Preparing For Your Portrait Session

Hello friends! So you're getting your picture taken! Let's talk about a few things to get you ready for our session!

Although we can schedule your session any time during the day, we try to schedule to take advantage of the best natural light. The hours after sunrise and before sunset are 'golden' times and have ideal lighting. The golden light of these hours are soft, flattering and BEAUTIFUL! Please make sure you specify one of these time slots if you are interested.

ASK QUESTIONS! We strive to create a custom experience for each of our clients. Feel free to ask questions including location advice, wardrobe, style, props and more! Below are a few guidelines to get you started.


  • Keep the attire simple, but coordinate colors for groups.

  • Solid colors are best... try to avoid large bold patterns and neon colors as they can take attention away from your face. If you do select an outfit with a pattern try to match that pattern to solid colors for the clothing of the other parties in the portrait.

  • When selecting your wardrobe consider the location of your portrait session and match accordingly. For example, soft colors look great at the beach and avoid green in the forest so you don't blend in!

  • If you plan to hang a large print or canvas of your images consider the colors of your home when selecting your wardrobe.

  • Darker, solid colors appear more slimming than lighter colors.

  • Dress weather appropriate so you aren't too hot or cold.

  • Be sure to include the appropriate shoes, socks and stockings for your outfit. Plan your wardrobe from head to toe as full length poses are a part of your portrait session.

  • Bring an outfit change(s) to add variety to your sitting.

  • Wear clothing you are uncomfortable in. If you are uncomfortable it will show in your face and will be harder to relax and enjoy yourself.

  • Avoid baggy clothing as it can make you look big/boxy.

  • Eyeglasses can create glare that hides your eyes. We recommend wearing contacts if you have them or asking your optician if you can borrow a similar frame without lenses.

  • Remember to empty your pockets of cellphones, keys, chapstick etc so there aren't visible outlines.

  • Ladies!!! Take your hairbands off your wrists.

  • Feel free to bring a few props with you to add a unique touch to your portraits.

  • Bring a portable speaker and your favorite tunes! Music can create some great vibes and help you relax.


We highly recommend getting your hair and make-up done as professional stylists know how to apply makeup to best bring out your natural beauty! Besides, knowing you look fabulous and FEELING fabulous will help you be more relaxed and happy. Those natural smiles and real laughter are always my fave!


There are many talented Hair and Makeup artists in the area, if you'd like suggestions please contact one of the artists on our Wedding Resource Guide.


  • Bring snacks to avoid hangry 'tudes. Also good for bribery.

  • Bring a comfort item - stuffed animal, pacifier, blankey etc.

  • Make sure parents AND kids are both rested. You may be so focused on making sure your child is well rested that you forget about yourself. Children are very sensitive to their parents emotions and even the slightest bit of grump or frustration can affect their behavior. Bottom line, if you are happy and relaxed your kids will be too!

  • Allow for extra time to get to the location and prepare for your session. The events leading up to your session can set the tone of the day. Extra time = no stress about being late and time for your munchkins to look around and acclimate to the location.

  • Don't force them to smile! That's my job! Kids are much more relaxed and natural when you aren't telling them what to do and what not to do. Relax and have fun with them, your smiles and laughter will relax them and then their smiles will come naturally. I'll say it again - when you are stressed they are stressed, when you are relaxed they are relaxed!

  • Bring baby wipes! Cause boogers.



Like what you see? To see more please like Sarah Gonia Photography's Facebook page, follow us on Instagram and check out our Pinterest page!

Contact me today and lets document all those little moments that make life beautiful