Client Guides

February 24, 2023

Last-Minute Prep Tips for Your Portrait Session

Prep Tips Portrait Session

Last-Minute Prep Tips for Your Portrait Session

I can’t wait to see you soon for your portrait session! Here are a few last-minute tips.

1. Double check your travel route.

This is the most important one. As you likely know, driving around the DC area means one thing: traffic. Whether it’s construction or rush hour, plan extra time for driving. You never know what will happen on the way, and it’s better to be early than late! If we’re doing a sunrise session, the very best light is at the beginning. Once it’s gone, it’s simply not the same. For sunset sessions, we also run the risk of running out of light. Do yourself a favor and plan ahead so you don’t feel rushed.

When checking, be sure to include the time you’ll be leaving so you take into account rush hour. Sometimes it’s only a 30 minute drive in the middle of the day, but a full hour in the morning or the early evening. Also plan where you’ll park – especially for city locations. It can take a while to find street parking in city locations (like Old Town Alexandria or DC). Plan ahead so you make the most of our time together.

2. Get a manicure OR take off your nail polish.

It’s best to have natural nails than to have brightly colored chipped nail polish showing. In general, I recommend neutral colors if you are having them done somewhere or if you’re doing them yourself. This goes for kids too – take off brightly colored nail polish if you don’t want any distractions in the photos.

3. Take off tags / stickers off any clothing items the day before.

Save yourself the stress of doing this while you get ready, or after you arrive to your session.

Prep Tips Portrait Session

4. Then pack clothes for your session the night before too.

It sounds crazy, but you don’t want to forget them! In the rush of getting out the door, that one thing you needed gets left behind. This is especially common with kids when you plan on getting them dressed after you get there. The best solution is to pack everything up the day before.

5. Prepare snacks ahead of time. 

You don’t want anyone hangry. Choose non-messy snacks such as cheerios, marshmallows, gummies, etc. Avoid chocolate at all costs or anything that will melt / get sticky / get crumbs everywhere.

6. Get everyone excited for the session and try to relax.

I know this is easier said than done! However, it’s worth it to take a deep breath and approach the portrait session in a laid-back manner. Talk with your kids about how you’ll have fun playing games and exploring a new area together. Try to keep it light when you talk about it – kids will pick up if you feel stressed, and that can carry into the portrait session. Build in extra buffer time for getting ready to try to prevent any surprises.

I can’t wait to see you soon!! Please let me know if you need anything from me in the days leading up to your session. You can always email me at or reach out here.



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