Elevating your Portrait Session & Alleviating those Nerves

How to elevate your portrait session and alleviate those nerves

Through years of developed expertise, practical knowledge and prowess, our photographers certainly know what it takes to create beautiful imagery. Photographs that not only look aesthetically stunning, but that also reflect the true character of the subjects, and the emotion within.

Speaking of emotions – it’s very common to feel nerves arise a few days before the shoot, especially if it’s your first Verve experience. To assist in calming those nerves and to best guide you through this process, we’ve collated some wisdom and advice from our specialist photographers to help in preparing for your shoot.

Some practical pearls of wisdom to ensure you feel super confident leading into your portrait session. These tips will assist in alleviating those nerves, helping you to get the most out of the incredible process.

Pre-session phone call

Did you know, before your portrait session, our in-house stylist will give you a call to talk you through the process? Our talented and accomplished stylists have guided hundreds, possibly thousands of families through preparing for their session. They have the expertise and knowledge to best answer all of your questions, as well as walk you through exactly what you can expect on the day. Utilise this phone call and time to voice any queries you may have, as our stylists will call upon their years of experience to make you feel completely comfortable, confident and ready for your photo shoot! The styling call will generally take place 5-10 days prior to your session with us.

Feeling nervous about being in the photos yourself?

This is very common and we hear this a lot. We promise you the moment you enter the cosy studio rooms your nerves will disappear. The time in the studio session is spent interacting together and at times you will honestly forget you are being photographed. This is how we capture so much emotion and genuine expressions. You get to enjoy and relax in the space whilst your photographer shoots around you and captures the beautiful moments as they unfold.

Get your glow on!

We sure understand that modern life is busy, and 8-9 hours of sleep per night seems like an unachievable dream. So other things you may find more achievable to get your glow on are; drink 2L of water each day in the few days leading up to your shoot to help your skin appear even more plump and fresh. Take a bath with oils to get your skin glowing and, lastly we recommend avoiding alcohol for the night before, to help prevent dry skin and dehydration.

Getting a haircut or beauty treatments before your session

When we are preparing to have our photo taken, it can be tempting to trial a new beauty treatment or hairstyle right beforehand to feel fresh and new. Especially when it comes to shorter haircuts, there can often be visible tan lines or sharp edges with very fresh trims. (I’m sure we have all done this at some point in our lives!)

Our advice is to trial anything new such as haircuts, tans or other beauty treatments like facials or peels at least a week (or more) before your picture. This will give it time to ‘settle in’, and you can have your photograph taken feeling like your natural, beautiful self.

Hair & Makeup

Here in the studio, we have lighting that will make your skin look fabulous! (We mean, seriously fabulous) and a team of photographers and retouchers with one main goal- to have you SHINE. However, when it comes to makeup and hair, if you feel you’d like to add even more of a touch of glam, by all means head to the hair-dresser or get your make-up done before the shoot. Mani and pedicure too if you wish, especially if you have a baby, as your hands will feature in many shots.

Home Styling consult

If you have particular areas within your home that you would possibly like to see imagery displayed, or ideas that you would like to discuss prior to your shoot, we suggest you take advantage of our virtual home art consultation. During these consultations, one of our friendly team will chat to you over zoom and take the extra step in planning for your session. To find out more on this click the link here.

What if my kids don’t behave? Or we are not having the best day?

Your photographer is highly trained and experienced to help you feel your most comfortable and at ease throughout your shoot. Many of our guests tell us they are worried about how their family will perform on the day! This is natural, but honestly you don’t need to worry as our photographers have so much experience in working with all personalities, moods and tantrums. They can bring out laughter and connection in even the most challenging of situations.

Clothing care

Choose your outfit a few days before to help you feel ultra prepared for the day (shoes included!) Pick an outfit you feel incredible in, and we suggest to you bring along a few alternate options (even if just tops). Your portraits are likely to outlast your furniture and most items in your home, so keeping in mind they will be around for decades to come we suggest avoiding logos or any outfits that you feel will date stylistically. Keeping it simple, relaxed and comfortable clothing-wise means you will feel yourself and relaxed during your shoot. Don’t be afraid to include textures, as they can add a real depth and warmth to the imagery which we love, especially when it comes to black and white photographs.

Once you have an outfit that you feel great in, it’s time to work out the rest of the family. We suggest placing the outfits all on a bed and see how they work together. In terms of aesthetics look for harmony and coordination, not clashing patterns or colours.

If you have older kids or teens, get them to pack a small bag of their favourite items. Hats, boots, jewellery, scarves… anything that they feel is them. If you have young children in the photos, perhaps save their best outfit and put them in a travelling top for the ride, in case of spills along the journey.


Speaking of spills, (and how to avoid them!) We will serve refreshing drinks or coffee at the studio, but it is a great idea to bring along some snacks for the kids that won’t be messy on the clothes. Crackers, popcorn, muesli bars etc. All the fun and energy they exert tends to make them hungry mid shoot.

Ultimately, when it comes to photographing you and your loved ones, we want to capture the true you. The above may seem that we’ve jam-packed the suggestion box, however don’t feel that you need to do everything. Our photographers are here to make you look your best and work with you to see an end result that exceeds your expectations. The most important thing is to bring yourself and a readiness to enjoy the process, because we will have so much fun together.

We can’t wait to meet you and your family,

Team Verve x

  • smiling child - kids photography