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Family Portrait Session Tips and Timeline

Many clients wonder what they should expect during the portrait process, from beginning to end. Guiding your clients through each step, will help make them comfortable and relaxed on the day of the session. You want to create a fun, personal experience for them. When they receive the finished photographs, they’ll cherish not only the images themselves, but also the memory of creating them. 

Two or more weeks before the session, have a consultation. Meet in person or speak on the phone with the client. Learn about their personality, their passions and goals for the portrait session. Listen to their ideas and share some of your own. 

As far in advance as possible, have the client send you photos of outfits that will be used in the session. This will allow you to get matching photography backdrops and props ready, in advance. 

A few days before the portrait session, confirm all the details from the consultation. Address any changes or questions at that time. Let your client know they can expect to be there for 1-3 hours. The length of the session will depend on the type of session and how many people will be in the portraits. Recommend that everyone should arrive fed and well rested. Do not schedule a session during a baby's or toddler's nap time. 

On the day of the session, create a fun and relaxing environment. If your clients are relaxed and happy during the session, that will shine through in the photographs you capture. Encourage your clients to naturally interact with each other. Be playful, laugh and be silly. Let them know that not everyone needs to be looking at the camera. You want to capture them as they are, having fun and not posed in every shot. Before they leave, set up a date for a gallery viewing. Typically, 2-3 weeks after the session is standard. 

1-2 weeks after the session, post sneak peek photos on social media. Inform your client that sneak peek images may be posted on your Facebook and/or Instagram page. This will encourage them to follow you on both social media pages. They'll be eagerly awaiting to see a few photos from their session! We recommend only sharing 1-3 images. This way, the rest of the images will be new and exciting on the day of their viewing. 

Around 2-3 weeks after the session, after each image has been professionally retouched, your client will experience the moment they've been excitedly awaiting! Review each shot with your client and answer all of their questions. Offer professional advice as they choose from among the prints, albums and other products you provide. Do your part to make placing an order an easy experience, and the end result will be heirlooms that they will cherish forever!

How do you help your clients get ready for a portrait session? We would love to hear. Comment below for a chance to be featured in this blog post. 

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