How do you prepare for an outdoor portrait session?

February 1st, 2024

Outdoor portrait sessions with a professional photographer can result in stunning, natural, and memorable images. The combination of beautiful lighting, fresh air, and unique settings can truly elevate your photographs. To make the most of your outdoor portrait session, it's essential to prepare in advance. The following helpful tips will ensure you have a successful and enjoyable portrait experience.

Choose the right photographer

Your choice of photographer plays a significant role in the outcome of your portrait session. It's crucial to select someone whose style and personality align with your vision for the shoot. Take the time to review portfolios, read client reviews, and set up interviews to ensure you find the perfect fit.

Select the perfect location

Outdoor locations offer an endless variety of backdrops for your portrait session. Consider the season, time of day, and your personal preferences when choosing your location. Parks, gardens, cityscapes, and beaches are all popular choices for outdoor sessions. Discuss your preferences with your photographer, who can offer suggestions based on their experience and knowledge of local spots.

Matching the location to the mood you want is important

Plan the right timing

The time of day can significantly impact the lighting and ambiance of your outdoor portrait session. Early morning and late afternoon are ideal for softer, warmer light. These "golden hours" provide flattering illumination and can help to create a magical atmosphere in your photos. Coordinate with your photographer to find the best time for your session.

Prepare your wardrobe

Your clothing choices can greatly influence the overall look and feel of your portrait session. When selecting your outfits, consider the location, color scheme, and desired mood for the photos. Opt for clothing that complements your features and flatters your body type. It's also a good idea to bring multiple options, so you can switch up your look throughout the session. It is best to avoid stripes or strong patterns in the clothing you select. Solid colors or subtle patterns are usually the best choice. If there are multiple people in the session, make sure the colors/styles of clothing complement one another.

Groom and pamper yourself

Looking and feeling your best is essential for a successful portrait session. Plan ahead by getting a haircut or trim, grooming your eyebrows, and taking care of any other personal grooming tasks. Consider treating yourself to a professional makeup application or a mani-pedi to boost your confidence during the session.

Practice posing

While your photographer will guide you through poses during your session, it can be helpful to practice in front of a mirror beforehand. This can help you become more comfortable with your body and facial expressions. Focus on maintaining good posture, relaxing your shoulders, and finding angles that flatter your features.

It takes little time to get comfortable be photographed.

Communicate with your photographer

Maintaining open communication with your photographer is essential for a successful portrait session. Share your ideas, preferences, and concerns with them to ensure they understand your vision for the session. Your photographer will be able to provide valuable guidance and feedback to help make your portrait session a memorable experience.

Prepare for the weather

Outdoor portrait sessions can be impacted by unpredictable weather conditions. Monitor the weather forecast leading up to your session and discuss a backup plan with your photographer in case of rain or other adverse conditions. Bring appropriate clothing and accessories, such as umbrellas or jackets, to ensure you're prepared for any situation.


Preparing for an outdoor portrait session with a professional photographer can be a fun and exciting process. By following these tips, you'll be well on your way to creating beautiful, timeless memories. Remember to relax, enjoy the experience, and trust your photographer to capture amazing photographs.

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