Showing up to a photoshoot without preparation doesn't mean it's the end of the world.... But if you do prepare, the chances of making your shoot a memorable experience will increase and help your photographer out very, very much.
I've compiled several things you can do to prepare for your photo session and make it even better.
1. Pick Out Your Clothes Early
Whether it's me your working with or another photographer, get suggestions on what to wear for your portraits. Some shoots have themes or specific lighting schemes in mind, and clothing can make a huge difference in elevating the images’ overall look. It's also good to note that each photographer has a certain style. Your clothing will help enhance the style of your photographer's edits. Once you know what you should wear, make sure to assemble your wardrobe a day or two before your session. Get items laundered, ironed, and anything else needed so that you’re not rushing at the last minute. Another helpful tip is to figure out how you’ll change at your location. Do your research and look up the area of your shoot.
2. Practice Hair & Makeup
If you’re getting your hair and makeup professionally done for your shoot, it’s worth doing a test run of both. Make sure both come out how you want; this way, you’re not worried about how your hair or face will look on the day of your photoshoot.
3. Gather Your Props
If you are doing senior portraits and are utilizing props, make sure to assemble them a few days before the shoot. If you're prop is dirty, you want to make sure it's clean. You don't want to bring a dirty baseball bat to your shoot. In some cases, your photographer will want to capture "the dirty" so it's good to check with your photographer before hand. On the day of your shoot, you don’t want to be late for your session because you couldn’t find your baseball glove for your senior portraits. Most photographers will start on time and arriving late means less time on the shoot and no time given back.
4. Eat, Drink, And Rest
Keep your body happy. This advice goes for life in general, but it’s essential for your portraits. Make sure to eat something, drink plenty of water, and get a good night’s sleep before your session. Your body will thank you! Photo sessions are a blast but can be exhausting, so you’ll want to feel comfortable and happy! Contrary to common belief, drinking water has limited benefits for your skin to make it look better.
5. Bring The Necessities
There’s no point in being miserable during your photo session. I highly recommend bringing some creature comforts to keep your mind and body happy during your shoot. If snacks are a way of keeping your cool, I just ask you bring me some too! lol
6. Shave The Night Before
If you're hairy and you know it, clap your hands *clap. clap *
This isn't just for guys... This tip mostly applies to facial hair, if you’ll be getting detailed shots of your legs, or if you're a lady who wants to wear a dress or short shorts. Shaving the night before your photoshoot will reduce any redness that may come from irritated skin.
7. Get On The Same Page As Your Photographer
To have a successful photoshoot, it’s a great idea to share photo concepts with your photographer, so you are going for the same result. It's also important that you know the style of your photographer. It's okay if one does not have your particular style... each Photographer is an independent artist and creative. Not one will ever be the same from each other. Look through their website and Instagram to get a fell for what you'd like and share those ideas with him/ her.
8. Pre-Plan Locations
It’s a lovely idea that you’ll show up, and awesome things will happen. But photoshoots take planning (as we’re learning here). Simply put, location matters. It helps bring context to your portraits. Studio or on location? A park or the mountains? Where’s the best park in Maryland for pictures with graffiti? Maybe they're in DC! If you leave it up to the Photographer, be flexible and have an open mind.
9. Have A Back-Up Plan
Weather is unpredictable, and rain can ruin a shoot. To prepare for your photo session, check the weather the night before. If it looks bleak, contact your photographer and plan out what they will do in case of inclement weather.
10. Know What Happens After The Shoot
You’re going to be exhausted but excited after your photo session. If all went well, the first question after the shoot would be, “When will I see my images?” Please talk with your photographer and learn their process. For me, you can find a lot of these after shoot questions on my FAQ page.
Make sure you know what to expect before the shoot, so you’re not surprised later.
Now that you know how to prepare, I'll see you at the shoot!