Preparing for your session
A short list of important things to prepare, think about and/or do before you come for your session.
Need some help with outfits or Posing? Check out my pin-boards on Pinterest for some great visual ideas!
General Clothing – Stick to fitted clothing. Baggy clothing tend to make people look larger in photos
Hair – Ladies If you’re going to be rocking a new hairstyle for your shoot, do so about a couple of days before so you get used to your new style. For men, a fresh cut a day before the shoot is fine.
Make-up – A subtle application of make-up can really soften your skin and accent your facial features. But make sure you know what you’re doing and make sure it matches your skin tone. If you are not savvy with the make up brush I can point you to some amazing make-up artist in the area.
Teeth – If you want to brighten your smile, start your treatments about two weeks before your shoot.
Shoes – Ladies, you can never go wrong with wearing heels or wedges but make sure you bring a backup pair of comfortable shoes because we will probably be doing a lot of walking. Men, Dress shoes are best.
Nails – A fresh coat of nail polish will make a world of difference in your photo shoot. Touch up your nails before the shoot because they will probably be making an appearance
Wrinkles – Iron the night before and then hang the clothes for your shoot. If you’re wearing something that wrinkles easily, don’t wear it in the car on the way to the shoot. Change on location.
Props – Please bring along any props that you would think would enhance the session. Look for items that will help make your images unique. I.e. books, heirlooms, blankets, “Thank You” or “Save the Date” signs, Champagne, confetti, old family photos etc
Moisturizer – Dry skin can really detract from a great photo shoot. 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.
*Pro Tip- Coconut Oil cures all LOL
Bloating – Ladies, avoid high salt and high fat foods for two to three days in advance of your shoot. Being bloated will sap your confidence and comfort in front of the camera.
Undergarments – 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.
Beauty-rest –Make sure that you get enough rest the few nights preceding the photoshoot so you can relax and enjoy your photoshoot experience
Solid colors look great in portraits.
If you go with a pattern, keep it simple.
Look for combinations where you can add and/or remove layers.
Make sure that all clothes are ironed and pressed before the shoot.
Bring a lint brush or roller with you
Make sure you are comfortable in all the clothing you bring.
Unless a company is sponsoring you or this is an organizational shoot I would suggest staying away from logos that will take the focus away from you.
Even though white tends to be a popular choice it's not the most flattering color for lighter skin tones because white tends to wash out your face.
I encourage outfit changes. You’re welcome to bring extra clothing for mixing and matching outfits. So get creative!
Moisturize that belly!
Gather your props to bring along – ultrasound printout, alphabet blocks that spell your baby’s name, baby shoes, stuffed animals, flowers, whatever you’ve seen in other maternity photos that you like.
Wear whatever you feel comfortable and pretty in – long, flowy skirts, especially solids are nice, and strapless bras that coordinate with them. Tube dresses are great for showing off your shape. Bring a pair of regular jeans, not the belly panel ones. A button-up shirt also makes it easy to transition into showing your belly.
If you’re doing semi-nude/implied nude photos, bras and underwear will create noticeable lines on your skin, so wear loose-fitting clothing to the shoot. You can add undergarments as necessary for photos later in the shoot.
Do bring your significant other! They’ll make a great prop for your photos, and greatly expand on the number of different photos you can make during your shoot. They should bring outfits that coordinate with what you’ll be wearing, or a dark long-sleeved shirt or sweater and dark pants. The focus should always be on you, your expressions, your emotions, your personality, your joy and your connection.
Clean – Clean nails, clean hair, wipe away eye boogers, clean feet, wipe snotty noses, fresh-scrub teeth. The cleaner the kid, the better their photos will turn out.
If your child is still of napping age, make sure they nap before the shoot.
It is perfectly okay to bring bribes to a photo shoot. Some cereal, smarties or other candy that won’t stain teeth can help a short photo shoot go by smoothly.
Avoid colorful drinks or lollypops within 24 hours of your shoot, don’t let them eat or drink anything that will stain their face, teeth or mouths.
Girls – You can’t go wrong with cute dresses, rompers, and dainty hats or headbands.
Boys – Jeans and polos or a button-up shirt, or a T-shirt with a button-up over it can be very cute, as well as overalls on the right age and personality.
Siblings – The children don’t have to match perfectly, just coordinate. You can’t go wrong with dark, rich monotones, which drive the attention in photos to sweet faces and darling expressions instead of loud prints or colors.
All in all Dress your child in something that allows their personality to shine.
Think coordinating or complimentary colors (i.e. jewel tones, brown tones, varying shades of the same color, etc)
Make sure you all have the same style and feel with your outfits (Dressy vs. Casual) but avoid dressing everyone matching clothing
Have a fresh shave or trim
Make sure nails are clean and trimmed.
Wash your hands.
Clean up your shoes.
Moisturize and scrub away flaky facial skin (see above General advice).
When you wash your face, pay attention to the eye area for any crust that could be left behind.
For wardrobe, go for jeans or pants, tucked polo or dress shirt with a belt, or go casual with just a T-shirt or untucked polo, button-up short sleeve, etc. In general, whatever your wife tells you to wear. Again you don’t have to perfectly match the rest of the family, just wear something that coordinates.
Women know what to wear, but in general, you may want to wear something that covers your upper-arms. Long- or 3/4-sleeve tops are very flattering.
If you wear jewelry, aim for subtlety, and be aware of it twisting or turning.
Same advice as above, but again, everything needn’t match simply coordinate with the parents’ outfits.
Bring a variety of outfits – cap and gown, something casual, something stylish. Wear what you think you look best in, but take the opportunity to also try a new look, just to surprise your friends and family.
Bring props that recall your college years – band instrument, sports gear, books, sorority/fraternity sweatshirt, sunglasses etc.
Most of all, rep your style, whatever that may be. Your graduation photos should be unique to your life and personality.
See the General and Families section for suggestions.