What’s a Pre-Session Consult?

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Let’s Chat! The Importance of a Pre-session Consult

Schedules are busy! Sports, jobs, friends, parent schedules, sibling schedules. I get it…finding time for your senior portrait session is difficult enough let alone time for a pre-session consult too. So you ask the question – Do I really need a pre-session consult? And seriously what is it? Let’s go over the importance of a pre-session consult so you know I’m not wasting your time.

Several years ago I noticed that I was hearing several parent complaints – 1) I wish we would have thought about the locations for her session a bit more. 2) I wish we would have put more thought into outfits and accessories.  3) We should have thought about what we want to do with all these gorgeous portraits a bit more before the session.

I set out to solve those problems and get to know my clients better prior to their session. So pre-session consults became mandatory! Outside of gorgeous portraits my priority is to make my clients feel comfortable, beautiful, worthy, & enough. It is also all about building a relationship with the senior and many times their mother (or father but moms are much more likely to be involved in the portrait process), finding out what everyone wants from the session, the vision for the portraits, & what you would like to do with the portraits so I can help guide you to the products best for you & your home. This makes pre-sessions consults a must!

A pre-session consult is a time that you & I set aside for you to come into the studio to sit and chat all about you and your senior portrait session. I generally advise that the senior come in with a parent for this. This insures that the senior, the parent, and myself are all on the same page for the session. I always say that “mom” and senior both have to both approve of outfits, locations, etc.

During your pre-session consult we will discuss-

  1. The vision for your session – what do you want the pictures to “feel” like. To look like. Are you feeling Glam? Country? Stylish? Girl-next-door? Edgy? Do you want an editorial vibe?
  2. Location(s) – what do you have in mind? After I know what you’re looking for I can offer a lot of suggestions and show examples. Do you like urban? Greenery & nature? Barns? Fields of grass? Etc.
  3. Outfits & accessories – This is a big one for sure! We’ll talk colors, style, prints, dressing for your body. We will discuss how these outfits will work with your location choices too.
  4. Hair and makeup – We’ll talk about why professional hair and makeup is so important & what looks good in pictures along with your personal makeup style. Are you a more natural girl? Or more glam? Or a mix of both?
  5. What you want to do with your pictures after the session – You can see examples of wall art, albums, image boxes, etc. We will discuss digital image files & sneak peaks on Instagram too.

I highly suggest that you make a Pinterest board prior to your pre-session consult. Have fun pinning away images that you love. Include images of hair and makeup inspiration for your session, outfits you love, images that you just love the “feel” of, perhaps some posing you love. This all helps me to get to know you! Some girls love a more editorial look and feel to their images, some like a little moodier or a little more girl-next-door. Some people love urban and some wouldn’t be caught dead in the city. Haha.

The importance of a pre-session consult is to discuss all of these things so when it comes time for your session date we have a concrete plan! We know outfits, locations, hair and makeup, and I’ve gotten to know you even better so I can create the perfect images just for you and your family.

Remember….the importance of a pre-session consult and come and join me in my downtown RVA studio for yours! I love inviting people into my own little space and getting to know them so I can make amazing senior portraits for them. It’s my passion not just my job 🙂

To read a little about what you can do with your senior portraits click HERE to find out about digital image files or HERE to find out about the LUXE album. For help choosing a location for your senior portrait session click HERE.


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