Plan Your Professional Photoshoot




I'm a wife & mom who believes in the power of a photograph to help us hold onto the moments in life we treasure most. This blog will help you to plan your own photoshoot, but it will also give you ideas & inspiration of ways to use your own photos!

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The best photoshoots are a combination of vision, creativity, and careful planning by both your photographer and yourself, so if you are thinking about a professional photoshoot, the best time to start planning is now! In short, the clearer you are on your vision, the better we can work with you to achieve it. Planning also can help you think about other options you may not have considered. Are you doing a headshot session but would also like a profile photo for Facebook? Are you interested in personal branding, but wouldn’t mind a few more revealing poses for yourself, as well? All of our photoshoots are customized to your vision, so spending some time creating that vision enables us to create something that’s truly unique to you!


There is no right or wrong way to be creative, so it is vital to begin by researching the photographers in your area to find the one whose style best aligns with yours. Note that skilled photographers will be able to work in a variety of styles, but you want to see evidence of that style in their portfolio before you commit to them! Google is always a great place to start- search “photographer near me” or, better yet, include the type of photoshoot you’d like i.e. “headshot photographer near me.” Then look at the reviews- they will tell you a lot about the pros and cons of each photographer on the list. The cost of a photoshoot will vary greatly depending on the experience of the photographer, the location, the session type, and what is included in the cost. I often compare a photo shoot to the idea of going out to dinner. You could go to McDonald’s to get a meal, of course, but you could also go to a Michelin-starred restaurant with a great chef which ensures a high-quality meal paired with great service and a wonderful experience. The price point is different, as is what you receive for your investment.


Pinterest is a great place to find inspiration images.

Vision boards are a popular concept at the moment, but instead of a vision board, this is more of an inspiration board. The easiest place to do this is on Pinterest, but you can also just start collecting images from the Internet as well. The idea is to start pulling together images you like from a variety of sources. The images aren’t necessarily images you want to re-create (though you can go over that with your photographer later if you would like to try) but rather to give your photographer a visual starting point for your style and vision. After 15 years as a professional photographer, I find it much easier to connect with a client’s vision when they can show me what they like instead of just telling me. For example, if a client tells me they want something “natural” (which is a very common request), that may mean 1,000 different things to 1,000 different people… but if I can see images of what that means to them, I can begin getting creative on how to create that for them!

(PS- Note that some photographers are sensitive about wanting to create their own style and not trying to reproduce someone else’s. The best way around that is to explain this is a general vision and not something you want to re-create).


Once you have an idea of your vision, go through your wardrobe to make sure the wardrobe you have matches the style of your vision. Your photographer may have some wardrobe options at their studio, but the wardrobe is a critical part of the photograph so you want to make sure you get it right! This is most especially true of a professional headshot because the wardrobe for headshot photos tends to be a little more tailored, but it is also true of portraits and boudoir sessions.


As a professional photographer, I understand that signing up for a photoshoot is often very intimidating to people. It needn’t be. A good photographer will answer your questions, connect with you, and make you comfortable. Their skills as a photographer are almost as important as their ability to connect with their clients, so reach out to them and make sure they are someone you want to work with. Once you’ve established a rapport, I strongly encourage you to let go of any insecurities and trust them to do what they do best.

“You’ll find a way or you’ll find an excuse.” Like many things in life, there is always an excuse to put off your photoshoot til later. Maybe you want to wait until you’ve lost some weight, done your hair, or just have more time available. But note that those are often just excuses to put it off. I’ve yet to meet someone who regrets signing up for a professional photoshoot. When you take the time to find the right photographer, develop a vision for your photo session, and show up ready to have fun, you end up with photographs you- and your family- will treasure for the rest of your life.

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Your photoshoot should show more than what you look like, it should give an idea of who you are, so the time to start thinking about it is now!

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319 Peck Street, New Haven, CT 06513

Karissa Van Tassel is an accredited professional photographer, accredited by The Portrait Masters, an association of master photographers from around the world.


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