Tips to help you look and feel your very best for your portraits
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. A professional hair stylist is available to style your hair for a fee of $50. If you’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. A professional make up artist is available for your session upon request.
Visine is your friend. Not getting drunk the night before your shoot helps, too. I typically sharpen and brighten up the eyes a bit in Photoshop and reduce the appearance of redness or unwanted veins
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 lips look their best.
Teeth and Skin
If you want to brighten your smile, start your treatments about two weeks before your shoot. Breakouts – Despite the obvious benefits of a healthy diet and good facial cleansing routine, sometimes a pimple will rear it's ugly head on the day of a session. Don't stress about acne. I will erase any blemishes that you request, all while leaving your skin looking natural. Equally important, don’t cake on a lot of make-up to try to hide blemishes – it’s almost always easier to Photoshop away pimples than to clean up overdone make-up. Please let me know in advance if there is any scarring or birth marks that you would like touched up or left natural.
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, or your face may look orange compared to the rest of your body. A professional make up artist is available for your session upon request.
Men, be freshly shaved with a new razor, shaving cream and a moisturizing after-shave lotion to avoid bumps and redness. Trim up your beard, sideburns, moustache 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. It only takes a few minutes to tweeze but hours of photo editing for multiple images. Help me out here folks.
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. ProTip: For dry skin on your face, especially around your nose, use a sugar scrub. Mix a cup of sugar with about a quarter cup of olive oil, or just until it looks like wet sand. Scrub your face with it anywhere you have flaky skin, wash it off, then wash with soap to remove the oil. The sugar paste shouldn’t be oily, just wet enough to moisten the sugar. Also, be sure on your face to use a facial moisturizer, not a thick body moisturizer, or you could break out.
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. 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. Men you are not off the hook on this one. Clean those digits up!
Try to 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. And drink lot's of water to stay hydrated. Chilled ice water, bubbly water and a fresh fruit platter is provided at every session to help keep you looking your best and to keep any tummies from growling.
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. Ughhhh I hate to even have to go there, but panty lines must be addressed. Not that I take a ton of booty shots, butt... if that is an image that you are requesting, please wear the appropriate under garments so I don't have to photoshop out panty lines. Trust me I will charge you more for this LOL.
Sun burns and tan lines
If your shoot is booked for Saturday, don’t go to the beach on Friday. 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. I don't fix these issues in Photoshop simply because it would cost you a fortune, as it is quite time consuming to do. And for Pete's sake DO NOT get a spray tan the day before or the day of your session! Oommpah Loompah orange doesn't look good on anyone.
Ironing – If you iron, 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. A changing room is provided for you at the studio.
No dirty sneakers or flip flops for anyone. Toes are gross and never look good in images. Unless of course you are a sweet little newborn or a child. Please wear a pair of shoes to the studio location that you can take off as you arrive. Once you are in the studio you can put on a clean pair of your shoes that you will be wearing for your session. This helps to alleviate any mud or dirt from getting onto the set and onto the floor props.
If people wouldn’t recognize you without glasses, you want to wear glasses in your shoot – however, the glare on glasses can detract from your eyes in photos. You can have your lenses removed from your frames for your shoot (don’t worry, it’s what Hollywood does to avoid glare in movies), ask your eye doctor to loan you a pair of similar frames, or you can also visit an inexpensive company online and buy a suitable pair of duplicate frames on the cheap.
So there you have it folks. Everything you need to know and do before a session. I take great pride in my profession and a lot of work goes into making sure that everything is set up, and ready to go on the day of your session. It is a team effort that requires both you and I to do our part. I can't wait to create some fabulous and fun portraits with you. So just remember to come with a great attitude, relax, and have fun. You are going to look AMAZING!!!