May 7, 2019

7 ways to make your shoot unique to YOU

Making your photos special to you is super important to me. No one story is exactly the same, so I don’t want to treat every shoot exactly like the last. Couples & families are always asking me what are some fun ways to make their session uniquely their own (without cheesy props…). So, I decided to put together a little list of ideas & thought-starters for you. These can be applied a couple or a lifestyle shoot.

*note : some of these photos were sourced from the interwebs. i will note if that’s the case.


1. Incorporate your passions

Do you love being on the water together? Let’s shoot on a boat or a paddle board or even IN the water. Maybe going to the fair is your thing. You love eating all the food & riding all the rides. We could time it out and hit up a local fair or better yet, the state fair (if you don’t mind PDA..). 😉 Other passions could include but aren’t limited to : baking cookies (or any sort of cooking), riding bike, sports, skateboarding, music (bring your guitar!), ice skating, etc.

*both photos below are mine


2. Share your favorite food

Maybe your first date was at Taco Bell (hey, ya never know). Or you really freaking love burgers and fries or ice cream. Or PIZZA— cause who doesn’t love pizza. Bring some with and we’ll spend a small part of your shoot having some fun (and filling our bellies with yummy treats).

*both photos below are of my husband & I, taken by Rachabella Photography


3. Share your favorite drinks

Okay this is somewhat of a repeat of the last one, but it deserves its own number. Drinks are a fun way to bring something different to your shoot. Maybe coffee dates are your thing— let’s go to a coffee shop. Or your drink of choice is wine— share a bottle w/ your love. You a beer connoisseur? We could go to brewery. And a crowd favorite- champagne. Pop that bottle, let it spray & toast to all the good things in life.

*photo on left: Michaela Gonzalez Photography, photo on right: Feather and North Photography


4. Bring your PET

Duuuuh. I wasn’t going to create this list without talking about my favorite subject: animals. Bring your dog or your cat or your parrot or your ferret or the family horses. I don’t care. As long as it’s not a snake. Or a tarantula. All other pets welcome. But for real this is a super fun way to add a personal touch to your photos. Pets are a part of the family— bring them for a few photos. *note : the pets will not be in every single photo, so make sure there is some way to “contain” them while we are shooting without them. Some people bring a “pet handler” (dream job), others are ok with leashing them & tying them to a nearby tree (we won’t go far from the tree… promise it’s not torture!!).

*both photos below are mine


5. Shoot in your home

If you’ve read any of my posts or follow me on Insta, you are well-aware by now that I LOVE in-home shoots. Obviously your home is special to you— you live there every day and have a lot of memories in that space. I won’t bore you with all the reasons I love these types of shoots, if you want to know more- just ask!

*all photos below are mine


6. Shoot in a meaningful place

Besides your home. 🙂 I’m all about bringing anything into your shoot that holds meaning for you. Whether that be something physical or a location. This could include the place you got engaged or had your first date. Maybe the family cabin holds a special place in your heart. Maybe you love going to amusement parks together. The list goes on, but you get the idea.

*photo on top: Nirav Patel, photo on bottom: Ken Pak


7. Bring a meaningful item

This does not mean that giant letter for your initials you saw a couple holding in a photo on Pinterest. 😉 Here are a few examples of “meaningful items”: that old car you used to drive that your dad still has, a beautiful blanket your grandma made for you, t-shirts from the first concert you went to together, a dried-up bouquet your S.O. gave to you for your birthday a few years ago, etc.

*photo on left: Sam Landreth, photo on right: Tricia Victoria


Welp, there ya have it. 7 ways to make your shoot more unique & meaningful to YOU. Hope that sparked some fun thoughts in your brain.




  1. […] If you want more session tips- check out this post about how to make your shoot unique to you. […]

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I am a Minneapolis, Minnesota wedding, family & portrait photographer, kindness spreader and storyteller for laid-back, free-spirited souls who are looking for an adventure— no matter how big or small. Browse my site to learn more. I can’t wait to meet you!