What to expect

I strive to make everyone I work with feel comfortable and proud in front of the camera. I know a lot of us feel awkward and nervous in front of cameras, but I want you to know that I'm not here to judge you or make you look a certain way—I want you to be yourself! I know it's easier said than done, but try to think of me as someone who wants to connect with you and happens to have a camera instead of impersonal paparazzi.

Many of my prompts are movement-based. This serves dual purposes, as it gets you to relax as you move and it lets me capture more dynamic, interesting shots. Posed shots are great, but I find that individual expression and candour are best highlighted when someone is relaxed and not thinking about the camera.

It's my job to be prepared as a professional, but that doesn't mean I don't want your input, too. I'd love to hear any ideas you might have about poses, locations, or anything else. That said, please do not expect me to exactly replicate every single photo you've saved on Instagram or Pinterest. There's so much more to you as a subject and me as an artist than the Photoshop-polished aestheticism that's presented to us. (Obviously certain poses and photos work really well, hence their popularity, but I'm well-aware that it is frighteningly easy to slip into the mindset that you need to copy and imitate others instead of being yourself.)

Wardrobe guidelines

Avoid busy prints and patterns.

Busy prints and patterns can be distracting in photos and take the focus away from the star of the show—you! That said, if you really want to include something that falls in this category, choose something that is large with contrasting colours.

Stick with a single "statement piece."

If you have a fedora that's your signature look or a favourite pair of floral boots, feel free to include them in your outfit! Just keep in mind the above advice about keeping prints and patterns to a minimum (i.e., if you wear floral boots try to steer away from wearing other patterned pieces in your outfit) and avoid having more than one such piece.

Avoid bright colours and branded clothing.

Bright colours and branded clothing can be really distracting in photos and oftentimes look strange and out of place, especially if the rest of the photoshoot is in a more natural setting. This doesn't mean you can't wear colourful clothing, just try to make sure it's not neon yellow or turquoise or something. Photographers typically recommend that you gravitate towards "jewel tones"—colours like brown, burgundy, forest green, etc. While I don't believe you need be strict about adhering to this advice, it's something that you should keep in mind.

Wear clothes that are comfortable.

If you're wearing a pair of shoes you've never worn before or a shirt with an itchy collar, your discomfort is going to show up on the camera. Wear clothes you know and love and that you can also move around in during your session.

Coordinate colours (especially if there are two of you).

A common mistake that people make is thinking that their outfits have to match. That's not true! Rather, think about how colours and outfits can compliment one another. An easy way to visualise this is to look up either the standard colour wheel or colour palettes already put together by someone else.

empty your pockets.

Make sure you don't have anything extra stuffed into your pockets and make sure to set aside any items (phone, wallet, etc.) during your photoshoot—otherwise they'll show up in the photos and those kinds of things can be pretty dang difficult to Photoshop out.