JC Photography, Inc.
Capturing the Creativity of the Creator

Preparing for your photo shoot

You have a session date set....now what?

So glad you've decided to book a custom portrait session with J.C. Photography! I am looking forward to a memorable and fun time with you.  This document will walk you through everything you need to know. We will also talk a few days before your session to go over any last minute details.

The Big Picture

  • The session will last between 1-2 hours
  • In 1-2 weeks after the shoot, we will set a date for an in-person viewing and ordering session.  (unless there are decision makers that live far away - then we will meet via skype).  
  • That dedicated time will be used to view the images and make your selections.  I can then begin the design process for any storyboards or custom products.
  • Once selections are made, the turn around time is less than 2 weeks, depending on what is ordered.  

The Location

We can hold a session pretty much anywhere. Tell me about the feel you want your images to have and/or I can give you some ideas.  I'm open to trying new places.  If your session is in the Sarasota County area, there are tons of creative outdoor locations.  I can also bring studio lights to an inside location if need be.  If the session is in northern Illinois, I have a studio in Libertyville and Barrington.  (check out Studio Share Photography)

The Plan

I'll show up a little early to scope out the perfect spots with the best light or get to the studio to set up and be ready when you arrive with a basic plan in mind. This is not going to be stiff and formal - and the pace might be surprisingly faster than you imagine (and slower when necessary).  My goal is efficient use of your time, while getting the best possible images!   I'll direct you at times and encourage you to interact naturally.  If you have a specific idea in mind, please tell me before the session so I can be sure to come prepared.

The Wardrobe

Coordinating but not matchy. Even in the summer, layers add interest and we can change a look quickly by adding/removing them. (ie: hats, scarves, belts, jackets, vests, leggings, jewelry, ties, layering shirts) Try to use as few solids and as many textures as possible. You CAN mix patterns, colors and textures. One idea is to try to pick a color and the weave it throughout the outfits to tie it together (ie: baby in a purple dress, dad with purple in his tie and mom with purple heels). Once you've got the outfits picked out, try to add at least one more accessory like a hat, a fun t-shirt under a jacket, or cool shoes. Use items that reflect your personality. Keep in mind the small things:

Things that don't help:

  • Nails with 'old polish'
  • Hair rubber bands/fitness bands on wrists
  • Chewing gum in mouth
  • Animal hair on clothing
  • Stamps/temporary tattoos from events on hands/arms
  • large logo shirts/attire

Things that help:

  • Well trimmed hair, beards, and nails
  • Shoes that are meant to be photographed


The Back Up

Rescheduling is usually a last resort. I will keep an eye on the weather and reschedule it if it's not cooperating. Or we can choose to move into the studio. If someone is sick, let me know as soon as you can so we can reschedule.   

I do complete retouching on all your proofs, so please don't worry about minor blemishes. It wouldn't be the first time that I've taken out a black eye or a good scratch on an arm.  :)


This should be fun - not a chore or stressful. Please let me lead the way and ask you if I need help. There is no need for threats or bribes. I will work at the level of the kids and at their pace.  Sometimes I might work one on one, away from the pressure of 'performing' for mom and dad, so relax and give us room to get some great images.  Bring snacks and water, but try to avoid things that are going to color or get stuck in their teeth. A favorite doll, a colorful toy or ball, or other activities like bubbles are wonderful. I'll have some tricks up my sleeve as well. Please make sure your children get plenty of sleep the night before.  It is your responsibility to make sure kids stay safe and that babies are within your arm's reach.


Think of this as an adventure...with memories to be made. If your kids are old enough, it can be a great help to get them in on picking out clothes. Give them options (to maintain a little control) but let them choose from several itmes so they feel comfortable in what they are wearing. At the shoot, I will direct you as to how to stand/sit and other times I will have you just enjoy each other and have fun. We can do as many combinations of people as you like.  If you have any 'gotta have' shots - make sure you tell me in your client information form and we'll make sure to capture those and much more. It will be my job, in the more 'posed' shots, to get your kids to look at the camera. Your job is to just smile and look good. The last thing I need is a parent checking if their kid is smiling and them actually looking at the camera for once.  Let me do the work.  If you have a family pet - let's get them in on the action, too! The same kinds of preparations described in the 'children' section are a good idea.


Think fun, contemporary and romantic! I want to capture the passion and magic between you two. I like to try unusual locations and use things that show off your uniqueness as a couple. From head to toe you should be fun and flirty!

Highschool Seniors

Senior portraits should capture you just as you are during this time of your life. We usually hit 2-3 locations if we are outside.  The possibilities are endless in the studio (for Illinois clients) as well - as far as look and feel. I am open to all kinds of ideas. I really want to show your interests and personality. If you play a portable instrument, bring it. If you like soccer - let's go to the field and kick a ball around. You can't bring too many clothes and accessories (even guys), so bring it all and we'll piece together outfits as we are inspired.  I would plan on bringing about 5 outfits - both casual and dressy...and think layers. Girls: as far as make-up, don't put on extra to try and 'cover your flaws' - I promise you that if you have any blemishes, I can work some magic. Putting on heavy foundation will not help.  I will not make you look 'over processed' - but I will definitely help any skin issues and make you look, well..., more like YOU.  :)