Portrait session tips

We've gathered some of our most popular tips and tricks for your next portrait session in one spot! Here we go...

What should we wear for our session?
#1 most popular question. First and foremost — wear something comfortable. Whether you want formal or casual is completely up to you. We find most of our sessions somewhere in the casual to cocktail-casual fashion realm. Keep in mind, shooting outside we can have a variety of weather conditions including wind and cool temperatures. Be sure to dress for the season and location of the portrait. For families and couples, you don't have to match but keep an eye to coordinate. Simple is always timeless!

How long will our session take?
Most of our sessions are an hour long — give or take. If you have pets or multiple locations or outfits, you may need a 2 hour session.

What can we expect if we’re shooting in your studio?

In studio sessions are a bit different from our location sessions. We typically have 1 or 2 sets ready to use on seamless backgrounds. The backgrounds are either grey, black, or white. If you have a preference, please let us know before the shoot as they are difficult to change out quickly. We also have a mix of seats, chairs, and poofs we use to style groups.

We have a dressing room in our studio if you’d like to do an outfit change during your studio session. Please arrive ready to shoot unless you’ve pre-arranged hair & make-up with us to occur at the studio before your session start time. Our studio is located on the 2nd floor—please keep in mind the building does not have an elevator. We’re more than happy to help you bring any items upstairs for the shoot. If there are any special groupings or shot requests you’d like to make before your session, please let us know!

Can we go to more than one location?
Yes, we can go to multiple locations! It may involve more time and cost but it's always an option. We also love to work in locations where we can use several environments in short proximity to each other like Seneca Park/MCA/Water Tower or North Avenue Beach in Chicago.

What about hair & makeup?
For our wedding clients, we always recommend using your hair and makeup trial before your session if you have one! Everyone can benefit from beauty professionals so that's always a yes vote from us. If you'd like a recommendation for a great hair or makeup professional, just ask. We have plenty of professionals we recommend on a regular basis to help style your session gorgeous. And yes, bring extra foundation and lipstick with you! If we’re shooting in our studio, we can with advance notice arrange hair & make-up teams fro you in our space before the shoot.

Will we need walking shoes and shooting shoes for location shoots?
Always a good idea if you're wearing heals.

Can we bring our pet?
Please let us know so we can be sure the locations we're going to are pet-friendly. Also, if  your pet is coming, we ask that you bring a friend or dog walker to take care of them while we shoot pics without your furry friend!

What advice do you have for photography babies and young children?
If we're working in your home, cute pillows are fun and a tidy room help.  We will use what you have on hand for props and such so don't worry too much about that. If you want to have a couple outfits ready, that's a great idea. Favorite toys are always good to have — things your baby likes to look. We always find if babies have a little bit to eat/drink before the session (so they're not hungry enough to be crabby), that helps. You don't want babies to have so much that they're full. And sometimes giving a little meal during the session half way can help too if he or she's not having a great day.  

The most important piece of advice is to not stress out if your family isn't having a great day. We're super flexible and used to working with babies...and sometimes they don't want to work with us!  But we are getting great images even when they're crabby.  So Mom & Dad staying happy and smiling always helps us even if the children aren't cooperating!

What if it looks like rain and we're shooting outside?
Don't worry about the weather until we have to — about 3-4 hours out. We'll discuss back-up plans before the shoot and contact you if we need to re-visit the plan.

What if we're late?
Please call the studio at 773-248-9333 x 3 or dial your photographer to let them know.

When will we expect our portfolio?
About 2-3 weeks after the session — sessions with film may take up to 6 weeks.