How to Prepare for Your Portrait Session

We never want you to be unprepared for a portrait photography session with Barber Photography – we sit down with you before your session to help you plan your session. Here are some tips that we give our clients to prepare.


Whether it is an urban, downtown Des Moines on-location session or in the shade at a park, it is good to have an idea of the type of location for your pictures. Some photography location ideas are:

  • Your home – yes, we can create beautiful portraits right in your own home by using natural lighting.
  • Your favorite park – do you have a special park that you like to take your family to? We can make that part of your photography experience.
  • Urban city portraits – Downtown Des Moines has some great locations like the East Village, Court Avenue, and many other hidden photography treasures.

We like to taylor your experience to describe you and we try to avoid the “photography hotspots” where you’ll often see other photographers flock.

What to Wear

We suggest keeping your outfits for family pictures simple so that we can keep the focus on you. Simple patterns and colors help keep distracting elements from taking over your photos. We avoid all black or all white shirts because they become a large, blank area of the image which can be distracting.

What about Weather?

Photographing on-location in Iowa can sometimes be an adventure with weather. We like to plan for the best, but prepare for the worst with weather. We’ll always make alternate plans in case the weather doesn’t cooperate and, of course, we always keep in contact with you in case we need to make changes. Just because the weather turns bad doesn’t necessarily mean that we need to cancel – some of our favorite photographs have been captured before or after unfavorable weather.

What Time of Day

We always try to avoid direct, overhead sunlight. The best conditions will depend on the location you choose and we always adapt our schedule around the best lighting for each location. As a general rule of thumb, we will aim for 1-2 hours before sunset or in the morning before the sun is directly overhead.