Preparing for your portrait session – with Jelly Bean Photography

Preparing for your portrait session.

Hi folks, I’ve popped together a little guide to help families & couples get into the groove when preparing for their portrait sessions.

  • Have a think about where in your home you would love to hang a beautiful portrait
  • Over the couch, in the living room or hall way – would it be a series of portraits telling a story or a single moment?
  • Grab your phone, snap a few photos of where you think they would look great & email them through so we can design something special just for you. Our work begins way before your portrait session.

With all the information you provide, we will discuss ideas to make sure we create perfect photos that capture your family and your lifestyle. Taking into consideration your home, your personal style and any interests you have that are an important part of your life.

Silly Stuff

Make an Appointment – as weird as it sounds, make an appointment & book ahead! It’s the worst when you have a really special moment you’d love to have a portrait created for (special gift or milestone) only to find out that we’re booked! We really hate turning people down as they have left booking their session to the last minute and there isn’t an available session for weeks!

Most portrait sessions are pretty relaxed, give yourself plenty of time if the session goes longer – on occasion when doing outdoor sessions, we may need to change location quickly (especially for my Melbourne clients!)

What to wear to your portrait session (or what to dress the kiddies in)

I’d advise to bring along two to three different changes of clothes as we may need to mix and match (or when working with little people, accidents can happen!) With the focus of portraits being you not your clothing, solid darker clothing (doesn’t have to be black) with little or no pattern and no logos is best. A good tip is to avoid short skirts, shorts and singlets (singlets for babies are fine for those little chubby arms!)

Having different options in your portraits will add variety too.


You can change the look and feel of a portrait by having that cool little accessory that is important to you – if you’re a rocking budding musician, let us know and bring along your instrument; your little one has a favourite teddy bear bring it too!

Our goal is to create portraiture you will admire for many years to come so wear clothing that will not date – the images are all about YOU, not the fashion of today.

Hair and make-up

Many clients love to get their hair & makeup professionally styled for their portraits (especially so for my Christening clients with their home pre-shoots) be sure to let your make-up artist & stylist know that you’ll be having photos done so they do their best!  Hair and make-up should be natural looking. If you are trying a new style & especially a hair cut, be sure to give yourself about a week for new do’s or colours to settle in.

Please skip the fake tan – it always screams out in portraits!

How to look your best for your portraits

Get some rest. When you’re having your portrait taken, going out partying the night before is not ideal as the effects will be obvious. Be well rested. Give yourself some time.

Drink plenty of water which keeps your skin looking great!

Bring some supplies to make sure that you are looking good, items such as: comb/brush, makeup, hair products.  For the guys, if you have stubble you can bring a razor so you can give yourself a different or clean cut look in the second half of your session. Dress to impress. Sure, your photographer can improve your portrait with Photoshop, but he shouldn’t have to ‘fix’ that wrinkled tie or 5 o’clock shadow.

Relax and enjoy yourself

Most important thing to remember in any session is, have fun! Having a portrait taken should be a good time. I know a lot of people feel unsure, insecure or self-conscious about being in front of a camera but let me help you with that. Before you know it you won’t even know the cameras are thereAND you’ll be enjoying some wonderful moments with your family that you’ll be able to look back on forever.

Preparing for your portrait session - with Jelly Bean Photography
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Preparing for your portrait session - with Jelly Bean Photography
Helping prospective clients prepare for their portrait session with Mike Constantinou of Jelly Bean Photography Melbourne.

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