Shannon Z Photography

Photoshoot Preparations


How to prepare for your photoshoot, depends slightly on what type of shoot you've chosen to have. I'll break it down by type throughout this post with the following services: Family (Studio & Documentary), Senior, Studio Portrait, Engagement.


Documentary Family: After completing a brief questionnaire we can choose from a fun family adventure or a simple in home shoot to document your every day life.

Senior: I love to start this shoot at the studio for some gorgeous, timeless portraits, then we can move on to some places that you love! Ideas are favorite hang out, downtown Kenosha for an urban feel, Lake Michigan lake front - Simmons Island Beach & Light house, Wolfenbuttel Park for flower gardens & sandy beach, or Southport Beach house for a variety of backdrops. We also have a lot of local parks - my favorites being Petrifying Springs and Lincoln Park.

Family & Engagement: Both of these would be similar, in that you should be choosing a place that is meaningful to you. Somewhere you like to go together, where you first met, or doing an activity that you all enjoy.

Studio Portrait: Shannon Z Photography's home studio with multiple backdrop options, lighting scenes and a small wardrobe to choose from if needed.


Documentary Family: As you are. Whatever you would have normally woken up and put on...that's what you'll wear for this session!

Senior: 3-5 outfits! I recommend casual & comfortable. Neutral colors, use layers and accessories sparingly unless you usually go all out! Choose something really dressy & professional - you never know when that head shot type image will come in handy. Consider bringing a favorite prom or homecoming dress - we can create something really great & artistic in studio with that. And then something that might speak to your extra curricular activities - uniforms, jersey, favorite band shirt. Personal props are encouraged such as - potential college shirts, letter jackets, sports items (ball, cleats etc), musical instruments. Remember shoes & undergarments for each outfit!

Family & Engagement: You want to coordinate, but not too matchy-matchy.Outfit changes are permitted - and I like to suggest one dressy & one casual. Neutral colors are preferred (try to avoid white) but black usually looks good on anyone. Pinterest is amazing for coordinating outfit ideas & colors, so definitely check it out! I have a link HERE to a styling board.

Studio Portrait: Again, another 3-5 outfit recommendation. Here we have a bit more flexibility, in that you can bring something that you LOVE but that doesn't quite fit - and we can use clips to make it smaller, or not zip it up all the way if it's too small. The wonderful thing about these portraits, is nobody will ever know! I love going all glam with women in the studio, so I have accessories, a wardrobe and fabric to use if need be. For family portraits - I love neutral and muted tones - grey, dark red, blue, greens & black. These photos will be elegant and timeless, and don't necessarily need to match with the season. Here are some glam & dress ideas for women.

Day of Prep.

Documentary Family: Easy peasy - you don't need to do much! I am there to capture real life as it unfolds. Unscripted, undirected. Real, raw beautiful.

Senior: Clean, styled hair. For girls, consider going to a salon for hair & make up services, or we can talk about adding that to your package. Try to avoid spray tans if you don't normally do that. Nails should be clean and manicured. Hopefully you have all your outfits & accessories ready the night before, so you can grab & go! Changing on location can get tricky, so bring a blanket & hair brush with touch up make up as we make outfit changes.

Family: Shoots should be scheduled to allow for a nap time for younger kids so they're happy at the time of the shoot. Bring snacks or treats to help keep them happy & occupied (or for me to use as bribery!!) Outfit changes, baby wipes & a blanket is useful for young ones in case they get messy - and for car-seat infants who sometimes spit up should be changed into their outfits upon arrival - just to avoid a wardrobe mishap in the car. :) Bring a comb to tame hair and get ready to have fun with your family!!

Engagement: Consider scheduling your make up trial run for this day if possible. Or using professional services for hair & make up.I'm not opposed to starting off at a local establishment of your choosing so you can have a drink & relax too! :) It's sometimes helpful for anyone who is a little nervous and it just might add to your love story! Bringing signs or props that coincide with your wedding theme is suggested if you're interested in that style. Don't forget shoes & accessories for outfit changes!

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