How to Style a Portrait Session

Photographers alike will tell you all the essentials when you book them for your portrait session. They should give you a list of do’s & don’ts, like what to wear and what not to wear. But, it takes a photographer with a real vision, like Jennifer Griffith of Griffith Imaging, to have a full on styled session planned and ready for you. We loved the idea of creating a really unique setting for those getting their photographs taken. You can have all sorts of photographs of you standing or sitting around, but why not add more details, textures and colors to your setting. Here are some of our favorite ideas to make the most of your portrait session by adding details that aren’t typically added.

Work With Local Companies

We can almost guarantee, that there has got to be some company in your city and state, that would love to help make your portrait session one of a kind. Heck, they may be willing to work out a discount code for exchange of using the images for their own marketing. Reach out to local companies who rent and curate unique pieces for their inventory rather than buying your own. There are two important things with going this route. The first being that you’re support a company in your area. Communities who support their local businesses have an economic advantage, they are more likely to support local causes or charities, and locally owned businesses tend to put a majority of their own revenue back into the local economy, which makes a stronger and more substantial community. The second reason we think renting versus buying is important, is the carbon footprint you are leaving on the planet. There are plenty of vintage chairs, couches, rugs, etc… that are curated and collected by companies just like Tremaine Ranch. We are one company in one state, and we are not the only company in our field in our state. There are SO many great companies that provide a great option for what it is you’re looking for rather than buying new.

Create a Style Board

Similar to our How to Design a Wedding Lounge Post, we recommend creating a style board. This is where you want to create the overall aesthetic of your setting. Do you want bright colors or muted tones? How many people do you want ‘seating’ for? Will some people be standing? We want you to think about what fun pieces you would want to add to your styled set up and have fun with the pieces. If you want to somehow incorporate a peacock chair or a wine barrel, figure out the purpose of those pieces and utilize them. Get a floral arrangement to set a top the wine barrel to add more textures and colors for your session, that help the photographer play with their own plans and rules for photography. By creating an atmosphere similar to the style board you are creating, you’re more likely to go into your idea and fully execute it.

Figure Out Your Wardrobe

A photographer is most likely to give you their own guide on this specifically, but if you are styling a full setting, you should make sure that your wardrobe does not get overlooked. If you want to create a really great bohemian vibe, be sure to incorporate bohemian wardrobe staples like hats! You can always bring additional clothing, so it’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your wardrobe. Have a fashion show before and make sure that you feel comfortable moving and posing in your outfits, your shoes are comfortable, and your hat isn’t too big. You want these pictures to last a lifetime, so make sure you do some additional work behind the scenes to ensure you’ll love what you’ve planned years down the road.

We talked with Jennifer Griffith about what is important to her when planning a styled portrait session, and she was happy to share some bullet points that she always keeps in mind

-make sure the props match your vibe

-keep composition in mind

-make sure color scheme compliments the wardrobe

-keep posing in mind when transitioning props in and out

-get creative!

Photographs by

Jennifer Griffith