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Session Prep Guide

A few simple tips for a successful portrait session.


Sit back and Relax

Don't worry about buying props, or finding a location, or whether you think your kids will behave and smile perfectly.  Let me take care of all of that for you.  I don't want perfectly composed portraits, I want to capture real and honest moments too.  Often times these are the best photos, when everyone is letting loose, having fun, and even being silly!



When dressing your family for your session, remember you are a family and there should be some cohesiveness among all members of the group.  Choose items for the entire family as if you were creating one outfit. If all of your choices were on one person, would it look good?  I recommend you start with mom's outfit, and work from there... because if mom is happy, everyone is happy!  Neutrals (beige, gray, cream, blush, light blue, light brown, navy, white, etc) are always great, they allow the people to be the focus of the photos, and can easily work with your home decor if you plan to hang up your portraits (and you will be wanting to hang up your portraits!)  But if you want to go for color, do it!  You want to dress classy, and timeless.  Avoid bright flashy patterns, and definitely do not wear shirts with big logos or graphics. No chipped nail polish.  For more info and ideas on what to wear for your shoot, you can refer to our Pinterest boards here. And please feel free to ask me for help, I'd love to give you suggestions.

Golden Hour

I usually insist on doing sessions during "Golden Hour", which is the hour to hour & half before the sun sets.  This offers the best lighting for photos.  With this in mind, our time is limited, so please arrive on time.

Arrive on Time

Please plan to arrive 5-10 minutes before your session time.  Use this time to get ready, such as fix your hair, change a babies diaper, have the kids eat a quick (not messy) snack, fix your makeup.  Plan ahead, and take traffic into account. PLEASE do not be late, this may cut into your session time.  Another piece of advice, is to eat sometime before your photoshoot... hungry bellies can often mean grumpy clients.  Do not arrive excessively early either, particularly sessions with children... if kids have already been waiting around for 45 minutes, they will be quite restless during the photoshoot.  5-10 minutes ahead of time is the perfect amount needed before your session.  


When you arrive, I may be busy with another shoot, so please use this time to get ready, and I will come to you when its your scheduled time slot.  In case there is a delay from my side, then I will make sure I make up for that time.



Initial payments are to hold your time slot with the photographer and are non-refundable. You have 48 hours before your scheduled session time to reschedule, or your initial payment will be lost.  If you notify me in a timely manner, we will arrange a reschedule (certain Mini Sessions may not be able to be rescheduled, but you may use your deposit towards another available session). 


LASTLY,  PLEASE It is required to fill out and sign our Photography CONTRACT.  A link to your contract should've been sent to you after booking, in your confirmation email.


I look forward to hearing from you, seeing you soon, and capturing great memories!


Melissa Rosales

Heart & Design Studios

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