look” come together. However, keep in mind that sometime, less is more. Wearing that fun, funky hair clip for the session is awesome, but you don’t want to overpower yourself with accessories because the details can become distracting. Continue reading What to wear on Family photoshoot

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Photoshoot preparation guide – Cheat Sheet

What to wear? Preparing for the Photoshoot? Quick guide on what to bring to the Photoshoot? Photoshoot cheat sheet.

Typical contents of a Model’s Bag.

Alrighty then, some of these items may sound funny or weird to you, but I’m mentioning a few items typically found in the bags of models who work regularly and/or professionally. To be honest, not all items are necessary if you’re just starting out, but it’s still a good idea to check this list and consider whether these items may be useful at your shoot. Many items depend on the type of shoot you’re doing and the location:

makeup kit nylons (nude & black) panty liners
washcloth toilet tissue mascara (brown and/or black)
false eyelashes (2 different lengths) concealer foundation
lipstick (various shades) blush eyeshadow (various colours)
translucent powder makeup sponges makeup brushes
cotton swabs cotton balls makeup remover
tweezers eye drops mirror
masking tape binder clips hairpins
Some props in purple (like knitted woollen scarf / muffler) toothpaste baby wipes
hairbrush hair ties/bands sunscreen
sunglasses bottled water towel
Tampons (technically, if you need those, it’s not the right day for the shoot) dress shields lint brush
dress hood or pillow case spray bottle facial tissue
aspirin (or equivalent) penlight/flashlight scissors
small first-aid kit razors shaving cream
model portfolio model cards body lotion
facial cleansers hairstyling products insect repellent

High school seniors

The biggest tips for seniors are to have an even tan, please don’t get sunburned, clean and freshly-paint the nails, and moisturize and scrub away dry skin.

Bring a variety of outfits – so we can try different looks. You can bring things like cap & gown, something casual, something stylish, ladies slip a dress in there to throw folks off, fellas try a formal look to impress. Please wear what you think you look best in, but take the opportunity to also try a new look, just to surprise folks. New hairdo is good, but please ensure to get that minimum 2 weeks before the shoot. Your first cellphone or something big as a prop should also set you good.

Bring props that recall your high school years – band instrument, sports gear like a volleyball or baseball bat, your beloved (or cursed) high school car, letter jacket, sunglasses. Most of all, rep your style, whatever that may be. Your senior photo should be unique to your life and personality. I once did a portfolio for a girl, she bought the pictures of the guys she went out with and kept those on her car’s roof, and gave me a nice pose, it was quite a picture, but you don’t wanna try that, I don’t know you take a call.

Families

Oi Dad..!! – Have a fresh shave or trim, and use a new razor with shaving cream and a moisturizing after-shave lotion to limit bumps and redness. Make sure nails are clean and trimmed. Wash your hands. Clean up your shoes. Moisturize and scrub away flaky facial skin (see above General advice). Well, here is a nice tip, you can ask your wife to do all this for you, and when she is shaving you, you can certainly go a little naughty, and then thing you do after that, can bring a special glow on her face, if you know what I mean, do you? When you wash your face, pay attention to eye boogers and sleep crusties. For wardrobe, go for jeans or pants, tucked polo or dress shirt with a belt, or go casual with just a T-shirt or untucked polo, button-up short sleeve, etc. In general, whatever your wife tells you to wear. Again you don’t have to perfectly match the rest of the family, just wear something that coordinates. Avoid shorts and sandals if possible

Yo Mom..!! – Women know what to wear, but in general, unless you are extremely thin you may want to wear something that covers your upper-arms. Long- or 3/4-sleeve tops are very flattering. If you wear jewellery, aim for subtlety, and be aware of it twisting or turning. Its just easier to tell you what not to wear, you can have a look at this post of mine. If you have some light facial hair (particularly around your lip or chin), indulge in a waxing in advance of your shoot – even barely-there light facial hair will be noticeable in your photos

Hey Kid..!! – Same advice as above, but again, everything needn’t match, simply coordinate with the parents’ outfits. If Dad’s in a T-shirt, don’t put the kids in dress shirts – make it make sense.

For Family – All wearing the same solids with the same colour palette often brings up a good picture, like all in dark blue with different shades etc, use some inspirations from google, I do that.

Children

Clean, clean, clean – clean nails, clean hair, wipe away eye boogers, clean feet (sandals on kids = black feet!, so don’t, unless you’ve some clothed or velvety light cute colour and it’s an indoor shoot), wipe snotty noses, fresh-scrub teeth. The cleaner the kid, the better their photos will turn out.

If your child is still in diapers or pull-ups, tuck’em in or wear bloomers.

Very Important – If your child is still of napping age, make sure they nap before the shoot.

It is perfectly okay to bring bribes to a photo shoot – given a stage and being the center of attention, it’s like our kids know exactly when to act their worst. Some cereal, smarties or other candy that won’t stain teeth can help a short photo shoot go by smoothly.

Avoid colourful drinks or lollypops within 24 hours of your shoot, don’t let them eat or drink anything that will stain their face, teeth or mouths.

Fresh / new clothes will do wonders here, try some least expensive props and dresses on eBay, I mean if you can get something under $10 and can help you make a picture for lifetime, heck yeh..do that.

Wardrobe – For girls, you can’t go wrong with cute dresses, rompers, and dainty hats or headbands. For boys, jeans and stripey or solid polos or a button-up shirt, or a T-shirt with a button-up over it can be very cute, as well as overalls on the right age and personality. For siblings, the children don’t have to match perfectly, just coordinate. You can’t go wrong with dark, rich monotones, which drive the attention in photos to sweet faces and darling expressions instead of loud prints or colours. If nothing else, pick a colour that compliments your child’s eye colour. Blues, green, grey, brown, black looks good on boys and pink, purple, yellow, grey, blue and pretty much everything looks awesome on your little princess.

Newborns and Babies

Use a wash cloth to clean away flaky skin and eye boogers.

Trim those tiny fingernails and toenails with appropriate baby trimmers.

Book your shoot around your baby’s feeding and nap times, work with the natural rhythm of your baby. The perfect time to shoot is right when the baby would be laying down for a nap. If your baby normally falls asleep after a feeding, wait to feed the baby until you’re at the shoot. Baby photographers allot plenty of time for this sort of thing to set up the best situation for great photos.

Dress up paper diapers. Cloth diapers are classy and stylish, but if you don’t use them, bring bloomers or decorative diaper covers, solids preferred.

Nothing is the best wardrobe for a newborn – no outfit fits a newborn well, and they often look swallowed in clothes. Accessories are good, though – little hats, dainty headbands, boys in crocheted hats, etc. Bring sentimental items like the quilt that Grandma made for the baby, a baby blanket from your own childhood – they’re great for the youngster to lay on. There are some really nice and less expensive props available on eBay, order those ASAP, if you are still pregnant, order those now, because most of them are in China or someplace like that and it just takes time to be delivered, you should be able to buy plenty of such props under $10-$20.

If your baby takes a pacifier, bring it – if they’re bottle fed, bring an extra bottle to help put the baby to sleep.

Maternity

Ask yourself a question, are you feeling alright for the photo shoot today? When did you last meet your doctor? I won’t be doing such shoots too far off at some exotic location, because I don’t want you to panic if you’ve to rush to the doctor. I would say, check your doctor’s available hours, and then plan a shoot, so if you’ve to rush to your doc, you would know that he/she is available to help you, the location should preferably be your residence or very near to your residence. The timings should e right when you feel fresh and can spare some time of free activity.

Moisturize that belly!

Gather your props to bring along – ultrasound printout, alphabet blocks that spell your baby’s name, baby shoes, stuffed animals, flowers, whatever you’ve seen in other maternity photos that you like.

Wear whatever you feel comfortable and pretty in – long, flowy skirts, especially solids are nice, and strapless bras that coordinate with them. Tube dresses are great for showing off your shape. Bring a pair of regular jeans, not the belly panel ones. A button-up shirt also makes it easy to transition into showing your belly.

If you’re doing semi-nude/implied nude photos, bras and underwear will create noticable lines on your skin, so wear loose-fitting clothing to the shoot. You can add undergarments as necessary for photos later in the shoot.

Do bring your significant other! They’ll make a great prop for your photos, and greatly expand on the number of different photos you can make during your shoot. They should bring outfits that coordinate with what you’ll be wearing, or a dark long-sleeved shirt or sweater and dark pants. The focus should always be on you, your expressions, your emotions, your personality, your joy and your connection.

Important advice, if you already have a toddler and you want this maternity shoot with him as well, please ensure there is someone to take care of him/her as well, because you and I will be focussed on the photo shoot, and we can run after him/her, you would need someone there to help you out.

General Advice

Hair – If you’re getting a hair cut for your shoot, do so about two weeks beforehand, just in case it goes wrong – you just never know. For men, a fresh cut a couple of days before the shoot is fine.

Hair accessories – If you’re shooting outdoors, be ready to put your hair up and make it look nice in case of a windy day. Bring bobby pins, hair clips, headbands or any other favorite accessories.

Glasses – If folks wouldn’t recognize you without glasses, you want to wear glasses in your shoot – however, the glare on glasses can detract from your eyes in photos. You can have your lenses removed from your frames for your shoot (don’t worry, it’s what Hollywood does to avoid glare in movies), ask your eye doctor to loan you a pair of similar frames, or you can also visit an inexpensive company online and buy a suitable pair of duplicate frames on the cheap.

Red eyes – Visine is your friend. Not getting drunk the night before your shoot helps, too.[Don’t think I kid, I’ve shot plenty of hung-over folks.]

Lips – You will probably wipe or lick your lips during your shoot, so bring fresh lip gloss or lipstick to do touch-up. Use lip balm for a few days in advance of your shoot to make your smoochers look their best.

Teeth – If you want to brighten your smile, start your treatments about two weeks before your shoot.

Breakouts – Start using African Black Bar Soap for a week in advance of your shoot to help reduce and limit pimples and blemishes. Equally important, don’t cake on a lot of make-up to try to hide blemishes – it’s almost always easier to Photoshop away pimples than to clean up overdone make-up. For fever blisters, avoid getting them in the first place, then use Abreva if one pops up anyway.

Make-up – A subtle application of make-up can really soften your skin and accent your facial features. But make sure you know what you’re doing, and make sure it matches your skin tone, or your face may look orange compared to the rest of your body.

Facial hair – Men, be freshly shaved with a new razor, shaving cream and a moisturizing after-shave lotion to avoid bumps and redness. Trim up your board, sideburns, moustache or goatee, especially looking for wiry stray hairs. Men and women both, pluck and clean up those eyebrows.

Moisturizer – Dry skin can really detract from a great photo shoot. Start moisturizing nightly a week in advance of your shoot. When you get out of the shower, dry off until lightly damp, and slather on moisturizer. Focus on your arms, shoulders, neck, face, hands, anywhere you’ll be exposed to the camera. This includes your legs if you’re shooting in shorts or a skirt.ProTip: For dry skin on your face, especially around your nose, use a sugar scrub. Mix a cup of sugar with about a quarter cup of olive oil, or just until it looks like wet sand. Scrub your face with it anywhere you have flaky skin, wash it off, then wash with soap to remove the oil. The sugar paste shouldn’t be oily, just wet enough to moisten the sugar. Also, be sure on your face to use a facial moisturizer, not a thick body moisturizer, or you could break out. [Us men, of course, are most in need of this advice, especially around the face and hands.]

Nails – A fresh coat of nail polish will make a world of difference in your photo shoot. Pick a neutral colour that won’t distract in your shoot or clash with your outfits. Freshen the morning of the shoot, then be careful not to scuff it while prepping. [I see this most often with high school senior girls, to whom half-gone nail polish seems to be a popular fad.] Your photo shoot is a great excuse for a fresh manicure, but if you can’t go to the salon, make sure your nails look tidy and clean, including the cuticles.

Adoid Fatty food – Ladies, avoid high salt and high fat foods for two to three days in advance of your shoot. Being bloated will sap your confidence and comfort in front of the camera.

Undergarments – Bra straps won’t do anything to help your outfit look its best. Be sure you bring a set of bras and strap-adjusting accessories to work with any outfit you want to shoot in to keep those straps well-hidden.

Sun burns and tan lines – If your shoot is booked for Saturday, don’t go to the beach on Friday. If you plan to tan before your shoot, do so at least a week beforehand and don’t get burned. Be mindful of clothing tan lines, sunglass tan lines, hat tan lines, etc.

Ironing – If you iron, iron the night before and then hang the clothes for your shoot. If you’re wearing something that wrinkles easily, don’t wear it in the car on the way to the shoot – just change at the location.

Shoes – Ladies, can’t go wrong in heels or wedges. Men, NO Sandals, and clean up your shoes! Dress shoes are best but as with most things, let your momma or your wife decide.

15 Tips on what not to wear on a photo shoot.

  1. Please say NO to Loose or baggy clothing – Remember, these photos will be a reminder to your loved ones what you look like when they can’t be with you! Fitted clothes look much more polished and flattering than loose clothes, which can just make you appear boxy. Check the fit of jackets, sweaters or collared shirts, and be sure that the collar won’t obscure your face when you sit down and that the shoulders won’t bunch up.
  2. Something you’ve never worn before – We’re all about shopping, but don’t let the photo shoot be the first time you’re wearing new duds! You’ll want to feel comfortable and confident, and if you’re unsure of how that skirt will act when you’re focused on your poses, it’s best to wait until you don’t have professional photographic proof.
  3. Not complementary? – No bright white socks and no sneakers unless we’re talking about something fashion forward and simple like Converse or Vans. And also be sure to remove watches or jewellery not complementary to the session’s look.
  4. DON’T DISTRACT FROM THE SUBJECT – Anything that takes attention away from the people in the photo is a no-no. Avoid overly bright colours – bright reds, oranges, lime greens and yellows. Not only do they compete with your faces for attention (not good) they can also reflect a tint and make skin tones appear odd (definitely not good). Very dark colours that can blend into the background easily are also to be avoided. Solids (not of the extremely bright or very dark variety) and pastels are generally excellent choices. If at all possible, stay away from short sleeved tops/shorts as they can also draw some of the attention away from the main subject – your lovely faces.
  5. Patterns/distractions – Try to avoid patterns and bold accessories. It’s best to avoid the cluttered looks, bright stripes, or strong patterns because they can be distracting.
  6. Tanning? – Avoid outfits that show your tan lines or underclothing (i.e. bra straps), and if you are going to wear strapless, make sure that you don’t have tan lines from previous outfits.
  7. Solids? – Solid colours are more appropriate for outdoor sessions. Some patterns are acceptable, but if it clashes with everyone else in the shoot (i.e. fiancée, children, husband), it may be a distraction.
  8. More than 1? – For photo shoots with two or more people, similar solid colours are preferred to create uniformity. For example, if blue is the choice of colour, then a combination of people wearing “light” blue and “navy” blue would be fine. Pay attention to shoe colours and accessories as “clash in colour” can create additional distractions. Be conscious of your body! Wear what realistically flatters your body and fits you the best; not what fashion dictates. Major distractions in photographs are seeing someone in a top that is too tight for them or bottoms that don’t flatter them or their body-type.
  9. Colours – Good colour choices would be neutral and earth tones like green, brown tones, black, darker blue, and black/grey. Those colours go well with light/dark coloured jeans or pants. Darker coloured shoes are also usually better under these combinations of colours. Darker colours are slimming but if you prefer white (or lighter coloured) tops; then combine it with darker pants or dark blue jeans for contrast. However, make sure that your skin tone wears white well, or your face will seem washed out in the pictures.
  10. Makeup/Hair – Make-up is difficult to explain but it’s a good idea to find a balance between natural and slightly glamour (heavier) coverage! Wear make-up that complements your skin-tone. Don’t be afraid to apply powders or concealers to cover any blemishes or skin discolouring, in fact it’s a Must.
  11. Natural Look? – Heavier coverage (than the natural look) does look better in pictures, but you don’t have to go so “heavy” that it becomes a distraction or doesn’t look like you after.
  12. Dark Circles?? OMG KMN – To avoid the “raccoom” look, natural colouring (or neutral/earth colours) around the eyes show up much better on camera. It may be tempting to wear heavy (and dark) eye liner and eye colour, but Can create dark circles around the eyes, so take your call hotties..!!
  13. Type & Length of clothes – Dressy casual is the best, but choose a look that really suits the real you, so that you are comfortable during the shoot. If you do wear short sleeves or dresses, make sure that it compliments your figure and that its not focusing on what (in your opinion) is your worse feature. Or it will come across in the shoot. Layering is also a good idea! For example: A tailored or well-cut jacket is a great combination with a light top and jean bottom. I think Jeans are very dicey, but then it leaves men with very limited options, but that’s not the case with the women, shorts, denim pants, capris, skirts or dresse etc.
  14. Men – Avoid shorts and sandals if possible. Because men tend to cross their legs putting their ankle up on the other leg, it looks odd when legs are showing. This tends to bring our attention in the picture to the legs rather than the face, expressions, etc. Also, long sleeve tops will avoid distractions to the arms. SO guys, watch out..!!
  15. Women – Avoid bubble dresses and dresses above the knee. When shooting, you should be able to do stuff like sitting down, etc. without having to be worried that your dress is hiking up too high. If you think size is important, whereas you’ve no luck in this area, feel free to use little bit of paddings.

24 Tips on what to wear for a photo shoot.

  • Wear Solids – Wear some solid coloured clothing so that your faces are more visible and no one person stands out. If you wear stripes or flowers, you will stand out from the rest of your group. This tip is useful if you’re the bride, you’ll wear something different than your bridesmaids and you’ll stand out.
  • Muted Tone – Choose muted tones that are a little bit subdued so that you are the main subject and not your clothes and you don’t stand out from the group. Usually Bright colours project (especially reds, oranges, and yellows), which also makes you look larger.
  • Top & Bottom – Choose similar kind of tones for your top & bottom (both dark or both light) so that one doesn’t look bigger than the other.  White top, dark pants will make your top look bigger.  For example, White pants, dark top will make your butt look bigger.
  • Colours – Choose atleast 1-3 colours for your group portrait, ones with similar tones that go nicely together and convince everyone to work within that colour palette. For example: dark green, navy, and burgundy – all dark jewel tones.  OR tan, a lighter olive green, and denims – all lighter, softer tones.  So that we see the people first and your portrait looks stunning. Wedding group photos look so good because they’re all wearing the same colours and the people stand out! You see what I mean now?? Good colour choices would be neutral and earth tones like green, brown tones, black, darker blue, and black/grey. Those colours go well with light/dark coloured jeans or pants. Darker coloured shoes are also usually better under these combinations of colours. Darker colours are slimming but if you prefer white (or lighter coloured) tops; then combine it with darker pants or dark blue jeans for contrast. However, make sure that your skin tone wears white well, or your face will seem washed out in the pictures.
  • Sleeves – Especially for females, you should wear a top with sleeves at least to the elbow because your arms take up more skin area than your face and will draw attention and it may also make your arms look larger. Believe me honey, there are other thigns which you probably want to look large, and this is so not one of those.
  • Long Pants? – Choose long pants for men/ladies or a skirt (preferably) below the knee for ladies so that your legs don’t take attention from your faces, and you will be able to sit and bend without showing too much leg. (talk to me, it also depends on the location and other factors).
  • Footwear – Choose dark socks and footwear (unless it’s a barefoot photo on the beach) because white just sticks out like a sore thumb and that’s all you’ll notice in your portrait. If it’s a shoot where more skin needs to be shown, you can choose some colourful striped socks as well (for Females). There are some new kind of girly socks on eBay with some toe / finger faces, those could be a great prop.
  • Jewellery – Keep jewellery simple but elegant. Big size Ruby or Sapphire (even imitation) stone earrings or pendants can do wonders (for females), white shiny diamonds are tricky to be handled in digital photography.
  • Hairdo – Do your hair the way you’d normally do it while wearing these clothes – no fancy up dos with jeans, no pony tails with evening gowns, etc. This is common sense, or so you’d think, but I’ve had ladies go to the hair salon and get fancy up dos then show up in jeans and a t-shirt.  It just simply doesn’t make any sense cause you wouldn’t normally do anything like put on comfy jeans and go to the park for a BBQ or something. It’s important to understand that your portrait will be more timeless and represent more closely who you are, not just what you look like.” If jeans is all you wear, and want still to wear during the shoot, be my guest.
  • Salon – If getting a haircut or new hairdo, facial, nails make your appointment at least 1-2 weeks prior (for hair do only, rest should be a day before or on the photo shoot) to your portrait session – again this seems like a no brainer but you’d be surprised! Fresh haircuts rarely look their best the same or next day. Ladies need time to practice working it, men need it to grow out just a little. Please allow some time to live with your new look before your portrait session.
  • Whites – White isn’t the only neutral. When you want to go neutral with your outfits remember white isn’t the only neutral.  Men wearing a light blue oxford and a woman in a blush dress is still neutral! Other neutral options: black, tan, blush, light blues, nudes, navy, gray. Spice up your neutrals with going with other textures, patterns, & playing around with more than just white.
  • Same Colour? – It’s so important that people just don’t stick to the traditional thing of all wearing only one colour. Just like your family, what everyone wears should be diverse. Show your personality through your outfits. Let your personality shine..!! These are photos you will have for years so when you look back at them make sure your outfits fit the way your family is & be true to you!
  • Patterns or Colours – Don’t be afraid of pattern & colour. Make sure to bring in some colour & pattern to your photo shoots to really make your family photos a masterpiece. Always make sure there is a great balance between patterns and solids. For example in a family photo shoot, maybe the daughter is in a floral dress, the dad is in a stripe shirt, & the mom & son are in solids. & don’t be afraid of mixing patterns. When picking colours, never be afraid, but think about what colours go with the feel of your photo shoot. If you are going for a light & airy feel be sure to pick lighter colours. Want that downtown urban feel? Go with deeper more rich colours. Pattern & colour can really add a pop of interest to your family photos & make you stand out against your backdrop. Having said that, for females, dark grey top (tight tees) or grey, blue and maroon checked shirt (with elbow sleeves) on dark blue short jeans (or denim pants) can make you look a real hottie..!!
  • Go Shopping – DON’T Wear Clothes That Look Old & out dated, shop, shop and shop. You can pick up some good ones from eBay, or can rent those or go to your favourite stores. Sorry guys, I know I just told your gals to go shopping. But honestly, we all want to look and feel our best. You can’t deny how awesome you feel in new clothes. You don’t have to buy a 100% new wardrobe, but an item or two are often appropriate considering you are investing in a photo session.
  • Layers & Textures – Layers & textures are beautiful and create interest in photos. I absolutely love using multiple textures and layers, especially important when working with a colour palette a bit on the neutral or softer side (with a subtle colour pop here or there). When I say textures one of the ways to achieve this is with different clothing materials and accents – tweed, crochet and embroidery details, lace, hand knit items, smocking, ribbons, ruffles, etc. Also, having different layers of clothing and accessories can add another dimension to the overall texture of the image. These details and added depth are especially important in black and white images. And it can be done beautifully with colourful bright or just pops of colour here and there as well … follow your own vision and style, also looking to what fits your subjects best. For example a woollen (knitted) muffler or scarf around the neck can make you look amazingly gorgeous or handsome.
  • Some Examples – Something that blends with the vibe of the session as well, but keep them simple and meaningful. A handful of flowers that are a natural, neutral colour or that coordinate with colour pops in the subjects’ clothing … a vintage camera, a basket of apples, or the absolute best type of prop is something that is meaningful to the subject (grandpa’s vintage camera, kid’s favourite stuffed animal, a quilt made by great grandma, the family’s beloved pet). But don’t let the prop be an odd distraction – make sure it “makes sense” being in the photo and blends well with the whole vision you had in mind for the shoot. Click here to see some example of the props for the child photography. Click here to see some examples of the props for fashion photography. Click here to see examples of the props for the couple photography, and click here to see some sample props for the family portraits.
  • Shoes – Shoes matter. Please don’t wear sneakers … unless we’re talking about some funky Converse which is going alright with the feel of the session. The choice of shoes can make or break an outfit. Slipping on a pair of hip, distressed boots or some colourful ballet flats can tie everything together and complete the feel of the session. Think about coordinating those bright and colourful shoes with other accessories and clothing in the photo – not necessarily on the subject themselves, but rather match little sister’s bright turquoise shoes to the sweater or scarf her mama is wearing. It ties everything together without looking too match-y match-y. And many times NO shoes looks best, especially if you’ll be sitting or in poses where the bottoms of shoes can be seen – that never looks pretty. And don’t forget some funky socks to add another splash of colour or personality if your overall look of the session is fun and bright.
  • Think – How will the images be displayed? Think about the primary reason you are doing the session and dress accordingly. For instance, if it’s for Christmas cards you might want to dress in wintry, seasonal clothing … for a gallery canvas in the living room, think about coordinating with the colours and feel of your decor. For the canvases you can hang in girls’ playroom, dress them in twirly, pink dresses and they can run dancing through the sand on the beach, which meshed perfectly in the girly room that’s always filled with giggles and play.
  • Intimate Pictures? – There are plenty of options for the lingerie, or some accessories specific to this subject, explore those options, because when it comes to the artistic nudes, you don’t have very limited options to play around with the regular clothes. Nice pair of shoes, girls socks can do wonders too, some interesting piece of jewellery or some artificial but gorgeous looking flowers looks awesome as well.
  • Listen, Think, and Just do it..!! – Yeah.. Just be yourself, carry yourself gracefully, and think what suits you the best.
  • RISKY IS NOT WRONG – Don’t be afraid to be a little risky! A lot of times we become too comfortable and forget to try to stand out in the crowd. However, every time you take that risk, people seem to notice you and throw compliments your way.  Let me be the first to tell you, the camera loves a little risk in style!  I’m not saying you need to go overboard with change in style, but just don’t settle because it’s easier.  Make sure you like the way you look in it.  Maybe take a photo of yourself, and see what you think.  Sometimes when I take a photo of myself because I am thinking I am having a great hair day and then I look at the photo, I think there must be something wrong with my mirror!
  • DON’T FORGET TO ACCESSORIZE – Ladies don’t be afraid to accessorize, the more interesting looking you are, the more interesting looking your photos will be. The camera loves the added touch a fun scarf can bring to a photograph. Guys, don’t be afraid to accessorize as well.  A cool hat can help make a photo much more interesting. Click here to read more on my blog for props.
  • BE AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS – If the shoot is going to be in a park setting and there is a lot of green, choose colours that will go nicely with green, to help make your photos come alive!
  • SEARCH FOR INSPIRATION – The internet is a powerful tool! Don’t be afraid to do a Google search for some inspirations, if you find a family where you really like their photos, take note of what they are wearing because that is probably the key element to their photo. Pintrest is also a wonderful website to get colour combination ideas, a lot of times they will have outfit pairings right on their homepage.

Accessorize with props..Proporize it..!!

Think creative. Scarves, hats, flowers in the hair for girls, jewellery, sweaters, vests, jackets, etc. – all these things can take a ho-hum image and make it feel “complete.

I believe that especially with sweet babies and toddlers “accessories” can make the moment look even cuter, like a wooden bucket, toys, baby’s mom’s or dad’s baby clothes, some balloons, some colourful props, Pinterest and instagram is filled with such props, Google it, and buy those on eBay, I doubt if those are going to cost you fortune.  Nevertheless these tiny little babies are beautiful in their simple purity, even a small tiny little prop can help you to create an “Awww” moment and image.

Choose your accent colours and fill in outfits with those punches of colour in accessories … for instance, if big sister’s patterned dress has tones of aqua, coral and gray, have mom wear a coral headband and little brother in an aqua pair of Converse and bow tie. Show off the kids’ and your unique personality with accessories!

There are a few bonuses to using accessories well (as well as layers). One is that changing them up a bit throughout the session can give you multiple looks without having to do many wardrobe changes. They can also be something that the subjects can interact with … a sassy little tip of the hat, holding the ends of a scarf while running and letting it billow behind you, grabbing the lapels of a husbands jacket while pulling him close for a kiss … all these little gestures and ways to interact (and become more comfortable in front of the camera) can be made possible with styling choices. Many of my sessions will feature items used outside their intended use or subject … my girls are often seen in mommy’s hats or scarves (scarves can be used in different ways like wrapped around their shoulders, as a hair piece, etc) and they love to wear any costume jewellery.

Sample props for females – Jewellery (big size stone lookalike of emerald, sapphire, ruby, etc.), Scarves, Clips, hairbands, colourful socks, gorgeous little shoes (cute ones), Belts, paper flowers, butterflies, trees etc.

Sample props for newborns, toddlers, kids – Baskets, little tubs, toys, clips, butterfly like toys, colourful small blankets, clay, colors, toys like ducks, vintage toys (bus, scooter etc.)

Props for Intimate / Artistic nudes – makeup, lingerie, nail paints, high heels, any you need to google it, and find appropriate props, considering here no or less clothes are involved, so the importance of props, is even more.

Props for men – hat, umbrella, belts, watch, bag, sports gear, Pinterest.

Photo shoot. (FAQ)

Sometimes, I do free photo shoots over the weekends, feel free to register for a shoot​.​

Also, read the following FAQs about the shoot.

Q1: Blog URL (Know all about what to wear, what to do, what not to do during the photo shoot and much more…)
A1: https://saurabhdhall.wordpress.com/

Q2: Why the free photo shoots?
A2: I love photography; I need to build my portfolio, so I’ll be putting up your images on my website, to showcase my work. It’s not always free, you need to check with me, explain me your requirements, and we’ll take it from there.

Q3: How expensive are the paid photography assignments?
A3: Depends on your requirements, and my efforts, I’m working on a pricing model, till then the pricing will be made on the best effort judgement model, where we’ll discuss about your expectations and then we’ll discuss about the pricing.

Q4: How does the free photo shoot work?
A4: You sign up on my site, I’ll get your details, and I’ll get back to you with my availability. That’s it. It is as simple as it sounds.

Q5: Where?
A5: I usually shoot in gardens, parks, landscapes, beaches, anywhere.

Q6: Preferred location?
A6: It has to be a public place for free photo shoots; we need to discuss the commute options, as I rely on public transport all the time. If you want me to visit you at your residence for the photo shoot, then it falls under the paid assignment.

Q7: When?
A7: Once your free photo shoot request is approved I’ll write you with my available slots for the following weekend, we’ll also be able to talk on the phone and decide on the things like place, date and time.

Q8: Props?
A8: I don’t mind if you want bring some of your own, like tiara, fancy hats, Scarf, Jewelry, etc..I’ve blogged about it, click here to read more.

Q9: Pets?
A9: Absolutely, I love dogs..! it shouldn’t bite me..lol..

Q10: Fashion portfolio
A10: Absolutely.

Q11: what do I wear?
A11: my suggestion is to bring both kind of colours, light and bright, put those on, and get multiple pictures in different attires. I’ve blogged in detail about what to wear, please click here to read more about it..

Q12: DO i need to send you a picture of mine before the shoot?
A12: Sure, it helps me to think and suggest you what kind of colors you should wear, or props you should bring etc. e-Mail me.

Q13: How many pictures should I expect from this shoot.
A13: between 3-6, or maybe more, depends on the time and the quality of the images. I don’t give out the crappy images to anyone. SO please don’t ask if you can keep the shitty ones? I’m a reasonable man, and I’ll send you the images I feel are good enough. Also read about the “Can I get to keep the shitty images” and “When to expect the images form the shoot

Q14: What kind of equipment do you have?
A14: I’ve a crop sensor and a full frame body, with some canon’s most popular lenses & a flash (which i use only when it’s relevant).

Q15: I want you to do my wedding or someone’s birthday, or some other form of event.
A15: We can discuss this on phone / email. It’s difficult to cover this during the FAQs.

Q16: How do I get the images?
A16: Needs to be discussed on the phone, but in a nutshell, you’ll be required to send me an email with a scanned copy of your photo id (ids in case of family portraits), summarizing the 3 conditions mentioned at the end of the registration form in the email body and a testimonial (good or bad) again in the same email’s body, and send me the filled suitable form along with the scanned Age / ID Proofs, and then I’ll send you a link or email, using which you’ll be able to download the media.

Q17: How to know which form you need to fill and send me.
A17: If it was a family photo shoot then you can fill this form. If it was an individual or a solo photo shoot, then you can use this form. If it was a newborn or a Minor’s photo shoot, then you can use this form. If it was some other kinf of a Photo shoot then I’ll send you a form and you can fill tat up and send it back. P.S – Also read the instructions mentioned in the FAQ # 16, you’ll be required to type in the 3 terms & conditions which are mentioned at the end of the registration form in the email body and a testimonial (good or bad) again in the same email’s body, and send me the filled suitable form along with the scanned Age / ID Proofs, and then I’ll send you a link or email, using which you’ll be able to download the media
Q18: How do you use my images to showcase your portfolio?

A18: I upload the images on my flickr account which is public, and the links are referenced on my website www.saurabhdhall.com. You’ll get to see your image under the Gallery option. Btw my flickr account URl is www.flickr.com/punjabi.

Q19: What to bring on the photoshoot.
A19: Your own water, some Props & Accessories, Clothes (so you can quickly change and get more pictures in different attires), your make-up kit.

Q20: Photoshoot for Minor.
A20: The model / subject will be required to print this form, fill the details, scan & send it to me in an email. Note: This form will be filled by the Minor’s Parents, and along with this form (consent letter) the mandatory enclosures would be the age id proofs.

Q21: What do you do for living?
A21: I work full time in IT.