This Friday I thought I would start with a very practical and cheap tip. Always carry a clear shower curtain with you! I know that that sounds extremely unusual, but I am serious. I literally have a clear shower curtain in my car right now just in case I need it. I never take the shower curtain out of my car because it can be used for any type of shoot!
For family portrait sessions a shower curtain is best used underneath a prop such as a blanket. Sometimes clients really want a few sitting poses on a blanket but the grass is too wet to lay out a blanket. Here is where you can provide an amazing client experience and save the day! Lay out the clear shower curtain on the ground first and then the blanket. The shower curtain will block the blanket from absorbing any of the water or dew off the grass, keeping the blanket and your clients dry.
If you are planning a stylized shoot or working with a dress shop a shower curtain is a must! If you are shooting a vendor-owned dress outside, you want to lay out the clear shower curtain out on the ground and then have your model stand on one edge of it with the length of the shower curtain behind her. The shower curtain is to protect the bottom and train of the dress from actually touching the ground. You will have to move the shower curtain every time you want to move your model but you will protect the dress. And it is worth it to your vendor that you are willing to go the extra mile to protect their gowns.
(These two are models and are wearing vendor-owned clothing.Every time we moved her, we had to move the shower curtain first to protect the dress. The manager of the shop loved that I took so much care of that dress that we were able to work again on another stylized shoot!)
And I use my shower curtain the most at weddings and bridal portrait sessions. Most brides do not want to get their dress dirty in any way before they walk down the aisle and a clear shower curtain is perfect to tuck under the train of the dress to protect it during portraits (especially if it recently rained). The shower curtain will also keep your bride’s shoes from sinking into the ground, keeping their wedding shoes perfect! If I take any sitting portraits during my sessions, I always offer it to my brides to sit on. Most wedding dress have really fine details or lace and the last thing you want is to have your bride’s dress to snag on something when they sit down.
For Amanda’s bridal portrait session I just folded up the shower curtain for her to sit on (as seen in the pictures) so her dress would not touch the bench.
And one final tip! If it is a wedding day and it recently rained or you know it might rain, throw a roll of paper towels in the trunk of your car. Your bride and her bridesmaids high-heel shoes will more than likely sink into the soft ground during group portraits. And if the guys are wearing tuxedo shoes, they will more than likely be wet and covered in grass. Offer the entire roll of paper towels to the wedding party so they can clean off their shoes before the reception.
Offering an amazing client experience doesn’t have to be expensive or over the top . It just needs to be thoughtful and come from the heart!
I hope this little tip helps you rock out your next photo session!