5 Ways To Prepare For A Successful Photography Session

having taken on photography clients for a few years now, i have made a habit out of preparing for sessions in a way that ensures that they are successful.  as i was driving to my newborn session yesterday, i noticed how excited and confident i felt going into the session.  if you were to see me a few years ago, as a new photographer, i would be white knuckling the steering wheel and be a complete nervous wreak going into a session.  now, i excitedly get in my car and can’t wait for the session to start and, more importantly, feel great knowing that it is going to be a great session.  if you are finding yourself nervous before sessions, it’s okay…we have all been there.  over the years, i have found that doing the following 5 things has really helped me to prepare for a successful photography session and, even better, helped me to relax before the session starts.

need some help deciding what to bring to the session?  here are 10 things you should pack in your photography bag.

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5 Ways To Prepare For A Successful Photography Session

5 Ways To Prepare For A Successful Photography Session | Bethadilly Photography

1.  Pack Camera Bag The Night Before

packing my camera bag the night before the session is one of those small things that really helps me to prepare for a successful photography session.  when i pack my bag the night before, i help to calm my mind for a good night’s sleep.  should i wait to pack it at the last second right before i need to leave for my session, i find that i tend to forget something important and the feeling of being rushed before leaving starts me off on the wrong foot.  also, i tend to worry overnight about remembering to bring something with me to my session, so packing the night before helps me simply relax and feel that much more prepared.  it’s important to get a good nights sleep so you are refreshed and ready to be creative during your session.

2.  Reread Client Emails

to prepare for a successful photography session, i make sure to spend a few moments rereading the emails that have gone back and forth between my clients and myself.  because i take on a lot of clients, it can be easy to mix them up.  taking a moment to reread my client emails and get to know my current client again helps me refresh my memory and get in the right frame of mind for the current client.  i will make sure i know how old their children are and their names and, if a newborn client, when they were born.  refreshing my mind also helps me to ensure that i am bringing the correct gear and, if a toddler is involved, i am sure to throw my shutter hugger in my bag to help as backup, should i need to help create some comfort.

3.  Leave For Session Early

if there is one thing that is very unprofessional, it is being late.  i have never been late for a session and make a habit out of leaving early to make sure i make time for any barrier that would make me late for a session, such as traffic, getting lost when finding the client’s home, etc.  i generally arrive for a session about 30 minutes before the session is to start and i just count that as “me” time.  i know this 30 minutes is 30 minutes that i am not spending with my family, but being early is better than being late.  i use this time to either read a book to relax before my session or to walk around the location get an idea for the light.  sometimes i grab myself a coffee and use this time for enjoying some time to myself.

4.  Dress For Success

feeling good about myself is one of those small things that really helps me to prepare for a successful photography session.  i find that when i am dressed thoughtfully and feel good about myself, i am more confident.  and feeling more confident trickles over into being more successful.  being sure that i dress nice and take some time to feel good about myself is not only professional for the client, it is a self motivator.  yes, i understand that as photographers we tend to lay on the ground or climb things to get the perfect shot.  i understand the need to want to dress comfortably.  but there is never an appropriate time to dress unprofessionally when someone is paying you to be a professional.  ditch the yoga pants and dress the part.

need help deciding what to wear?  here are some tips on what photographers should wear to a photo session.

5.  Turn Up The Music

a fun habit that i have to prepare for a successful photography session is listening to fun music on my way to the session.  putting on a fun playlist and turning up the volume really helps me drown out all the worry so i don’t allow myself to overthink the session.  when i just relax and have fun, i feel like any stress that i may have goes unnoticed and i am encouraged to just breathe and have fun.  find whatever music really makes you happy, or listen to a book on tape.  (well, not tape.  do tapes even exist anymore?)  whatever takes your mind off of the what ifs, (what if the toddler starts to cry, what if i forget the poses i want to do, what if the light is awful) and lets you focus on being happy.  and when you show up to a session relaxed and happy, it encourages your clients to feed off of your energy and take on a relaxed and happy feel as well.

sometimes it is the littlest of things that really helps you to prepare for a successful session.  being sure that you dress appropriately, bring the right gear, have a positive attitude, know your client and ensure that you are on time are all things that are going to set you up to have a wonderful session.  what are some of the things you do to prepare yourself before a client session?  be sure to leave your tips for us in the comment section below!

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