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  • Writer's pictureMcKenna

Tips For Your Next Photoshoot

Here are some tips to make your next photoshoot a success!

Lighting is EVERYTHING

I am a natural light photographer. Meaning - I typically do not bring any additional lights or flashes on my camera. The exception being for weddings, or some indoor shoots. Light is the most important element when it comes to photography, it effects the color, shadows, and quality of a photograph.

The best light for outdoor photos is when the sun is rising or setting. This allows me to have the best control of colors and shadows. Most of my photoshoots are in the evenings about an hour before the sun sets, or at sunrise.

Cloudy days are also great for photoshoots, they give a soft even light that is ideal for any type of photography.

The best light for indoor photos is anytime except for dark. I have more control over the light in an indoor setting.

The worst time for outdoor photos is around 11am-4pm when the sun is the highest in the sky. This light will result in harsh shadows, harsh colors, and can be difficult to work around. If photos need to be taken at this time, it is best to have a location that offers some shade from the sun.

Soft Sun

Bright Sun

What to Wear

Short answer - anything you feel comfortable and confident in. If you are comfortable and feel good in what you are wearing, it'll shine through in your photos.

If you need a little more guidance, here's some recommendations . . .

Contrast from your background. If you're in the mountains, avoid wearing dark green. If you're in the desert, avoid oranges and reds. It is nice to stand out from your background, and not blend it.

Look on Pinterest. Sometimes it's hard to conceptualize how your colors will look with other family members, or with your significant other. I love looking on Pinterest and Instagram and getting ideas from others. You can also peak my Pinterest board for ideas!

When in doubt, neutrals are your friend. Neutrals always look nice together and can simplify your look.

If what you like breaks the rules, wear it anyways. You may want to avoid things that cover your face like hats and sunglasses.

*Don't forget to empty pockets from keys and phones*

Location, Location, Location

Next to lighting, location is really important. In my opinion - a good location is less crowded, has a variety of backgrounds, and has enough room to take photos.

I travel almost anywhere in Utah for no extra charge. From the desert, to the mountains, or even the seas I literally don't mind going the extra mile for great photos.

Have Fun

Your feelings will leak into your photos. If you are stressed, nervous, or worried about taking the perfect family photo, you may not be happy with how your photos turn out. Photos can bring back feelings and memories, positive or negative. I know for me, if I had a bad experience at a photoshoot or wedding, it can be harder for me to edit.

I tell myself over and over, perfection is not the goal. If you want a perfect photo with airbrushed skin, brilliant white teeth, and I am not the photographer for you. The goal isn't to take a perfect photo, it's to capture you, as you are in this stage of life.

If you have kids, or someone in your party that doesn't like taking photos make the best of it. It's okay to be silly, I often have kids jump around or come up with fun ideas or even help me take some photos, it helps them feel involved and more comfortable. We can ask kids to find go find rocks, flowers, or even a toy to take pictures of, seems counter productive but it really helps them get more excited for photos.

Ask member in your party to think of some fun ideas for the photoshoot. We are big supporters of silliness and creativity, it is never a waste of time. If your photoshoot goes a little long, we don't care, as long as we are all having fun.

Also don't force things. If there's a crying or grumpy kid, it's best to let them sit back and watch for a bit and try again later.

Step Outside The Box

Don't be afraid to ask! If you have a fun idea for a photoshoot shout it out! Sometimes the best ideas are unconventional. (Props, Pets, Outfit Changes, Poses, etc) are all welcome and encouraged.

I hope you have some insight and ideas for planning your next photoshoot. Please reach out if you have any questions.

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