Candid family moment at their 2nd annual beach portrait session.

Candid family moment at their 2nd annual beach portrait session.

Planning for your photography session can seem overwhelming.  There are so many factors that can influence your end result and are worth consideration prior to your shoot. And while your photographer can remain fluid and flexible with respect to timing and location, and session structure, it is helpful if you – the client – considers your goals and planning points.

Your session should be relaxed and fun, but keep in mind that it is an investment, and an important one that perhaps you’ve been saving for.  With a little bit of extra thought and planning, you can be assured you are more than satisfied (and perhaps a little amazed!) with the final results!

Family reunion on a Cape Cod beach during the golden hour.

Family reunion on a Cape Cod beach during the golden hour.

When planning your session, think about these 4 key “W” questions:

1. When (spring, summer, fall)

2. Where (beach, marsh, home)

3. What time (sunrise or sunset)

4. What to wear (casual, traditional, preppy, trendy, etc.)

And while you nail down those basic planning elements, take a step back and think about what you will DO with your images.  Do you plan to:

• Create a keepsake album or coffee table book?

• Display images on your walls, and if so, to what size… will they be framed or canvases?

• Give gift prints to grandparents, in-laws, and godparents?

• Share the images online and use in your personal photobooks and slideshows?

Nobska Lighthouse is an iconic Cape Cod landmark.

Nobska Lighthouse is an iconic Cape Cod landmark.

Once you’ve thought through those items, you will want to consider your family’s personality, your style, and the decor of your home.

• What type of family are you (sporty, preppy, beachy, traditional, casual)?

• Which room(s) are you most likely to display your images (foyer, family room, hallway/staircase, living room, bedroom)?

• What is the style, decor and color of that area (warm, cool, formal, modern, beachy, cottage, traditional)?

Next, describe your dream images – if you could have 5 images come out of your session, what would they look like?

An early morning family reunion photography session in the backyard of a rental house in East Falmouth.

An early morning family reunion photography session in the backyard of a rental house in East Falmouth.

Armed with these answers, regroup with your photographer and communicate your vision.  Together you can come up with a game plan that will ensure you are on the same page and allow your photographer to deliver the type of images you have always dreamed of having for your home.  Additionally, once you view your gallery, you are not arbitrarily looking at images, but instead selecting them with your specific goals in mind.