5 Tips for a successful portrait session

Be it a portrait session for a professional headshot, a family portrait, a lifestyle shoot, or senior portraits, there are 5 things you can do to ensure the most successful photography session possible.

#5 – Be prepared
Being prepared ahead of the photo shoot today will ease stress and tension. Know your wardrobe several days in advance and try the clothes on a few days prior. Should something not fit or not flatter you’ll still have plenty of time to replace before your photo session. Ladies should take care of waxing, massages, and hair color a few days in advance and men should come cleanly shaved a few hours prior and also take care of haircuts a day or two prior.
Portrait Photography

#4 – Food
Be sure you eat in advance of your photo shoot. Especially for the little ones, bring snacks along with you like grapes, saltine crackers, and bottled water or white apple juice. These are things that can be eaten and drank and not have to worry about making a mess or staining your new wardrobe. Even for the adults, eat in advance but don’t come stuffed and uncomfortable.

#3 – Be on-time
Nothing can be more stressful than running late. Plan ahead by knowing the quickest route to your photo shoot location. Allow for some extra time for traffic or last minute car trouble. If you’re having a large group portrait, consider car-pooling to avoid late stragglers.

#2 – Know your intentions
By working with your photographer in advance, the intention of the photo shoot should be known. But if you haven’t had a consultation with your photographer in advance you should know your desired outcome. For example, for couples, is this an engagement shot that should convey love of an engaged couple, or the stable long love of a married couple. For Actor and Actress headshots, what character are you wanting to portray? Are you a nerdy school type or the tough jock? Discussing this with your photographer in advance should assist your photographer in bringing out the right mood in you.

#1 – HAVE FUN
Not that we saved the most important for last…or maybe we did, but you must come with an attitude of fun! Unless you’re getting a professional headshot in advance of planning your funeral come ready for fun. Laugh, love, joke, and let loose.

SQ Portraits – Photography is always honored to speak with new clients about being their photographer of choice. From our unique three part process to our heirloom quality products, we’d love to share with you what makes us different that will bring out the unique in you. Contact us today! Also check out our current model call offerings.

Turning the routine into memories…

It’s your photographer’s job to understand your needs, wants, desires, and plan around those in order to provide you with perfect memories and artwork suitable for your home or office.
Well, that’s exactly what we did with Ms. Aly! After meeting Aly we quickly picked up on the facts that she is outgoing, fun, and not afraid of anything. Graduating with a degree in some sort of math that’s way over our head, she wanted to capture this moment of time in her life for herself and her mom and dad. After meeting in her home and viewing the dark wood tones of the fireplace and the dark couch against the brightly lit walls we knew exactly where to shoot one of the three locations for her graduation session.

We wanted to find a location that would highlight our client while offering deep tones as a backdrop. The final image makes for a perfect 20×30 or even 30″x40″ wall canvas. In this case, due to the smaller size of the living area we opted for the 20×30 canvas as a perfect fit. But, can you guess where we took Aly for this location? The local grocery store…

That’s right! The local grocery store has a great pillar lined, palm tree backdrop walking path covered with vines. We knew it would make the perfect setup for this wall piece. What did Aly think? “Let’s do it!”, she exclaimed. Not fearing being out in a public shopping complex, right outside the door of a bank, we setup two lights from our mobile studio, posed her to capture her fun confidence and went to work.

In the end, it’s the photographer’s job to understand the clients needs and build everything in the session around that to create art perfectly suited for their home or office.

Experience the difference next time you are in the market for family photos, graduation photos, senior photos, or corporate head shots in and around Simi Valley. Call SQ Portrait – Photography in Simi Valley to learn more.

Fire your photographer!

30 minute session, 10 Digitals on a CD for $250…does this sound like your photographer? If so, FIRE them now…
Sadly a majority of family photographers today offer session images via a CD, USB, or other digital medium and you are getting short sold. Today is the digital revolution, but the key word there is TODAY.
Remember that VHS tape you could record all your favorite shows on? Obsolete. Remember those slides you could have your photos put on to drop into your carousel to view on a screen or wall? Obsolete. Remember those 8mm and Super 8mm tapes for video cameras? Obsolete. Remember when your hard drive or phone crashed and you lost all those images? OK, those aren’t obsolete, they’re just GONE!
SQ Portraits – Photography and our sister division, G2Photo Images, provide Fine Art Prints to all our clients. We ensure that at the end of every photo session our clients are provided with art to hang in their home. Remember that family photo you hung last year? It’s NOT obsolete, it’s still relevant and it will be when your heirs inherit it too.
The truth is, we don’t know what the next generations storage devices will be. We don’t know if they’ll be backwards compatible. We don’t know how long a CD or USB drive actually lasts.
Don’t settle for just digital, contact us today for a free consultation to ensure your family photos are available for enjoying for generations to come. Start enjoying Fine Art Prints of your family, grad, or athlete….oh, let us mention, we’ll throw in a complimentary social media digital with every fine art print; because TODAY is the digital revolution and that’s how we roll…
Do you have a story about losing images? We’d love to hear your story in the comments!

This choice is VERY important!

Fine Art Canvas Wall Display – 1 20×20 with 4 8X8 Gallery Wrap Canvases

A lot of photographers pride themselves on being “Natural Light” photographers and there isn’t anything wrong with this in general. Is there a substantial benefit however if your photographer is carrying studio lighting even for those outdoor shots? The answer is a BIG YES!

Natural light photographers are limited by location, time of day, and the sun. They’d prefer to shoot at dusk or dawn and prefer cloudy or overcast days. On bright sunny days at noon they’re limited to shooting in the open shade. So what? If your photographer is packing light these limitations are all lifted. Why? Bringing studio lighting to outdoor shoots eliminates shadows on the face, allows the background to look natural and not blown out (photography term meaning over exposed or white with no detail), and allows for total control.


Those lifted limitations may be obvious, what’s not so obvious is that using artificial light to supplement the natural light brings true colors to your art work. A photographer using artifical light has more accuracy in color than using natural light only. I know, I was a natural light photographer and eventually realized the disservice I was giving my clients. 


Like those washed out airy backgrounds? Like those contrasty backgrounds? Want the background to blur out? No problem when your photographer packs light!


When searching for your next family photographer or High School Senior Portrait photographer, ask them if they’re packing light….if not, keep searching or contact SQ Portrait – Photography and experience our three step unique process that will knock your socks off! (805) 328-4043.

The right photographer packs light…

There are primarily two types of photographers, Natural Light Photographers, and Flash Photographers. You know the two, the one with just a camera in hand, shoots anything, anywhere, with accuracy. The other carries light stands, big black boxes or umbrellas with lights in them, works a little slower, but just the same shoots anything, anywhere, with accuracy. So what’s the difference and why should you care?


Natural light photographer are fine and some are phenomenal! They produce beautiful images in typically nature scenes. But overall they’re limited to time and place. It’s usually shooting in the early morning just before and after sunrise hours or in the evening just before and after sunset. These are known as the blue and golden hours. With patience and skill these natural light photographers pull off some amazing shots. The down side? As a client, especially with kids you have to work around a tight time table, possibly skip breakfast, or catch a late dinner and what about kids nap times? Forget it, take these two times per day or get nothing. 


Flash photographers are also fine and some are phenomenal! They too produce images in nature scenes but can also take just about any scene outside and turn it into a shot that looks like it was taken in a studio. They also have the option of shooting in a studio, in your home, your office, or even in your car! These togs can shoot morning, day, evening, and night and produce consistent results nearly overtime. With patience and skill too, flash photographers pull off some amazing shoots. The down side? Each shot may take a little more planning, maybe 1-2 minutes….is that really a down side?


There’s one big comparison that we haven’t discussed. Here’s a young basketball team that posed for our sample. One image being natural light only and the other using flash. Do you see a difference? 

The lower image makes an impact. It has a certain ‘pop’ to it or wow affect. You see, by adding a touch of artificial light, flash photographers can control colors and contrast much more accurately then shooting in natural light only. Final portraits will be punchier, truer to life and more attractive; guaranteed. 


When most people think of flash photography they think bright white flashy looking photos, but for the professional this is not the case and the final product is preferred 10:1. 


When shopping for a family or senior portrait photographer, consider SQ Portraits – Photography. Providing both natural light and studio quality photography in just about any location indoors or out in Simi Valley, CA and surrounding cities in Ventura and Los Angeles Counties. Give us a call at (805) 328-4043 or visit us online at SQPortraits.com to learn more about our unique 3 step fine art portrait experience.