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How To Prepare For A Photoshoot Session

Learn how to prepare for your photoshop and obtain the best results from your photos

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LJS Studios

If you’ve finally decided to invest in a photoshoot session, we will give you tips on how to prepare for a photoshoot session with our professional photographers at LJS STUDIOS. It’s useful you know where to start preparing, and what you should prepare to get the best out of your photoshoot session. This is some sort of a cheat sheet prepared by LJS STUDIOS for its future clients. You may feel nervous if it’s your first time which is normal, so it’s advisable to take along a friend or family member to help ease that feeling. The week before your shoot is the best time for planning. You could plan sooner if you’ve booked ahead with LJS STUDIOS. It’ll be the time to decide on your outfits, what poses you might want to do, whether you want to show up bare-faced or have make-up on, and so on.

Be mindful that the photographers at LJS STUDIOS will be there to help and support you through your session. They will be there for you to ask questions, decide on poses, and queries about your next steps among several other things.

These tips are here to help you think of ideas for preparing for your photo shoot sessions at LJS STUDIOS. They aren’t required, or necessary for everyone. Just choose what fits in with your lifestyle, budget, and current beauty regime.

We photographers at LJS Studios could use a cheat sheet for our preparations as well – but I’ll elaborate on this in a later article.

GENERAL ADVICE

About Your Hair

If you’re getting a haircut 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.

About Your Hair accessories

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.

About Your Glasses 

If folks 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).

About Red eyes

Not getting drunk the night before your photoshoot sessions help, too. [Don’t think I kid, I’ve shot plenty of hung-over clients, drunk the eve of their photoshoot session n turn up with red eyes.]

About Your Lips

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

About Your Teeth

Make sure to start your treatments about two weeks before your photoshoot, if you want to brighten your smile.

About Your Make-up

A delicate application of make-up can soften your skin and accentuate 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.

About your Facial hair

Men, be freshly shaved with a new razor, shaving cream, and a moisturizing after-shave lotion to avoid bumps and redness. Trim up your board, 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 waxing in advance of your photoshoot – even barely-there light facial hair will be noticeable in your photos. Men and women both, pluck and clean up those eyebrows.

About Your Nails

A fresh coat of nail polish will make a whole difference in your photoshoot sessions. 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.

About your 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.

About Sun burns and tan lines

If your photoshoot sessions at LJS STUDIOS are booked for any day, don’t go to the beach on the eve. 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.

About 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 – just change at the location.

About your Shoes

Ladies, can’t go wrong in heels or wedges. Men, clean your shoes up! Dress shoes are best [or boots down here in Texas], but as with most things, let your momma or your wife decide.

 

HERE ARE SOME SUGGESTIONS FOR CERTAIN TYPES OF PHOTOSHOOT SESSIONS AT LJS STUDIOS

 

Prep for Maternity photoshoot

  • Make sure to moisturize that belly!
  • Gather your props to bring along. They may include but are not limited to – ultrasound printouts, alphabet blocks that spell your baby’s name, baby shoes, stuffed animals, flowers, whatever you’ve seen in other maternity photos that you like.
  • For the shoot 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 but 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.
  • It’s best to bring your significant other! They’ll make a great prop for your photos, and will 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.

Preps for Newborns and Baby photoshoot

  • Use a washcloth to clean away flaky skin and eye boogers.
  • Trim those tiny fingernails and toenails with appropriate baby trimmers.
  • Book your shoot around your baby’s feeding and nap times, work with the natural rhythm of your baby. The perfect time to shoot is right when the baby would be laying down for a nap. If your baby normally falls asleep after a feeding, wait to feed the baby until you’re at the shoot. Baby photographers at the studio allot plenty of time for this sort of thing to set up the best situation for great photos.
  • Nothing is the best wardrobe for a newborn – no outfit fits a newborn well, and they often look swallowed in clothes. Accessories on the other hand are good, though – little hats, dainty headbands, boys in crocheted hats, etc. Bring sentimental items like the quilt that Grandma made for the baby, a baby blanket from your childhood – they’re great for the youngster to lay on.
  • If your baby takes a pacifier, bring it – if they’re bottle fed, bring an extra bottle to help put the baby to sleep.
 

Preps for Children’s photoshoot sessions

  • Clean, clean, clean – clean nails, clean hair, wipe away eye boogers, clean feet (sandals on kids = black feet!), wipe snotty noses, fresh-scrub teeth. The cleaner the kid, the better their photos will turn out.
  • If your child is still in diapers or pull-ups, tuck’em in or wear bloomers.
  • 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 – given a stage and being the center of attention, it’s like our kids know exactly when to act their worst. Some cereal 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.
  • Wardrobe – For girls, you can’t go wrong with cute dresses and dainty hats or headbands. For 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 of the right age and personality.
  • For 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. If nothing else, pick a color that compliments your child’s eye color.

We photographers at LJS Studios could use a cheat sheet for our preparations as well – but I’ll elaborate on this in a later article.

 

Preps for Family photoshoot sessions

  • For the Dads – Always have a fresh shave or trim, and use a new razor with shaving cream and a moisturizing after-shave lotion to limit after-shave bumps and redness. Make sure your nails are clean and trimmed. Wash your hands. Clean up your shoes.  When you wash your face, pay attention to eye boogers and sleep crusty. 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.
  • For the Moms – Women know what to wear, but in general, unless you are extremely thin 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.
  • For the Kids – Same advice as above, but again, everything need not match, simply coordinate with the parents’ outfits. If Dad’s in a T-shirt, don’t put the kids in dress shirts – make it make sense.

The Day of the Shoot Checklist

–    Bare face
–    Clean, dry hair
–    Comfortable outfit
–    5-6 fitted outfits
–    Pretty nails
–    Clean wedding ring
–    Touched up brows

As they say, a stitch in time saves nine. Just as we educate our clients about copyright during our sales session, we can also empower our clients by educating them on how best to prepare for their photoshoot with us at LJS STUDIOS.

Again, for other professional photographers, there is no hard and fast set of advice you should share with clients. Use this Client Prep Cheat Sheet as a foundation for your own, and sculpt it to address the issues you run into most often on shoots with your own clients.

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