September 20, 2016

10 Tips on How to rock out your Annual Portrait Session

FILED IN: Photos, Portraits

Last year for the first time my siblings and I decided to do family portraits. Our father just passed away and during Thanksgiving since we were all together so we decided to do a sibling portrait. I’m so glad we did! And this is how it came out.

Colorful Family Portraits

The Wright Family

Fun Family Portraits

Have some fun when you’re taking your annual family portraits!

Learning from my own experience here is what made our family photo a success. I want yours to be a success as well so here are 10 Tips to totally rock out your annual portrait session.

1. Coordinate your outfits well

Black Family Portraits

The Bowie Family

Before you pull out the matching sweaters I’m not telling you to be fully matched up. Wear colors that compliment one another. As John Witherspoon would say “COORDINATE”! For example here is a picture of the Bowies. Andre (The Father) is wearing a shirt that has the same colors as his wife (Claudine in yellow) and his Daughter (Deeandra in Green). They aren’t matching out rightly but it looks good and the colors are harmonious. The awesome thing is that everyone maintains their individuality while blending in together.

2. Show up early

Showing up early allows you to be ahead of the game. Sometimes the commute to the shooting site may take a while. It would be in your best interest to show up early to make sure you are picture ready. Some people don’t like to wear their picture outfits while traveling so they need to get ready at the site. If that’s you arrive to the shoot 30-40 minutes earlier so you can get dressed and properly adjust your hair and clothes.

3. If you desire to use props communicate this with the photographer before the shoot.

Your photographer should welcome your ideas. If there is an item that means a lot to you or it’s part of a private family joke run it by the photographer. You may have time to include it in your session.


Brooklyn Family Portraits

You will never regret smiling in your photos. Even if you have just one tooth be proud of that one tooth! Remember pictures are not only for you, it’s for your children, grand children, and loved ones who want to share memories with you.

5. Trust your photographer AND at the same time make suggestions

Because of Selfie Culture the average person knows their “good side”. If you prefer a side let your photographer know.

6. If you don’t know how to do it yourself, Get your makeup done

I value Make Up Artists and Hairstylist greatly. It can boost your confidence to have a professional enhance your natural beauty. Make sure that your makeup/ hair appointment does not run too close to your shoot time. They tend to run over time. That may affect your shooting time. Leave a big gap in between.

7. Make sure you wear clothes that you are comfortable in.

You may be standing, sitting, leaning in some of your photos. Make sure you are comfortable for movement. This is very important. Make sure your undergarments are properly covered.

8. Plan to do portraits annually or bi-annually

You won’t regret budgeting and putting aside time to document yourself and/or your family’s growth throughout the years. Families evolve and there is nothing like having a visual aid to help you reminisce while saying “Wow, I remember when…”

9. Don’t bring extra people to the shoot (unless they know they have an assignment for being there)

Sometimes our friends and family want to tag a long to keep you company and to entertain. A photoshoot is not the time for that. There are often time restraints and light limits (if it’s a natural light shoot) and sometimes even our best friends can be  unintentional distractions. Now if Grandma or Grandpa wants to come along to help manage the little children that is totally fine.


First of all, I must stress this point. PLEASE PRINT YOUR PICTURES. I cannot say this enough. This generation is the most tech savvy generation. There is nothing wrong with sharing your pictures online with family and friends BUT there is value in having a tangible reminder of your beautiful family!

Second of all,  I advise you to print your photos through your photographer. Professional Photographers have access to Quality Printing Labs that the public does not have access to print their images.

Hopefully these tips will help. Now Go Rock out your shoot!

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