Photoshoot Session FAQ + Studio Photoshoot Ideas

From the best poses for photography to our complete guide on everything you need to know about your studio visit, we’ve answered all the most important photoshoot planning questions. Are you looking to schedule a family photo session with your local JCPenney Portraits by Lifetouch? Or are you simply searching for the best looks and inspiration for an upcoming photoshoot? Whichever reason, we have you covered. To get started, pick a section below or start reading from the top.

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Photoshoot Session FAQ

Make sure you have all the information you need before your upcoming photo session. Check out this list of frequently asked questions that covers the who, what, when, where, and why of photoshoot sessions.

A pair of brothers pose for the camera during a photo session.

What Is Photoshoot

A photoshoot, or photo session, is a short period of time in which a trained photographer takes photos of an individual, couple, or group of people. These photos can be stylized or minimally altered and used for anything from Christmas cards to yearbook photos. 

How Long Does A Photoshoot Take

A photoshoot’s duration can change depending on what type of service you are looking for. For example, a photo experience at JCPenney Portraits will generally last 15 minutes as the trained photographer guides you through poses and other photo ideas.  Whereas an engagement photoshoot can last between 60 minutes and 1.5 hours on average. Make sure to discuss this with your photographer ahead of time to make sure you’re prepared for the length of the photo session.

Female model posing for a photo shoot.

Different Types Of Photoshoots

There are several types of photography styles you can incorporate in your session. Some of the most common studio photography terms include:

  • Headshots: This is a simple type of photography that works great for professional needs. The goal of a headshot is to capture your appearance in a way that makes you look both approachable and professional. Looking for a photographer to take your headshot? JCPenney Portraits by Lifetouch is the perfect opportunity to have your headshot captured.
  • Portrait Photography: The purpose of portrait photography is to capture the personality of the subject within the camera frame. At JCPenney Portraits, this is accomplished with lighting, backdrops, and guided poses.
  • Portfolio Photography: For performers, portfolio photography is a crucial need for their careers. A good headshot and portfolio photo package ensures that the subject has what they need for future employment.
  • Lifestyle Photography: Lifestyle photography focuses on hobbies or activities that you want to showcase in your photo session. These hobbies are then stylized for your photo session. 
  • Outdoor Photography: As the name suggests, outdoor photography is any photography session completed at least partially outdoors. Not only is this an option for family photos or engagement photography through JCPenney Portraits by Lifetouch, but it’s a fun activity for the whole family.

Portrait of young child standing near chair practicing ballet wearing black tutu dress posing in photo studio.

Preparing: How To Do A Photoshoot

  1. First, find your studio. Search by your postal code to find the JCPenney Studio location closest to you to schedule your photo session easily. 
  2. Next, plan and coordinate outfits. After visiting the JCPenney Portraits by Lifetouch studio preparation guide, spend some time planning you and your family’s attire. For more specific advice, make sure to visit our guide on what to wear for family photos.
  3. Decide on props, additions, or specific poses you’d like to include. For example, if you’re a high school senior getting ready for your senior portrait, consider including sports gear for a more casual lifestyle photo session. 
  4. Be on time or early. Nothing makes a photo session more stressful than being pressed for time.
  5. Review photos and order prints. Once your session is over, make sure to review the final images and pick your favorites for displaying at home in frames or on canvas prints.

Studio Photoshoot Ideas

Once you have your photo session scheduled, it’s essential to find the right photo inspiration to help you get ready. Follow the advice below or visit our guide on portrait photography to get started planning.

Photo of a beautiful young woman sitting on a chair during a photoshoot.

Finding the Right Photoshoot Inspiration

Inspiration for your photo session can come in many shapes and forms. Maybe you’ve seen a post of prop on social media that you’d love to include in your photo session. Perhaps you have a unique theme in mind. Or maybe you’re still looking for inspiration. If that’s the case, check out our ideas below:

Outside Photoshoot

Are you taking your photo session to the outdoors? If so, consider incorporating a few of the following concepts:

  1. Nearby Park: Parks make a perfect environment for photoshoots because they provide visually appealing backgrounds. Plus, you’ll be comfortable in a familiar setting, which helps your poses and smile come out naturally.
  2. Local Forest: Is there a local forest or woodscape that you love? If so, consider making it the setting for your upcoming photo session. This is especially fitting for fall and winter portraits.
  3. Landmarks: Is there a local landmark that holds significance for you? If so, consider adding it to your photo session.
  4. Open Views/Skylines: Beautiful skylines and vistas make for breathtaking photos. If you’re lucky enough to have open views local and available to you, consider taking advantage of it. 
  5. Beach/Lakeside: Photos near lakes, rivers, and breaches are always a favorite of photography. Ask your photographer if they wouldn’t mind taking the outdoor session to your local body of water.

Photographer taking a portrait of a young woman near the popular Venice beach in Los Angeles, California.

Family Photo Sessions

If you’re bringing the whole family for a photo session, here are a few ideas that you might want to include. They’re perfect for anything from family reunions to Christmas card photos. And if you’re still looking for more inspiration, make sure to visit our guide on family photo ideas

  1. Coordinated Outfits: As mentioned above, coordinated outfits can make or break a photoshoot. Consider opting for seasonal colors or colors that match the background of your photo. For more details, check out our guide on the best colors for family photos.
  2. Have fun with Props: If the kids play sports, consider bringing soccer balls or rackets for them to pose with. Or consider using a large empty frame to frame the family within the photo. 
  3. Recreate Old Photos: Do you have an old family photo of the kids with a pet or playing in the yeard? If so, consider recreating it for your new family portrait.
  4. Involve the Family Pet: Bring the family pet to your photo session (if allowed) to make sure all the family members are included in this year’s portrait. This is an especially great idea for outdoor portrait sessions.
  5. Try Unique Angles: Sometimes, merely taking the photo from a new angle can breath new life into your portrait. Talk to your photographer during your JCPenney Portraits by Lifetouch session about capturing your family’s portrait from the view of your toddler, or from above.

A family poses during a photo session with their newborn.

Single Photoshoot Ideas

Whether you’re looking for ideas for your senior photo or simply looking for the right poses for a professional headshot, these inspirational ideas are just for you:

  1. Interesting Buildings or Walls: A common trend for senior photos and contemporary portraits is to photograph individuals against visually pleasing outdoor murals, walls, and buildings. 
  2. Staircases: Staircases can help you create the perfect portrait by creating visual angles and hierarchy– talk to your photographer about incorporating stairs into your session.  
  3. Angle Your Body: Angling your body to create definition, contrast, and depth helps showcase all your best features without creating flat or unflattering images. 
  4. Dress for Comfort and Confidence: Make sure that your chosen attire for the photo session is something that you both feel confident and comfortable in. This means something that you don’t need to adjust constantly, that also isn’t overly casual.
  5. Strike Up a Conversation: Try to have fun with your photo session! Making conversation with your photographer can help make the final results seem more genuine and your smile more natural.

A young child balances during a photo session.

Resources Related to Photo Sessions

If you liked this resource on photoshoot inspiration and you’re looking to book your photo session, make sure to visit JCPenney Portraits by Lifetouch.