What to Expect During Your Photoshoot

You probably have always wondered what it would be like to get photos taken, right? Like, you wanna know what the process is reallyyyyy like. I know when I used to see a jaw-dropping, emotional photo of a couple, I would wonder, “how THE HECK did they get that picture and how do they look SO GOOD?!” Well, not anymore, because I know how. HAHA. I also used to have the same curiosity when I saw a cringe-y picture, “Why did they take such an awkward photo?!” You know, the ones that look forced and statue-like? Well, I now know how to prevent those…

Odds are, if you’ve considered booking a photoshoot, you’ve also probably had flashbacks to the cringe-worthy pictures you saw. You probably think “Oh god, that could be me,” or “Wow those people look awkward,” and while I understand why you’re thinking that way – I mean c’mon, nobody is truly comfortable in front of the camera besides models and the Kardashians – I’m here to tell you that you don’t need to be worried!

Now, every single photographer is different, so I can only speak for myself, but if you’re on this blog, it’s probably because you’re curious about MY personal style anyway. There are photographers out there that DO do the super posed pictures, but IT AIN’T ME. To each their own, but BLEH. I can’t do it. It makes my skin itch to think about it. So please know, WE WILL HAVE FUN.

Okay so let me break it down for you! Typically, if you book with me, it’ll look like this.

1) I freak out and get so excited because I legit get giddy when someone chooses ME to photograph their love story.

2) We email back and forth and talk about you guys, and eventually decide on a date and location.

3) You pay a deposit, sign a contract, and we start planning.

4) I refer you to this blog post so you can chill those nerves out and not worry about what’s to come. I also send you links to help plan outfits!

5) A couple weeks before, I’ll send a questionnaire so I can get to know you guys better before we meet in person for the first time and I get all up in yo face with a camera.

6) The day of the shoot, if you drink, I’ll bring us beer or wine to sip on and we’ll chill for a few minutes before we get started!

7) I turn on some of your favorite music (if you want!)


I know, this is the part you’re really worried about. You don’t want to look like those cringe-worthy pictures on the internet that you send screenshots of to your friends and laughed at. I PROMISE you that won’t happen. The most important thing you need to know, is that I give you prompts and direction, not poses and orders! I have you guys do things that provoke natural movements and emotions, and do you know what that prevents? CRINGE WORTHY, AKWARD PICTURES. The ONLY reason that pictures turn out bad, is because someone is making you do something unnatural. In real life, would you go stand at a tree with your partner and peek around and look at each other? Naw, didn’t think so. But will you hold hands and walk around? Have you ever given each other a piggy back ride? Do you hug each other? YUP. So that’s what we do!

Alright, I’m not going to give out alllllll of my secrets in this, cause I want there to be some surprise at our session, but you probably get the gist! Nothing forced. Nothing stiff. I have you guys hold each other, look at each other until you can’t take it anymore and start laughing, pick each other up, run together. These things make you move in ways you already know how. This prevents you not knowing how the heck to act, because you’ve done these things before! You won’t have to worry about what to do with your hands, because it doesn’t matter! You won’t stare directly into my camera. You’ll literally forget I’m there at times.

I’m basically just a third wheel with a camera, while you two have some fun together. I’m there to capture all of the little in between moments. The looks you guys give each other when the other person doesn’t notice. I’m there to capture the REAL you. When you look back at these photos, I want you to say “WOW, look how happy we are,” not “Oh gosh, look how awkward I look,” and that’s exactly why I have the methods that I do.

DO YOU FEEL BETTER? Cause ya should. I want this post to take away some anxiety you have about photoshoots! If you’ve ever been nervous to book one because you weren’t sure what it would be like, I hope this answered any questions you have. If you have any more, please comment below and I’ll answer! Lastly, if you’ve already booked with me, I hope you aren’t nervous now if you were before, because obviously we’re going to have a great time.

If somehow you aren’t already following me on Instagram, and you haven’t seen photos of what I’ve described above, here are some of my favorite, emotional, joyful photos!

Did this make you want what I described above? Do you want those REAL, candid photos of you and your partner? Then LET’S DO IT!!!


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hayley gaertner

adventurous wedding and elopement photographer based out of colorado.