PORTRAIT PREP

So, the last time you had your photo taken, chances are it was a school photo or a family portrait. This leads to having to get dressed up, comb your hair, and sit still so that awkwardness like this is preserved for posterity:  

Our family portrait, circa December 1998. Note the true dedication to Christmas gear.

Our family portrait, circa December 1998. Note the true dedication to Christmas gear.

Thistle & Sun shoots do not resemble the family portrait model (in fact, I think I designed them in part as a reaction to all the time I spent in the Sears’ portrait gallery as a child). I’ve put together a quick guide for you, so that you can arrive at your shoot knowing what to expect, and ready to roll.

WHAT TO EXPECT:

When we meet up, we’re going to start off with ten minutes of visiting. I realize you’re busy, and that’s exactly why I want to take a few minutes to decompress and get to know each other a little bit before diving in. Once we start shooting, I’m going to have you moving a lot - walking, shifting, and interacting rather than stagnant and staring at the camera (generally speaking, I give prompts to start you down the right path, not full-on poses). I see a shoot as something of a conversation, so I’ll be talking to you, asking questions, and listening as we go. Now for some tips about how to rock this thing!

BRING YOURSELF TO THE SHOOT.

The best thing you’re bringing to the table is yourself, with all of your qualities and quirks. Don’t worry about what you look like, what you think an Official Photoshoot is supposed to look like, or if your neck looks weird at that angle (that’s my job!). Whoever you are, whether you’re a loud, belly-laughing force of nature, a gentle spirit, or a chronic pun-teller, I want to see that. We’re doing this shoot to portray who you actually are. Bring it!

Sometimes, the line of duty calls me a couple of feet into water (this has happened multiple times, and that’s 100% okay by me).

Sometimes, the line of duty calls me a couple of feet into water (this has happened multiple times, and that’s 100% okay by me).

LEAVE EXTRAS AT HOME

If we’re lugging stuff from spot to spot, it’s harder to catch in-between moments. Try your best to arrive at the shoot with just yourself, and maybe a purse.

PS: This includes people! Unless a person is definitely going to contribute to making you feel more comfortable in front of a camera, plan to meet up with them later.

DRESS LIKE YOURSELF

Wear whatever you feel nice in, but are also comfortable wearing. New clothes or Easter Sunday duds are probably not going to do the trick. We’re going to be moving and shifting throughout the shoot - make sure you’re not going to be worried about adjusting your clothes.

For couples: don’t sweat coordinating perfectly - maybe just check in with each other, to make sure you’re not wearing clashing colors.

EMBRACE THE SPONTANEOUS

Look, sometimes photographs come with things beyond our control. I’ve shot through rainstorms, construction, and wrecked landscapes. Whatever happens, we’ll roll with the punches, we’ll keep shooting, and we’ll have fun with it! Some of my favorite shots have come from having to adjust to circumstance.

FORGET THAT I’M TAKING PHOTOS

This session is not about me getting pretty photos, it’s about you! For couples, this is a special phase of life, and we’re collaborating to catch it, just like it is. As much as possible, just interact with each other like you would if I wasn’t there.

If this is a solo shoot, as much as possible, just interact with me like there is not a camera in between us. I’ll do my best to make sure it feels natural to you.