7 Tips for Professional Photos You'll Love

There’s nothing quite like an outdoor photoshoot with a professional photographer to document life’s special moments. It’s a cost that’s well worth the investment, but it can be stressful if you’re not sure how to get the most out of your session. That’s why we put together seven expert tips that will deliver a stress-free shoot and amazing pictures. Whether you want a family portrait, senior photos, an engagement photoshoot, or pictures of a new grad, our tips will yield frame-worthy photos you’re guaranteed to love!

When to book your session

Generally, the best times of day for an outdoor photoshoot are in the early morning and late afternoon. It’s best to avoid the middle of the day when the sun is overhead, as the lighting is more harsh and unflattering. If you’re looking for photos with a magical glow, book a session about one hour after sunrise or one hour before sunset, aka “golden hour”.

What to pack

Prepare for your session by packing everything you’ll need the day before. Bring any accessories or props you’d like to use and consider packing an extra set of clothes for each family member (especially for young children!) You’ll also want to bring a kit with handy extras like tissues, safety pins, a stain removal pen, and makeup for touch-ups.

What to wear

Choose an outfit that makes you feel confident, comfortable, and happy! It looks best when your clothing references your surroundings and the current season (so skip the tweed suit for a beach photoshoot in June). For sessions with multiple people, keep things interesting by having everyone’s outfits coordinate rather than match. Add extra flair with fun accessories like scarves, hats, jewelry, or bow ties.

The perfect props

The right props can also enhance your photos by adding visual interest. When they complement the subject, they can make a scene look more authentic and help tell your story. Things like flowers, blankets, baskets, toys, or umbrellas can all be incorporated into your photos. Choose props that reflect your style or reference the milestone or announcement you’re celebrating.

Sessions with kids

Photoshoots with little ones tend to go more smoothly if they take place somewhere the children are comfortable and familiar with. A backyard, favorite park, or regular neighborhood destination are all great ideas. Make sure everyone is fed and that the shoot doesn’t overlap with anyone’s usual nap time. Bring snacks, drinks, wet wipes, a change of clothes, a few toys, and anything else that could come in handy.

Sessions with pets

Your furry friends are part of the family, so you may want to include them in your photos! If you do, be sure to bring treats and their favorite toys to keep them occupied. It’s a good idea to have someone else your pet is familiar with come to the shoot and help keep them on their best behavior. Don’t forget about water and potty breaks!

Pretty poses

The last thing you want are photos where you look stiff and uncomfortable, so try to relax and enjoy yourself! It may sound silly, but many people practice poses in front of a mirror to find what feels comfortable and looks flattering. You can also look for inspiration online and ask your photographer for suggestions. Move around and try different poses until you find ones that feel right.

Professional photos call for professional frames! When you’ve put so much effort into creating beautiful images, it only makes sense to get your favorites custom-framed. Visit the pros at your local FastFrame to turn your most memorable photos into heirloom-quality wall decor.