Preparing For Your Portrait Session at Infocus

A beautiful portrait does not just happen.

There are many details that if carefully planned for, will make a substantial difference in the quality and appeal of your portraits. Your help with these fine points can transform an ordinary picture into a work of art you will treasure for generations to come.A beautiful portrait does not just happen. There are many details that if carefully planned for, will make a substantial difference in the quality and appeal of your portraits. Your help with these fine points can transform an ordinary picture into a work of art you will treasure for generations to come.

1. Plan

Plan ahead ‐ there are several things to consider before the shoot:

Where do you want to take the photos? Indoors or outdoors? With little children make sure the
place is safe and easy to access. Around your home, studio or on location? If you are an adventurer at
heart, a little hike to your favourite place is not a bad thing. Whatever you decide make sure it's
something that suits your lifestyle.

What time of the day is good for everyone? Little children are usually at their best in the morning,

so a sunset shoot may not be a good idea.

Props or no props? Consider if you want to use any props such as funny hats, sunglasses, balloons,
clothing, etc. These things can be just as important as they personalise who you are. Don’t be afraid
to think outside the box – it adds uniqueness to your shoot.

2. Relax and be yourself - no posing required

Bring your happiest mood with you and relax - your kids will take your lead so if you are happy and
positive about the shoot they will most likely do the same. Our aim is not to get you to pose, but to
relax and simply be yourself. Let's face it – a lot of people hate to have their photo taken. Try to be
yourself - no-one is expecting you to pose like a supermodel.

We like to show family chemistry in our images, i.e. how each family member relates to one another -
to us it's a beautiful and natural expression, it's life and it shows the connection you have with the
other people in that image. It’s what we aim to achieve within each and every photograph. You can see the love and connection in an image straight away, and you can't fake that. Just be your wonderful normal self- that's all.

3. Don't tell your kids to smile

We know it's very intuitive but try to resist it. Children can pull the most ridiculous faces when you tell them to smile for a camera - it's funny, but not very natural. We work very well with children and get the best out of the little ones without asking them to smile.

4. Coordinate

Coordinate your outfits - maybe Mum can choose her outfit first and then build others around her. 

Not matching but complementing. You can add a bit of colour with scarves or accessories.
Styles—Simple, solid outfits photograph best. Relaxed or casual clothing styles can be worn either
indoors or out, but formal clothing should generally be reserved for indoor settings. Wear long or elbow length sleeves and long pants or long skirts. Traditional styles have a more timeless look than the trendier fashions. Relaxed clothing results in a more relaxed feel for the portraits.

Coordinating—Having everyone in the group wear similarly toned colours helps focus attention on your faces and draw attention away from your clothing. When no one person stands out because their clothing is brighter, lighter or darker, it says that all members of the family are of equal importance.

Colours—Outdoors wear light, medium or dark tones. Indoors wear non-clashing colours that are similar to or lighter than the tones of the decor. The more muted the tones, the easier it will be to see the facial expressions. At the studio we generally photograph you in front of a white background, and black and blue are also available.

For family portraits—Comfortable and coordinated clothing is always preferred. The clothing does 

not have to be matching, but a harmonious colour scheme can make the difference between a 

good session and a great session. Some suggested popular colour palettes are as follows:


White—Off-white clothing photographs better than pure white. Wearing off-white, cream, or ivory clothing in a portrait will not cause you to look washed-out, it has the opposite effect. It is an 

excellent choice for every one of all complexions.

Try not to wear—red, orange, lime green, or any brilliant colour; a shirt that is darker than your 

slacks or skirt; short sleeves, short pants or short skirts that allow the knees to show when seated

 (except in very young children). Avoid bold or busy patterns.

Shoes/socks—With dark slacks or skirts wear dark shoes, socks and hose. With light slacks

wear light or medium socks and shoes. With skirts wear matching shoes and stockings.
Clothing fit and preparation—Wear only well-fitting, freshly pressed clothing in good repair.
Always make sure your shoes are clean, we will be able to see them.

Babies/Toddlers—Clothing should not be so short that underpants or nappies show. Avoid
short-tailed shirts that have to be tucked into pants repeatedly. Avoid fussy clothes with straps,
sashes, bows and collars that will need to be constantly adjusted.


If you wear glasses most of the time, you’ll want to wear them in your portraits. You can
eliminate the reflections and the distorting refractions normally seen in glasses by having your
optometrist either show you how to remove and replace your lenses or lend you a pair of empty
frames similar to yours. Take the same steps if you have tinted or non-glare lenses. The
reflections caused by eyeglass lenses may distract from the beauty of your portrait. Take the
time to correct this problem if it is an essential part of your apparel.


Apply your makeup lightly, but normally, paying special attention to your eyes as they will be the
most important part of your portrait. A bit of mascara and eyebrow darkening may help if you
are fair. Avoid brilliant or garish colours on your eyes, lips and cheeks. Blend very carefully and
thoroughly. When using foundation, use it on your entire face and neck down to the neckline of
your blouse.


Hairstyles—Have hair cut a week or more before your session. Allow two weeks for a fresh
perm to relax. Don’t try a totally new hairstyle, as several months are generally needed to get
accustomed to a new look. For outdoor sessions, apply hairspray to keep hair in place. Ladies
with long hair are recommended to bring a hair tie or clip which can come in handy in strong
wind. You may wish to bring a brush or comb for mid-session tidying.

Shaving—Guys may need to shave just before the session as a five o’clock shadow cannot be
removed from the finished portrait.

Children’s Nails and Hands—Check for chipped and non-matching fingernail and toenail
polish. Just before the session check hands for fingerpaint, texta stains, fake tattoos, etc.


6. Planning your Prints

When preparing your photography session, it is important to plan for your final photographic prints.

Will they be gifts or perhaps a holiday card? Are these photographs for your home? If so, where will
you be displaying them? Please think about planning your prints and discuss your thoughts with us at
your free pre-session consultation. If you share your plan for prints such as gifts, a large wall portrait, or holiday card, we can help tailor your session for the best results.



Within your portrait session - you are encouraged to bring along your personalised items, themed or
additional outfits. A portrait should reflect you and your lifestyle. You may want to include your pets,
hobbies, sports, favourite activities, musical instruments or other special personal items in some of 

the images. Include your classic car, bike, boat, or private plane. We’ll see you at the mountains, lake,
river, beach, or even in the city.

Please feel free to discuss all of your ideas.
Thankyou for booking a portrait session with us—we look forward to seeing you soon.