what to expect AT YOUR ADVENTURE session
Portrait sessions can be nerve-wracking and that's totally understandable (it's not every day you get plopped in front of a camera)! It can be a bit stressful at the thought of getting in front of a lens and wondering how you’re looking, or if you’re doing the “right thing” (whatever that is anyway, we’ll get to that), and that it's all just really awkward. I also find that at some point, everyone has had a really terribly rigid photo session where they felt so exact and perfected that it sucked the energy right out of the session.
My hope is to provide helpful tips and what to expect for your portrait session. And no worries, I will direct you along the way but I also want to ensure I give you room to breathe and truly be present in that moment. With trust and collaboration, we can create not just beautiful images but beautiful moments.
Forget “Perfect” + Keep It Honest
We have been conditioned through experiences, advertising, social media and more that we must present our lives to be perfect; that we should show we have it altogether. And it's tough to go against this since it's been pretty heavily engrained in us all. For myself personally, I've also been roped into this kind of living... trying to be perfect with relationships, emotions, work and daily tasks but it wasn't until a few years ago I said "no more". It was exhausting and surface level and because I wasn't living my truest self, I was pretty miserable. Breaking out of that mold and keeping life really honest has been a journey, but I ask of you to try it as well. And I totally get it... with the ever present social media posting, we want all of our photos to seem perfect and put together and every hair and smile just right, but I ask you again, try not to give into this idea of "perfection". When I began my photography business, I told myself that I would build relationships with my couples and create photos with honesty and authenticity. So I say... if your relationship is full of energy and goofing around, then embrace it. If your relationship is deep and emotional, then wear your heart on your sleeve. If your relationship is full of adventure and embracing the unknown, then I want to capture it. I truly believe by embracing my imperfections and peeling back the layers to show who I really am, I will also give you a safe space to know that you can do the same. That you can cry, love deep, laugh or whatever it is and I will do my very best to capture it in a way that's truthful and beautiful to you.
It’s About You Two
To it’s very core, this session is because of you two... because of your love and this chapter in your life. If you begin to feel stress or uncertainty during your session, bring it back to each other. The camera isn't there as the focus, but it's there to capture the love and personality of you two. You are each other’s center and home base for the entire session. Don't be afraid to show your love.
Put On Some Music
One of my favorite things I love doing during a session is to put on some tunes. I've done this for engagement sessions, couple's portraits during elopements, in-home sessions, out in the mountains, you name it. Music is such a big influence in my work because it brings out emotion and opens up channels of creativity. So what better way then to transition this over to a session and build with that. A few other examples of how this has helped... I've had couples share their first dance during an elopement by putting on their favorite song, it can cut any awkward silence and it can create an environment of openness. So I'll bring the music, and you bring any special requests my friends.
SLOW IT DOWN + BE PRESENT
Sometimes we have a tendency to rush through things (especially when we feel a little uncomfortable). So you may notice at the very beginning of your session I'll ask you to take a moment, pause, take a breathe and be present to where you are. When you slow down and you're present, it shows. You're relaxed and thoughtful, you can take your time and actually create a beautiful memory with your other half. You're not worried about what happened that morning or your to-do list; you can tap more clearly into how you feel and have more energy to give one another. Bonus, more often than not we'll be adventuring in a beautiful place during your session, so by being present you can really take in the sights around you.
Dress like YourselF
When we think of getting portraits taken, we may have a thought that creeps in that we have to dress “up”. But when you think of your personality and your relationship with your other half, does dressing up encompass that thought? A piece of advice I give people is to wear what makes you comfortable and speaks to your personality. Maybe that’s a summer dress with some movement, or hiking boots, or an old pair of jeans you’ve had forever, or maybe it is indeed more formal. Dress in a way that makes you, you. I’m always happy to help with outfit choices if you’re pondering between a few. The other suggestion I offer is to stick with neutral tones, shades and minimal patterns so we can focus on the emotion between you two rather than having loud colors or patterns take away from the focus.
EMBRACE THE ELEMENTS
Let me tell you a story of a bride whose Colorado wedding was outside. Rain was on Mother Nature's agenda and as much as the bride hoped it wouldn't rain and planned for if it did... it still rained. And this lovely rain began right as the guests were being seated and as she started walking down the aisle. Despite the rain, the guests bonded over matching ponchos and the hazy sun came out during the I-do's mixed with a few lingering rain drops and it made for some seriously amazing photos. Well... that bride was me. And as much as I hoped it didn't rain, it did and to this day I wouldn't have it any other way because it was freaking beautiful. Here are some photos by our insanely talented photographer, Levi, to prove it.
Most sessions and weddings are outside in beautiful Mother Nature and with that comes some wind, some varying temps, maybe some snow or perhaps a little rain. But I say, embrace it. The wind may come, but let it give you a windswept look. The rain may fall, but let it bring out the deep emotional love you have for each other in that moment. And it may be a bit cold on a snow top mountain, but keep each other warm.
Trust + Collaboration
Each session will have it's own unique, beautiful and unscripted moments and remember to embrace it all. With trust and collaboration between us, we'll create portraits that will bring you right back to the emotion of that moment and the love of it all.