Session Preparation Tips

It’s going to be an exciting day!  Wrangling your session companions can be challenging. To help you be at your best, we’ve compiled our top trade secrets guaranteed to position you for a successful, photogenic and memorable session.

Prepare your petPreparing the Pets

Dogs often mirror their humans’ emotions. As long as you remain calm, happy and stress-free, your best friend will be Zen too.

  • Take him for a run! Exercise your dog on the day of the shoot to burn off some of his nervous energy.
  • If you plan to groom or bathe her, do it a day or two before the session. A grooming appointment and a photo shoot on the same day could be a bit much for even the most poised of pooches.
  • David always has treats on hand (his treats are legendary.) If your furry diva has dietary restrictions, you may of course bring your own (and let David know about your needs.)
  • If she likes to travel with her own amenities, you may want to bring a comb, brush or toys. Likewise, if there’s a special plaything or stuffed buddy your pet drags everywhere she goes, let David know you’d like some of the pictures to include it.
  • Arrive on time, but not too early, to avoid the potential complication of meeting a stranger dog. Leave yourselves just a few minutes to take a short walk prior to coming inside. (Bring a plastic bag, of course!)
  • Keep her on-leash (or in a carrier.) She will have a chance to explore freely once she arrives safely in the camera room.

Prepare your humanPreparing the Humans

  • We recommend casual attire that will make you feel confident, comfortable and that expresses who you are. David will likely spend time on the floor with you, so formal wear may not be ideal (unless a 3 piece suit says YOU better than anything else!)
  • Solid, middle-tone colors work best, but please avoid both BLACK and WHITE, particularly if your pet is black or white. Jeans, layers and textured clothing (denim, waffle weave, corduroy, linen) will add warmth to your photos. If you have questions, just call us. You might also like to bring several options and make the final decision here.
  • Please avoid shirts featuring logos, graphics or bold patterns. If you wear makeup or jewelry, keep it simple. Black and white images are magical in that a little goes a long way.
  • Pay attention to your shoes (and your childrens’ shoes) as your feet will almost certainly appear in some of the final images. Your big snow boots or puffed-up basketball sneakers, for example, might detract from the overall mood of the images.
  • If it’s wet or snowy outside, carry the shoes you plan to wear for your portrait so you can keep them (and David’s hand-painted backdrop) clean and dry.

Post Session

Right after we’ve wrapped up your session, we’ll take care of 3 small bits of business.

First, we’ll present you with a model release form. While you are absolutely not required to sign the release (we respect your privacy and will not ask questions about your decision) doing so allows us to use our favorite photographs in our exhibitions, promotional materials, advertising and licensing. We occasionally exhibit in galleries and other performance-based spaces too, and we look forward to inviting you to these exciting events.

The balance of your sitting fee is due at this time as well.

And last, we’ll schedule a convenient time for your print ordering consultation. Bring your calendar. This second studio visit will occur about a week after your sitting (and must happen within thirty days.) During your ordering consultation, we’ll help you put your final print plan together.

If you have questions about any of the above, feel free to give us a shout, as often as you need. Your Sutton Studios portrait sitting is a Big Deal, we want you to feel ready.