Rock your session!

Everyone thinks the need to be a professional model to have amazing photos! I promise you don’t. It’s my mission to get you comfortable and looking great. Most of my couples say they were SO nervous when they first start! By the end, they love their photos!

These sessions are meant to tell a story! You still want to feel like yourself, but turned up a notch! Put your personal style into what you wear. Feel comfortable in what you wear! Don’t be too matchy! Unless you really want to. 

Steam your clothes ahead of time! Even leaving them in the bathroom with a hot shower works wonders.

Have fun with any new pieces or props! If you end up not liking it, we have so many other photos. Add a belt, throw on a hat, throw on some rings and bracelets, style it up! If you’re really in a rut, I have stylist friends that would be more than happy to help!

Sometimes people want to know what color will work best in photos. I don't want to tell you what I think will look best on you because really only you know. I will say that personally, neutral & solid colors work best and are more timeless. (black, tan, white, grey) with pops of color or personality in your accessories or makeup (belt, jewelry, shoes, lipstick color, etc). Patterns are fun for those confident enough to rock them! You’re more than welcome to bring props! Blankets are always my favorite!

Bring two outfits! That way we can have some fun with locations. Anything you are comfortable in is great! And extra shoes to hike in are great if our locations require a hike or long walking.

Are you still lost? Here is a pinterest board if you are REALLY LOST!! Long flowy dresses are my favorite.

Feel free to send me yours! 

Before Your Session

Let's Get started!

Looking good and feeling good come from your hair and makeup too! Ladies, this is the perfect time to test that Hair & Makeup Artist you booked for your wedding! They do it all the time. This should also reflect your outfit and personality. Make sure you are comfortable in your own skin!, and make sure you look like you! 

The vibe is everything we are planning put into one melting pot of awesome! Your wardrobe, the location, the time of day, and the creative direction. All of this will set the final vibe of your session. So what do you want your session to feel like? Fun? Carefree? Edgy? Moody? Relaxed? Playful? 

Look & Feel

You want to explore rooftops in Charlotte? LET DO IT! You want to go hike in Asheville? YES!! Are you more of a beach person? HELL YEAH!! I am up for any adventure you have in mind. Think about what scene makes sense for YOUR relationship! I am even down for an in home session! My sessions come with up to 2 hours of travel, 2 locations, and 2 outfit changes. I block off 90 minutes during my day, but some couples only need an hour!

Location Selection

Clouds make for amazing light but physical rain is not so awesome. In a case of bad weather on the day of your session, your session may have to be rescheduled if there’s no good indoor alternative available. By bad weather, I mean it is heavily raining, snowing, sleeting, an earthquake has just taken place, there’s a hurricane, mudslide or tornado warnings nearby, etc. less than 30 minutes before your session making it unsafe to both drive or shoot.

In North Carolina, our weather is all over the place! I don’t look at the weather till 3 days before honestly. Saves me from having a heart attack! 


So you want the most out of your session as far as time goes, right? Of course you do! So it should be no surprise that it is highly suggested that you arrive on time, if you can. I totally understand life happens! I’ll admit, I am mostly the late one. I try and get to our first location 15 minutes ahead! Plus we have plenty of time! Once you are more than 30 minutes late, that time is taken away from your session!

Pack your bag the night before if you are bringing outfit/shoe changes, props, etc.

Booking a hair/makeup artist? Their estimated time frame is NEVER, EVER correct. Schedule your appointment minimum 3 hours prior to your shoot. Trust me.

Consult with WAZE (or your map app of choice) at least an hour prior to your session to see what time you need to realistically hit the road.

Give yourself an extra 15 minutes to find parking and walk to our meetup spot. It takes longer than you think…

For 9-5ers, don't assume the 'day of' that your boss is going to let you leave early from work. Clear it in advance.

Time Management

Number one question I get when we start shooting. Relax! There's nothing to be nervous about. It takes about 20 minutes for you guys to get comfortable. Our session will be very laid back and I provide lots of direction so that moments are candid but you always have something to do! You've seen my photos right? None of these people have a Directions Modeling Agency contract. You gotta cute outfit? Favorite lipstick? Great! Put your game face on and let’s do this. Your energy can be read through photos. You don't really want to be there? It will show. Don’t want to come out of your shell? Yep that shows too. You don’t have to be a super big extrovert! I will make sure you are comfortable with any direction you need. Remember to show up ready to have fun and your photos will turn out amazing.

Well then...don't be stiff! I am going to sound like an Alcoholic, BUT HAVE 2 DRINKS BEFORE YOUR SESSION!! Seriously, it helps. Most of the energy created during your session will actually be your interaction with one another and sometimes me! Which is why most of our session will be us laughing and joking, talking about dreams and aspirations, and just having a regular conversation like two new friends throughout the session. Laugh, smile, dance, twirl, loosen the f* up and have fun with it. For real though. If you feel like you can’t achieve this on your own, by all means bring a friend if you think that will make you feel more relaxed. If it makes you feel better, I will not have the camera in front of my face for the entire 90 minutes!

Well I don’t like them either. But I have to get that ONE mom and dad photo! They want to see your faces. Another thing, you gotta give me emotion! You can't tell me in your inquiry that you hate "posed" photos and then get to the session and just stand there holding hands and stare at the camera with an awkward fake smile on your face. Loosen up y’all! Send me your favorite artist for me to play on a mini speaker! You don't need to stare at the camera for every single photo. You also don't have to cheese for every photo. You don't have to put on a show. Just be. Be in love. Be present. Be open minded. Be comfortable. When in doubt, JUST KISS!! Forget I'm there, bear hug each other, play with each other, chase each other, whisper secrets in each others ears, act like 2 goofy teenagers in love, grab each others face, for crying out loud, kiss without me having to prompt you to! Wrap each other up, admire each others hands and body parts, there’s no one here but us chickens! Cuddle under a cute blanket, take a walk, grab butts, help me bring life to your photos by bringing your real selves and your real love to your session, I can only help you so much.

Give me feeling.

Give me emotion.

Show me how much you love each other. Please.

This ain't Sears portraits yall! Don’t just stand there! Move around, dance, play, make people jealous, throw your hands in the air if you don’t know what to do with them.

The opposite of looking stiff is MOTION. And the more you interact with each other on your own, the less I have to direct you to do something different.

Okay, for real. Don’t worry! I will HELP if you need it and I see you struggling! But your photos will look way better if you make that Office joke than me.

REMEMBER TO HAVE FUN! Make a date out of it!! Get dinner or have another drink afterwards! Come to your session ready with an adventurous spirit and a refreshed heart. I recommend taking some time on the day of to do something that is stress free and trying your best not to rush! 

During Your Session

Don’t just 'act' like you want to be there, that is like the ultimate buzz kill. Really want to be there and we'll all have fun. You don't expect me to take photos like I'm a robot, so I don't expect you to be robots either.

Also, come with a positive mind and heart. Negative talks about our bodies, our "good sides", "Im too...", "Im not....." "I don’t look like..." "Can you photoshop...." all that is not allowed. You're beautiful and that’s the end of it. Everything's fine. Thanks in advance for loving yourself :)

Oh and to answer the actual question: do whatever the hell you want with your hands. Except put them on your hips. Dont. You. Dare!

And one more thing!

So that you don’t expect the entire session to be all candid’s and what-do-we-do-now’s, you should be prepared for the majority of your photos to be the result of creative direction that will move us from one epic scene to the next. You don’t have to be a full time fashion model to look like one, so don’t worry about practicing in the mirror (but you can if you want to). Candid shots are great and I will take more than you will even realize. There is no real prep for candid, because candid! I take photos of you guys just walking! 

REMEMBER TO LOOK AT EACH OTHER AND NOT ME!! Unless I fall. Then you can look at me and laugh!

Creative Direction & Posing

If we are shooting on location, please leave your "stuff" somewhere else; in the trunk, at home, just...away from the shoot. Stuff like cell phones that you wont need (they make odd shapes in your pocket so do not leave them there), your sunglasses (unless you plan to wear them for photos), your purse (you DO NOT need this, where are you going??), baby bags with the world jammed inside them, pets with no third party pet sitter (seriously they can’t be in every photo)!

If you have booked a session where you plan to change outfits throughout and may need to carry them along the way, please carry them in a bag you don't mind sitting on the ground because I can’t carry my stuff and yours, too heavy, doll! I will carry your phone that you don't need and your car keys in my bag, but that’s it. Because I might walk away with it in my bag!

Your Stuff!

Great question! 6 weeks!

Sneak peeks will be 10 days! Because I love y’all! <3

When you post all your glorious images, please post the correct size so they are not stretched, blurry, grainy, looking all crazy, etc AND please don't put a tacky filter over them as they are already edited.
Also, please tag me!


"How long till we get our photos?!”


Aly Barnett Photography, LLC