Abby was super impressive right from our first emails back and forth! She had a really clear vision of what she was looking for in her NMSU graduation/senior portraits, and I couldn’t help but be excited from the start. It’s always so rewarding to be found by clients who are willing to put their trust in you without reservation! This girl is focused and driven–her hard work and determination are evident within minutes of meeting her, and she’s super prepared and puts so much thought into everything she does. Those are such admirable strengths and qualities!
I feel like so much went right about this session, and it’s been on my mind a lot as I’ve been preparing this blog post! I can’t help but feel like Abby is a really great teaching example–sort of a ‘How to Have A Great Portrait Experience’ thing. Everything that went right about it is so applicable to every type of photography I do, so I thought I’d take a minute to highlight what worked–if you plan on having a session or wedding in the future, these tips will be a big help to you, too!
Five Things You Can Do To Have An Awesome Portrait Session
1. Keep It Real. Abby was totally open and honest with me about her hopes and expectations for this session. That meant I was able to plan her session in a completely custom way, keeping in mind the specific things she wanted to achieve, and the specific concerns she had.
2. Be Thoughtful and Plan Your Little Heart Out. Abby actually requested a consultation where she asked for my input on everything from styles and colors of clothing to hair and makeup looks; how to address specific concerns she had, and even asked about my shooting/posing process. Being curious about the process led to her being super prepared for her session.
3. Choose Clothing You LOVE…And That Loves You, Too. Abby followed my best piece of advice about wardrobe–the best outfit choice is the one that makes you feel amazing. In other words…don’t choose something that will accentuate an area of insecurity. She put a lot of effort into finding looks she loved, felt comfortable in, gave the right ‘vibe’ for what she wanted and made her feel like a million bucks. Her outfits were classic and chic, and she OWNED those looks.
4. Choose a Photographer Who Knows Their Stuff…And Then Trust Them. Even with the best planning, it’s pretty much a guarantee that something isn’t going to go as expected! Part of my job is to help clients shake off any stress they’ve experienced before getting to their session so they can enjoy the process–and part of my job, too, is to think on my feet when something unexpected happens at the session–like a crazy microburst, a sudden rainstorm (true story!) or throngs of people everywhere. When my clients put their trust in me and follow my advice, we can work through anything that comes our way…and still create some pretty amazing pictures in the process.
5. Enjoy Yourself! Knowing she could trust me, Abby relaxed and actually had fun! It’s normal for that to take a few minutes, but I work to make this happen at every session I do, and I want to point it out here because it really made all the difference! Two things happen when you feel relaxed and comfortable at your session. First, your mannerisms, your facial expressions and your smile are genuine and authentically ‘you’. If you feel relaxed…you LOOK relaxed. And second–when we’re having fun, I get creative. Or, even more creative. There’s time and space for me to look at the environment in a different way, imagine a setup, pose or angle I hadn’t considered before, or impulsively give a prompt I’ve literally never thought of before…and when that happens, it’s pretty much a guarantee that you’ll like the result (me too! I LOVE those shots, they’re my fave!).
So now that you know what worked so well, have fun scrolling through these beautiful NMSU senior portraits! And maybe bookmark this for future reference–because you can have similar results at your next portrait session.
Congratulations on all your hard work paying off, Abby!! I’m excited for you and all that the future has in store for you!
All my best,