Not everyone has a professional photographer take their pictures every day! As a photographer, I often forget that what seems so natural to me is a rare ritual for the individuals who book a photo session. To clear up some nerves and confusion, here’s what you can expect before, during, and after your on-location photography session with Vanessa Summers Photography.

Before your session...

After you’ve paid your deposit and signed the contract, we can talk about the fun stuff like the location for your session and styling! I actually have a preferred location to shoot, you can check out my blog to find out what that is. That said, I am always up for going to any location that is special to you, interests you, or somehow represents your personality! I want your photos to be unique.

After the location is sorted, the next common question I hear is: What do I wear?

Families: Dressing for family photos is about coordinating, not necessarily matching. Choose 2-4 colors, some neutral, some brighter, and mix and match them among family members. I always suggest starting with one outfit and build from that with coordinating colors. If you need help on this, Pinterest is a treasure trove of ideas and information.

Maternity/Couples: Like family photos, it’s about coordinating. With maternity and couple’s sessions, I often suggest style one person first and then build out from that. Neutral is always a safe place to grab from. And again, if you need help on this, Pinterest is your best friend. I have a board pinned as well if you'd like access to that!

During your session...

I am exclusively an on-location photographer. No stuffy studio photography here! With that being said, I prefer to shoot a mix of both candid and posed photos. When we meet for your session, we’ll dive right in. I’ll probably make a fool of myself trying to make you feel comfortable in front of the camera. I will boss you around and tell you how to pose. If you’re a couple, I’ll make you kiss and touch your noses together a lot. Get used to it :) Oh, and I tell jokes. But I also feel that I am going to get that beautiful smile if I tell a joke or I get your partner to tell them.

As a golden hour photographer, I do ask that you arrive on time. We are working in that window of the sun where we get that beautiful orange glow and the timing of that is very important. Being late will cut into our valuable shooting time and cut down on your final selection of images.

After your session...

When the session is over, I’ll go straight home and upload your RAW images onto my computer, then I will also save the images onto an external hard drive.

A few days after your session, I typically upload one or two sneak peak images onto my various social media platforms. Then I will continue to cull and edit the rest of your photos. During the editing process, I will keep with my normal style of editing - the style that you booked me for. Some things I will never do to your images - heavy vignettes, extreme photoshopping of bodies to make people look younger, thinner, etc., sepia tone, or crazy saturation levels.

After I am finished editing and culling, I will upload your images into an online gallery. This online gallery will have anywhere from 20-30 images so that you have a variety to choose from. If you find that you love all the images then you have the option to upgrade and purchase the whole gallery. I will send you the link to your gallery via email. And from that gallery, you can make any purchases needed.

Once I know that you have seen your photos, I will showcase your photo session on Facebook and other social media sites. I love seeing the excitement from family and friends as they get to see your pictures! It is best to keep in mind that there is an extreme quality difference between the photos you see on Social Media and the photos that will be delivered to you in your gallery. This is important to note if you intend to print your images at all.

I hope this post has fully prepared you for your photography session! I can’t wait to take your photos.