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Kelly Kaz Photo Session 101: So you booked a photo session...

Updated: Jan 18, 2023

Kelly Kaz Photo, Buffalo based photographer holding a Nikon for Family Portrait Photography and Wedding Photography

You booked your date... now here comes the fun part!!

Some will tell you this part is a little anxiety inducing... picking out an outfit, making sure you look just right, making sure the kids are put together, making sure your husband has a good time! I get it, but I am also here to make it fun!

Let's get y'all ready for your photoshoot!

Whether it is a family session, couples session, solo portrait session, whatever... there are a few key tips to which will allow photo day to arrive much easier...

Pick a spot that tells your story... or that you simply love!

Keep it simple with a location that is beautiful and versatile or lets go to a place that tells your story. Click to see a blog on a few of my favorite WNY locations and a few locaiton ideas you can do anywhere.

Upstate NY Family in Fall snuggles up on a blanket and tickles one another during family photo shoot with Kelly Kaz Photo

Pick out your outfits early! (and extras)

If you haven't already, download my "what to wear guide" which includes pictures from from of my favorite sessions with clients who got those fits and colors just right! I recommend looking at your outfit options days or a week prior to the session. Don't want to be stressed and running around for the right shirt in the last moments.

Dress in comfortable clothes, clothes that you love wearing, or like seeing yourself in. Don't stress yourself out with a new outfit, wear something that fits your style!

Don't force the kids into clothes they don't want to wear! I've seen sessions go horribly wrong because of the collar on a shirt bothering a toddler and I've seen sessions go AMAZINGLY when the family just kept it casual and wore their typical attire to the shoot.

Bring extras! We may not need them, but it doesn't hurt to have! I've had gentlemen spill beer on their clean white shirts moments before the first photo had been taken and I've seen spit up on newborns within the first 5 minutes. Extra clothes help and allow for options and opinions in the moment!

Pack the Necessities!

You can count on me to always have a blanket in my backseat and a few loose safety pins in my bag, but I can't have everything you need!

Be sure to pack yourself some water, snacks and anything that you may want as a prop. If you have a blanket that fits your style or other prop that you think would work, bring it! I love having options and incorporating special items.

For the little ones... bribery is a MUST!

Photo days can be a hit or miss with toddlers. I recommend having their favorite toy or snack on hand. Have that pacifier close by... it could come in handy. We will take breaks when needed, and they are usually needed. If little ones are in for an hour session, snacks will be necessary and maybe talk of "ice cream" or "a treat after the session"

Couple kissed in WNY for Engagement photos with inclusive wedding photographer Kelly Kaz Photo

Eat, Drink, Rest and Stretch!

Make sure you are well fed before the session, no one wants to deal with hangry people! I wouldn't recommend eating a big meal right before (we will definitely be doing some moving), but make sure you've had enough to eat and are hydrated before hand!

Snack can be helpful for all clients during their session, but number one thing should be water! If you don't want to bring it with you, be sure to drink up in the car before hand.

Get some good sleep the night before! We don't need dark circles or yawns while capturing our precious memories. If good sleep has been impossible for you or the little ones, let me know! We can try to work something out, or we will change the tone of the session to a cozier vibe.

Stretch like its your first day back at the gym! I am not kidding! Like I said, we will be moving. I will ask you to walk, maybe skip, maybe dance, but likely to get down and up from a blanket or couch. I've had many dads complain about their back or tight hips, so a good stretch before hand should help loosen us all up!

Photographer Female smiles in field in Buffalo NY for portrait photo session

Get to know me! Tell your kids about me!

If you haven't already, check out my About Me page and my instagram! If you follow me on instagram, you know I like to show off my personality there, so do some scrolling and see who I am! I have a few fun reels that can help

Photographer shows toddler camera during family photo shoot in Buffalo NY

Parents, prepare your kids to meet a new person! Tell them exactly what we are doing on photo day and show them other photos of families to get them ready and looking forward to it! Most parents refer to me as "Ms. Kelly" so please tell the little ones what Ms. Kelly does and show them my photo!

I will help in anyway I can to make sure everyone feels comfortable on photo day, even if that means having your little one behind the camera to play with buttons and take some photos of their own!

Let's talk about it.

The best thing we can do is communicate. If you are feeling anxious, uncomfortable or simply don't know what to wear, reach out! I am here for you.

The best way for us to make this the best photo session EVER is to communicate and be on the same page with all of our thoughts and ideas around the day. Tell me what feels good, what feels bad, what you don't want to do! It's all about you!

Lastly, have payment ready! Whether pay by credit card, check or app, your final payment is due the day of your shoot.

Buffalo Family walks down hill for poses and prompts during family photoshoot in upstate New York


The day is here!! We will meet at the designated location at the time we set! Introductions, if we haven't met and warning: I am a hugger.

We will chit chat first as we find the perfect spot and lights for the photos. I want to get to know you all, so don't be shy!

Be yourself and have fun!

It's all about capturing your true, magical, authentic selves, so let's do that! I tell my clients to be vulnerable with me and show your true self and love for one another. I will ask you to look a the camera for some formal shots, but for the most part, I want you to be interacting with one another, giving love and making each other laugh! I will help with a few inappropriate jokes or fart noises. 😂

We will be dancing, moving, playing! Let yourself have fun!

Let go of any expectations.

Instagram and Pinterest will fool you, this session might not be perfect. And parents, this is mostly a message to you... let go of your expectations.

I promise you will get photos you will love and cherish, but it may not feel like it in the moment. Whether the clouds aren't cooperating for a little while, or your toddler is having their own moment, we will make it work!

Married couple with newborn, smiles on floor of nursery for newborn family photos with Kelly Kaz Photo


Unfortunately time does fly and before you know it, it is time for us to say "good bye". Go celebrate! Take advantage of that "bribery" from earlier and grab that ice cream or get yourself some fancy dinner, YOU LOOK AMAZING!!

Now it's my turn to get to work! I'll be headed home right away to upload your photos to my hard drive and put your memory cards away for safe keeping (in a fireproof safe obviously!).

Depending on the time of year and busyness of my schedule, you may see a preview or two within the weeks following your session, but you are guaranteed your digital gallery within 4 weeks.

Once you receive the gallery the gallery link, feel free to share it with any friends or family! There is a personal download PIN for you to input to download the entire gallery or single images, you can also share this PIN if you like. The gallery is available for at least 6 months, so I always suggest you download and back up your photos to a cloud system or harddrive right away!

When it comes to printing your images, there are plenty of places you are welcome to do so, but I have a few recommendations:w

Lastly, share away! Get those photos on facebook and instagram, or send them to your girl group or grandparents, just be sure to let them know Kelly Kaz Photo took those! My business thrives on Word of Mouth, so I love to hear you share!

Ready for your Kelly Kaz Photo Session?!



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