Mountain Mama's guide to preparing for your session

  1. Complete, sign, and return the Client_Model Release Form and the Contract along with your $50 Session Fee or Wedding Deposit.

  • Mountain Mama Photography accepts cash, check and all major credit cards. (Please make checks to:  RGBWilson Artistry, LLC).

  1. Begin the preparations:

Think about a location that fits both your personality and the overall theme of your session.  Make sure your wardrobe complements the surroundings. For example, at a location in a field with a rustic barn would be perfect for a vintage style dress and tin pail full of wildflowers. A cornfield would be complemented by a solid top or dress that has elements of the yellow and green within the field. Many times I’ll select a location first and then work with clients to create the wardrobe, accessories and props to fit both their style and my vision.

Let your personal style show through in your session.

***Helpful Hint:  Pack clothing in a laundry basket for easy access during and clean-up after your session.  Jewelry can be packed in a clear Tupperware container to keep the smallest items from getting lost.

Casual

The ladies should choose a favorite sports outfit or uniform, sundress, slouchy sweaters, shorts or jeans. Pick the colors you really like and that others say look good on you. The guys should choose a favorite pair of jeans, casual or sportswear, a letterman or signature jacket, and of course your sports uniform and equipment.

Dressy

Ladies should wear a neckline that is flattering to the face and neck: Round faces, square jaw lines, or shorter necks look best in a v-neck as opposed to a round or crew neck. Thin faces, pointy chins, and very long necks look better in a boatneck, crew neck, or round neckline.  Avoid tops with large, contrasty, distracting patterns. Solid colors are much better. Unless your arms are super-skinny, avoid short sleeves because they make arms look heavier and shorter. If you feel your arms are heavy, sleeveless looks are great but avoid "spaghetti" straps. They often draw attention away from the face. 

For the fellas, a sport coat and pants work great for a more dressy look. If you have served in the military, please bring your uniform so we can showcase the service you have provided your country. An alternative look would be a dress shirt and a sweater that is a solid color or has a slight pattern. If you want to wear only a dress shirt and tie, wear a colored shirt. White shirts look best under a jacket.  Black is always slimming.

 Coordinate but don’t match. When styling a photo session, I like clients to start with a basic color palette.  It can help to have one “stand-out” in the photos who carries a pattern in their outfit that the rest of the group’s clothing or accessories pulls from.  This is especially important in family sessions where multiple people are photographed together. 

 Accessorize…and think outside the box. Scarves, hats, sweaters, vests, jackets, etc. – all these things can take a ho-hum outfit from blah to “complete.” Sweet babies and toddlers don’t need much in the way of “accessories”…they are beautiful already and I want them to be the star of the show.  Choose your accent colors and fill in outfits with those punches of color in accessories.  For instance, if the “stand-out” is wearing navy and red, another client could wear a red sweater, a third could wear a striped navy tee with red Converse, and a fourth could wear red nail polish or chunky red jewelry.  I always tell clients, that if in doubt about a certain accessory, bring it along and we can decide on set.

Think about subtle props that blend with the mood of the session but keep them simple and meaningful. A handful of flowers from grandma’s garden…a drum kit you learned to play on…an ultrasound image of the newest member of the family… or the little one’s favorite stuffed animal.  These type of accessories are important in displaying a Senior’s style or family activities/memories.  Be creative and don’t be afraid to show who you are and what you like to do in each of your images!

Get comfortable. Make sure that the children can move freely in their clothing and that they aren’t going to be pulling and scratching at their new clothes. This means letting them have some input in what they wear. Kids who help dress themselves will not only be much happier when shooting, but their own beautiful personalities will also shine through in the images.

Grooming is essential to a great portrait.  If you color your hair, make sure that dark roots do not show up, it will be even more obvious in the photos. Refresh color a few days before your shoot. Make sure to remove unwanted body hair anywhere it could possibly show on the photo. Do not wait until the morning of your session to wax any hair or have a facial. 

Professional Makeup will only make you feel MORE confident in front of the camera.  Mountain Mama pairs Total Image Salon to offer cosmetology services to any client and any occasion.  ***Prices based on Hair Style and extent of Makeup Application.

If you are doing your own make up:

  • Be sure to choose make up colors that look best on you. Double check that your foundation color matches your skin by checking it under different lights (outdoor and indoor). Make sure you bring your foundation below the chin and blend into your neck.  You need to use mascara and eye shadow a bit heavier than normal.  I also suggest coloring in your eyebrows with a color one shade lighter than your hair and wearing subtle false lashes. 

  • A simple trick: if you put powder under your eyes it will prevent “raccoon eyes”. Bring a little extra powder with you to touch up. 

  • If you are a guy, you might consider a moisturizer or even a little powder to even out your skin.

  • Take care of your lips to prevent chapped or dry lips, especially for portraits.

If you are having your make up professionally applied:

  • Your face should be absolutely clean – don’t have any product on when you arrive.  This saves time by not having to clean it off when you arrive.  I recommend wearing a light moisturizer if your face is dry and nothing for an oily face.  If you are looking for a more fantasy look, you may want to bring more extravagant false lashes.

    Nails

  • For your fingernails and toenails, it’s a good idea for them to be well manicured.  Wear lotion for a few days prior to shooting if you work in a field that makes your hands cracked or dried.

  • If you not sure about color, go for colorless or French.  If your nails coordinate to the clothing or theme of the shoot, make sure they are perfectly painted.

Shoes matter. Please don’t wear sneakers…unless we’re talking about some stylish Vans that go with the feel of the session. The choice of shoes can make or break an outfit. Bring as many options as you think you could need and we can narrow the selection prior to shooting.  Wearing a pair of distressed boots or some ballet flats can tie everything together and complete the feel of the session. Think about coordinating bright and colorful shoes with other accessories and clothing in the photo. I also think that NO shoes looks best, especially if the client is going to be in water or the mood of the shoot calls for something more natural.  

How will the images be displayed? Think about the primary reason you are doing the session and dress accordingly. For instance, if it’s for Christmas cards you might want to dress in wintry, seasonal clothing…for a gallery canvas in the living room, think about coordinating with the colors and feel of your decor.

A few things NOT to do…many of them obvious no-no’s but important to include again as a refresher.

• Avoid anything with logos, graphics, characters, labels, etc.

Note: There are a few instances where a more stylized graphic on a shirt can look good if it fits the vibe of a photo.  A senior who loves to make and listen to Rock music may want to wear a few band tee’s to set the mood.

• While trying to stay fashionable, avoid obvious trends that will soon be out of style. You can do fashion forward while still remaining timeless.

• No bright white socks or hair bands on your wrist.

     3. Create a Pinterest Board.  Pinterest is a great source of inspiration for any photo session for both clothing and posing!  Make a Pinterest board of images and outfits that fit your personality and that you would like to emulate within your session.  Tag me (Mountain Mama Photography) in your board so that I can blend our styles and visions into one-of-a-kind images!

   4.  Practice makes perfect.  Do not be afraid to practice your posing and faces in the mirror prior to your session.  This is especially important for seniors, engagement and boudoir photography.  After you have found poses you like on Pinterest, mimic them until you find your mojo!

   5.  On the day of shooting, pack yourself a few items to keep you fed, hydrated, and comfortable while we shoot.  Modeling is a hard job and clients always tell me how surprised they are at how tired and hungry they are after a session.  Be prepared with a light snack bag, H2O, and some gum to clean those pearly whites before your next image!  You may also want to pack a warm jacket and gloves for in between sets.

After your Session...

1.  I will post process your images and begin the editing process.  Editing can take a while depending on how many images we take and how many flaws need to be minimized.  A normal wait time ranges between two to three months. Please allow three to four months for a wedding.

***If you are on a shorter time frame, please let me know prior to booking so that we can make adjustments accordingly.  As I edit through your set I will post sneak peaks for you to share with your friends and family on social media.  If you choose to re-post one of these images please ensure that my logo is listed and/or that you tag the name "Mountain Mama Photography" in the post credits. RAW files will not be made available for distribution or viewing.

2.  Once your images are ready for unveiling, I will upload them to an online gallery called Pixieset.  Through Pixieset you can share your session with all of your friends and family and make your purchase selections.  Anyone you share your gallery link and password with can also make purchases from the comfort of their homes.  Delivery normally takes between one to two weeks after order processing.

***If interested in a product not listed in the Mountain Mama Pricing Sheet or to purchase the entire gallery, please privately contact me to make arrangements.  I create custom packages all the time and will work to ensure your order satisfaction!

3.  Each client will receive a specific number of images with shared copyrights with Mountain Mama Photography.  This means that we share ownership of your images and you can display, distribute, and reproduce the images however you choose.  You will choose these images as you "favorites"
(by clicking the heart icon below each image) in your online gallery and I will make you a disc or zip drive and provide a download code for your selections.

***If you do not use social media, please let me know in our initial planning stages.

4. Data Storage devices have a shelf-life. Protect your investment! All clients are responsible to safely store and back-up all documentation and imagery upon completion of the contacted service.