Before Your Session – Tips to help things go smoothly

A photography session might make you a little nervous because you don’t always know what to expect, so to help you understand the process of our upcoming session and make things easier, I have put together some tips for you. If you have additional questions or concerns, please contact me.

Don’t have excessive salt, foods high in sodium or alcohol for two to three days in advance of your shoot. It will make you retain water and lead to puffy skin and puffy eyes.

Don’t do anything drastic to your body/skin right before the session. If you must have a haircut, facial, tan, etc., try to do it several days before, so your body has time to recover.

Bring things that make you unique. If you have any kind of interest in vintage accessories, hats, scarves, sunglasses or other props, bring them! All these things will make your images more interesting and fun.

Cell phones are welcome on the photography session but should be removed from pockets, pants or anywhere the shape of it is visible with your clothing.

Remember: there is no wrong pose or outfit. I do recommend classy attire. Just let if flow, and have fun!

Choose an outfit that makes you feel amazing. Being relaxed, comfortable and confident is key!

Don’t over-match. If you have a family session, pick out colors that work together and make sure that everyone in the photo is dressed accordingly, either all casual or all dressed up.

Plan your wardrobe changes. Select clothing that doesn’t have loud colors or busy prints to distract away from your face or clash with the surroundings. If you will be in the photograph with another person or a group, coordinate color schemes. Be yourself and wear clothing that reflects your personality. Make sure you are comfortable, there is nothing worse than the tugging and binding of clothes when you are trying to look relaxed. Check clothing for stains, tears, pulls and especially LINT before you leave the house. All will be checked during the editing phase, but the less I have to fix in post production the more time I have for editing and retouching the rest of you and the photograph itself.

Women make sure that bra straps do not show outside of shirt straps unless it is the “style” you are intending. Bra straps won’t do anything to help your outfit look its best. Be sure you bring a set of bras and strap-adjusting accessories to work with any outfit you want to shoot in to keep those straps well-hidden.

Eyeglasses: If your glasses do not have anti-reflective coating you may want to remove lenses or borrow a pair from your eye doctor with no lenses to avoid glare. If you have Transition Lenses they will get dark if your shoot is outdoors during daylight hours(and sometimes inside too). Please avoid wearing these for outdoor photographs. If possible ask to borrow a pair from your eye doctor.

Red Eyes
Visine is your friend. Not getting drunk the night before your shoot helps, too.

You will probably wipe or lick your lips during your shoot, so bring fresh lip gloss or lipstick to do touch-up. Use lip balm for a few days in advance of your shoot to make your smoochers look their best.

If you want to brighten your smile, start your treatments about two weeks before your shoot.

If you’re getting a hair cut for your shoot, do so about two weeks beforehand, just in case it goes wrong – you just never know. For men, a fresh cut a couple of days before the shoot is fine.

Hair Accessories
If we’re shooting outdoors, be ready to put your hair up and make it look nice in case of a windy day. Bring bobby pins, hair clips, headbands or any other favorite accessories.

Facial Hair
Men, be freshly shaved with a new razor, shaving cream, and a moisturizing after-shave lotion to avoid bumps and redness. Men should be clean shaven unless you normally have a shadow or stubble as a style. Trim up your beard, sideburns, mustache or goatee, especially looking for wiry stray hairs. Ladies, even if you have some light facial hair (particularly around your lip or chin), indulge in a waxing in advance of your shoot – even barely-there light facial hair will be noticeable in your photos. Men and women both, pluck and clean up those eyebrows. Ear hair and nose hair is checked during airbrushing but it would be appreciated if you take care of grooming those areas the day of the shoot yourself.

Make-up should be soft and natural with no harsh lines.  Make sure that any foundation or powder that you wear is blended well into the neck to avoid the masked look. Teeth should be checked for lipstick. Make-up that is very frosty or has glitter should be avoided to reduce excess shine or reflect too much light off the features of your face. Models and Actors can discuss specific looks or special effects that you want to achieve in your photo prior to the session, such as; high fashion design, dramatic looks or theatrical make-up.

Women may want to bring powder or rice paper to blot shine during the session. Men can bring a hanky or cloth to wipe perspiration.

Do not fret about blemishes, dark circles, under eye bags, wrinkles, or scars. I will remove all unwanted blemishes, soften your lines and brighten your eyes and teeth. You will be retouched and airbrushed to look your best. Any special needs should be brought to my attention during the Photography Session. I will take care of all of it! No worries!

Sunburns and Tan Lines
If your shoot is booked for a Monday, don’t go to the beach on Sunday. If you plan to tan before your shoot, do so at least a week beforehand and don’t get burned. Be mindful of clothing tan lines, sunglass tan lines, hat tan lines, etc.

Dry skin can really detract from a great photo shoot. Start moisturizing nightly a week in advance of your shoot. When you get out of the shower, dry off until lightly damp, and slather on moisturizer. Focus on your arms, shoulders, neck, face, hands, anywhere you’ll be exposed to the camera. This includes your legs if you’re shooting in shorts or a skirt. Also, be sure on your face to use a facial moisturizer, not a thick body moisturizer, or you could break out. [Us men, of course, are most in need of this advice, especially around the face and hands.]

A fresh coat of nail polish will make a world of difference in your photo shoot. Pick a neutral color that won’t distract in your shoot or clash with your outfits. Freshen the morning of the shoot, then be careful not to scuff it while prepping. [I see this most often with high school senior girls, to whom half-gone nail polish seems to be a popular fad.] Your photo shoot is a great excuse for a fresh manicure, but if you can’t go to the salon, make sure your nails look tidy and clean, including the cuticles.

If you iron, iron the night before and then hang the clothes for your shoot. If you plan on wearing something in the shoot that wrinkles easily, don’t wear it in the car on the way to the shoot – change at the location.

Ladies, you can’t go wrong in heels or wedges but bring a varied assortment. Men, clean ’em up! Dress shoes are best in the full-length shot but as always bring some options so we can mix it up. If you feel lost, get some input from friends or family. If that doesn’t work bring an assortment. Shoes don’t take up much space.


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