KatieKatie Katie Parsons is the creator of Mumbling Mommy and is a freelance writer, editor and communications specialist. She works from her home office on the east coast of Florida. Most often she writes about life in a combined family of five children and what it's like being a full time work-from-home parent. Feel free to pitch guest post ideas or just drop her a line at katie@mumblingmommy.com.

 

Preparation makes a difference (before and after)

By Cara, Life’s Fotos Portraiture Design

Getting your photos taken is supposed to be a fun experience — though I know many stress over what to wear, and other pre-photo prepping.

So I’ve gathered 10 tips that will help you relax and get the best photographs possible, worry-free.

1. Get plenty of sleep- going out, staying out late, and drinking it up will not help you to look your best before a photo shoot.  These separately will do you in, and all together, you’ll look more like Janis Joplin than your picture-perfect self.

2. Pay attention to the details.  Your nails don’t have to be painted, but flaky half-painted nails are distracting.  You’ll want fresh nails, either freshly painted, or have all the paint removed.  Check your toe nails too, you never know what your photographer has in store on the fly. This is just one example, but pay attention to any distracting things about your appearance that could affect the photo.

3. Don’t show too much skin. Skin naturally draws the eye, bringing the focus away from your face.  Most of us want our faces always to be the subject of the photographs, not our knees, elbows or naked shoulders.

4. Pick clothes carefully.  Coordinate.  Solid Colors. Stay away from patterns in groups.  They are distracting, and if the patterns are catchy matchy, it becomes a bit of a “Where’s Waldo?” situation.

5. Feed your kids. Give them a good meal before the shoot. If there are kids under the age of 6,  bring snacks.  Cheerios are great; save a big treat for after.  I hand out dum dum suckers.  But only after.

6. Wear makeup. There are a LOT of lights in a photography studio.  Lights wash people out, so if you have a photography session, you will need make up.  Even if you don’t normally wear make up, do for that day.  In fact you will need it to be a bit heavier than the normal daytime wear.  Think of the singers up on stage or even on television, even the men wear make up just to get a normal appearance because of all the light.  Why would this be different in a photo session?

7. Be okay with walking away from the kids. Sometimes kids act better in public and without their parents.  Case in point: I had a session with a brother & sister.  The boy, let’s call him Harry, wanted nothing to do with the session.  I talked it over with his mom, she “hid” from sight, close enough if there were any real issues, but out of sight of Harry.  It wasn’t long before he and I  were laughing — doing silly things that maybe mom wouldn’t approve of like sticking out tongues, gross faces and talking about farts……  But we have the best photos from that session!  His mom said it was the best thing she could have done!  If you choose to stay in eye site, make sure to stand behind the photographer, the kids will be looking at you for approval of “silly things” and if you want great eye contact with the camera, and you are standing off to the side, it is not going to happen.

8. Naked baby photos are awesome. For newborn sessions, even for babies up to 12 months, naked photos are a favorite.  And why not? Those cute chubby rolls are adorable!  All photographers know that accidents happen.  We are prepared for this, but sometimes as parents, you are not.  It’s okay. We clean it (or have our assistant) and continue on.  Don’t stress, this will stress the baby too.  Honestly, you will be happy if PEE is the only thing that happens,  which means don’t forget to pack an extra outfit for you too!

9. Buy prints from your photographer. Every photographer has a different outlook on this subject.  I know it’s the digital age, and you want digital photos.  I don’t like selling them.  Here are my reasons, and I will try not to stand on a soap box.

a) Most digital images never see the light of day. You paid good money for those photos, that are longing to be placed on your wall, but instead will be hiding in some dark closet until you “get around to it.”

b) Not all print labs are the same.  There  is a lot more that goes into “taking a photo” than clicking the shutter button on a camera.   What most consumers don’t know is that  professional photographers calibrate their cameras to their monitors in their print lab.  This means that all of these devices see the same shade of red.  Not  a burgundy, red & scarlet.  We want to give our clients the very best print possible.

If you take that digital file to Walmart and get it printed, it won’t look the way I envisioned it, and frankly I wouldn’t want your friends to know I photographed  it.  It is like the worst knock-off of my work.  After all, Gucci doesn’t like it when his products are reproduced because it’s not of the same quality.  It’s the same for photographers.

10. Practice the chin trick. Now that you’ve read my very opinionated blurb about digital files, let me give you a tip you are going to love.   I use this trick for all the women I photograph, and they LOVE ME for it.   Now, you will “feel funny” but honey let me tell you, you will look fabulous!  In any photograph, MOM, I’m talking to you now, stick your chin out as far as you can.  Think of a “chicken neck”, then bring your chin down, down down, now stop.  That is going to get rid of the extra chin, skin, and baggage around your neck/chin area.  Try it in the mirror.  I had one mom, she had a baby 10 days before I took their family photo, look at the pictures and say “ I  love these, I know I have a double chin after the baby, but you can’t see it, I guess your crazy posing does work!”


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