Preparing for your Outdoor Photography Session

Helpful suggestions on preparing for your outdoor photography session.

By Jena Michaud

How to Prepare for your Session

When to Book your Session

The obvious answer here is, as soon as you are ready to book! But that's not really what this is about, I'm talking what season should you plan your session? The most popular is Fall, I mean the colors are amazing and lighting is perfect. Winter is cold but it sure is beautiful, especially surrounded by spruce trees or mountain landscape. Spring is my favorite, if you haven't already noticed, I have a flower obsession and I love photographing them. Summer is very green and it is lovely, but it can be hot and the sun does set till 9:30pm. Back to Fall, Fall is beautiful from every angle, let the kids run, play and have fun. Sun sets earlier and it's easier to capture the golden hour time when you have little ones. When deciding the season to book your session, look around your house and think about what colors in nature go with your home and décor. If you need advice, show your photographer what room you are planning to hang your portraits and ask for recommendations on what season to book your session.


Do you have a location that is sedimental and meaningful? Pick that one, at least once. Otherwise, let's consider our options in no particular order:

Downtown / urban
Graffiti Walls

What do you want to see hanging on your wall in your home? Neutrals? Greens? Oranges and yellows? Mountain? Bright and Colorful? Bold? Moments in action? The Feels? I have a collection of sample images that really give you a good idea of the location, we will talk more about this during a phone consultation.

We need to pick a background for your vision, and then match with outfits that give you the feelings you want to capture and display on your walls.
I ask these questions during every consultation so I can help you pick the location that helps to bring your vision to art.

What to Wear

Selecting an outfit can be overwhelming, selecting outfits for your entire family is a feat. I have put together Pinterest boards for clothing ideas for each of the seasons; Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall. This is a start to getting an idea for colors that compliment well together. If you are unsure of items, lay the clothes out on a sofa or bed and take a picture and send it to your photographer to help get advice between your options that your debating. Let your photograph know if you have a budget for adding or changing out a few items to ensure the outfits coordinate well. Iron the clothing the night before the session, so you don't forget the day of. Neutral or solid color on nails look best, please remove nail polish if it is chipped. If the weather is suitable, wear light layers, so you have options of layer on, layer off.

Now, let's talk what not to wear. Please avoid dressing in all black or wearing clothing with large logos. A solid color with accessories looks best.


During golden hour. It's the hour before sunset. Early morning is another great option, however I am likely still sleeping at that time. You want to avoid when the sun is high in the sky mid-day. Without cloud coverage, this creates hash shadows in the images.

Arriving to the Session

I've made 4 easy steps to help (I might add to this later):

  1. Families, please bring wet wipes.
  2. Arrive 10min early, it goes a long way in any meeting or appointment.
  3. Remove any hair elastic around your wrist and remove cell phones out of pockets.
  4. Check necklaces are straight and do a quick hair and lipstick check.

Family side note: Have fun with your kids and play with them. I always try to get posed family images, but once that is done, it's time for you to make candid memories with your family.