How To Prepare For A Photo Shoot

January 16, 2018

 

There are many websites indicating what the rules are to be throughly prepared for a photo shoot. I have written down what I recall from my own experience and also search the web for other helpful tips.

However, these tips are very generic; in case there is an unusual photo shoot, some of the tips cannot be applied, and more specific ones should be followed. In that case, please contact me to discuss all the options.

 

Tip # 1: Water, water, water...

This is the #1 tip you will hear from every professional photographer out there. If you cut out soda and drinks and alcohol and strictly drink water only for two weeks, you will see a huge improvement of your skin complexion. Of course, in case there are any imperfections, they can be fixed in the post editing process. That itself can take up a lot of time and also can take way too much $ out of your pocket. Water is simply cheaper. 

 

Tip # 2: Eat!

Be sure to eat something before you leave for your session so you're not hungry during the shoot.  You will look better, be more focused, and have the energy throughout the shoot. Believe me, no one is interested in calling 911 for a fainted person due to starvation. If you are worried about a bloated belly, just don't eat anything heavy, and now I mean "thanksgiving" kind of heavy.

 

This is especially important for children. A great idea would be to bring some snacks, but please stay away from chocolate or colored stuff. You wouldn't want to color the lips, tongue, and teeth which is also pretty time consuming if editing such things are necessary.

 

Tip # 3: Make Up

You want to achieve a natural even skin tone, and be sure to cover blemishes.  For all, be sure eyebrows are groomed, teeth are clean, and lips are not dry.  It is crucial to bring a lip balm, or any other lip treatment. Dealing with chapped lips is hard in a real life as well as when editing photographs. 

 

Tip # 3: Hair

If you plan on getting a hair cut, please do so at least one week prior to the photo shoot (unless you feel and look your best right after the salon appointment). Sometimes haircuts are unpredictable. You might get a new stylist and end up unhappy. All that can ruin the shoot. If you get a new hair cut at least one week prior to the shoot, and end up unhappy, there is still time to do something about that.

 

Tip # 4: Men's Facial Hair

For men, all facial hair should be groomed. If you wish to have a few 'rough' shots and then shave to include a few shots with a smoother look, please bring your shaving kit and mention this to the me while scheduling the shoot.

 

Tip # 5: Hands and feet

Please make sure your hands and feet are clean, your nails too. As for nail polish, I recommend to use natural colors, because if your nails are bright red (or blue... or whatever), it might take all the focus from the photo to your nails only. I have taken pictures of a lady who insisted on having a mani pedi done prior to the photo shoot and picked a really bright yellow color for her otherwise beautiful nails. Not only it was a waste of my clicks on the camera, but even she agreed after seeing the final product, that we need to re-shoot. Stick to the natural color, you will not be sorry. 

 

Tip # 6: Tanning

Oh my... There is so much to be said on this topic, so I will stick to the basics.

First-timers: please avoid it. You can end up sunburn. I assume you don't want to look like a lobster and I assume you would like to avoid higher charges for post editing process. Also, it can get very painful, which could reflect in your facial expressions. 

If you tan on regular bases, make sure you know what will you wear on the day of the photo shoot. That way you can decide what kind of bathing suit will you wear when sun bathing. Having white "straps" around your neck is not something you would like to see in your photos.

 

Tip # 7: Outfits

Depends on the nature of the photo shoot. For now I do only outdoor sessions, so this tip goes to my customers, who wish to be outside, wherever it might be.

Keep in mind, that weather in Colorado changes pretty much every minute, therefore it is essential to bring a coat along with everything else. I recommend a duffle bag with multiple outfits (2-3) and I strongly suggest to bring something what my customers normally leave in the closet for some special occasions. Of course you can be photographed in your most beloved and most comfortable outfit, which I actually suggest to wear in the beginning of the photo shoot. It makes my clients feel better and that reflects in my images a lot. 

When it is time to switch outfits and slip into something less comfortable, my customers start to glow and smile more. 

Even if you are a woman who has a long fluffy evening gown you have not worn for years, please bring it! I might suggest to keep it in the duffle bag, but you never know! 

 

SHOES are very important part of your outfit. Please make sure you wear appropriate kind of footwear. It just does not look good if a client wears a great suit with old pair of tennis shoes (with big neon green Nike logo on them). Yuck!

 

SHIRTS with prints. Let me just say this: leave them at home. A T-shirt with your company logo on it or showing off an inappropriate printed images of someone's middle finger or even very inappropriate quotes... If my customer shows up in a shirt like that, I either send him to a store to buy a new one right away or send him/her home. 

If you want to save money and be respectful to my time, just leave those shirts at home.

 

ACCESSORIES are very essential. Hats, jewelry, scarves... Anything what is dear to you. If it does not fit, I will tell you. 

 

And that's it. Seems a lot to remember, but in reality, it is all just common sense. And should you have any questions or suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact me, I am all about communication! 

 

Thank you for reading!

Kate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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© Photographer Kate Martin, Denver Colorado, USA. All images subject to copyright.

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