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session guide

If you’ve decided you’re going to invest time and money into a portrait session, you want to be looking and feeling your best. While we’re all familiar with the wonders of Photoshop and retouching, there are some things that can’t really be faked. Here are some tips to help you prepare for your upcoming shoot so you can truly shine.



  • Hydrate. Make sure you hydrate by drinking lots of water in the days leading up to your shoot so your skin has a healthy, dewey glow. When you’re dehydrated, fine lines and pores are more noticeable and your lips and skin can look dry and wrinkled. Try to avoid alcohol the day prior and limit caffeine intake.

  • Get plenty of sleep. An obvious but important tip. Having adequate rest helps you both look and feel your best.

  • Diet: Try to avoid foods that can cause bloat and reduce your intake of sodium. 

  • Moisturize. Moisturize well the evening prior or morning of your shoot (yes, men, this includes you!). A good moisturizer diminishes fine lines and dry, flaky skin. Getting a facial or exfoliating well will help clean your pores and eliminate flaky skin, though plan this a week ahead of time as facials can cause breakouts and redness. 

  • Have sober presence of mind. Nerves get the better of some people, and while it might be tempting to have a drink or two prior to a session I assure you this will have the opposite effect you desire. It makes both of our jobs more challenging, so please refrain from substances prior to or during a session.

  • Makeup tips: Use fresh mascara to avoid clumps and don’t overdo your foundation so that your skin texture doesn’t look fake. Don’t worry about a pimple or light blemishes, those can easily be retouched.

  • Hair. Scheduling a trim the same week as your portrait session will have your hair in great shape. Often times clients will book an appointment with a hair stylist prior to the session to have their hair professionally styled.

  • Bring lip balm or gloss. Hammering home the hydration theme, having a lip balm or gloss on hand during the shoot will keep your lips looking moist.





I recommend planning your outfit at minimum a few days before your shoot. Your clothing choices will vary depending on the type of shoot you are doing (e.g. an artist branding portrait vs. a corporate headshot) but here are some good general considerations:


  • Make sure your clothes are something you feel confident in, something that fits you well and makes you feel good about yourself. Are there certain colors that look good on you?

  • Unless it’s your theme or brand, try to avoid loud or distracting patterns. Stick with solids.

  • Avoid logos on your clothing.

  • When choosing clothing, think about your goals for your session, your audience, and the message you want to convey.

  • If your session allows, bring a few options! I can always help you with your choices. Consider the color background we are shooting on and try to choose something that will contrast and help you stand out from the background.

  • Iron or steam your clothes. I have a steamer on hand, but this eats into shoot time. Eliminating wrinkled or crumpled clothing makes a WORLD of difference. Also use a lint roller.

  • If you wear glasses normally, by all means wear them in our session! Make sure they are clean and in good repair.


If you have any questions or want to run anything by me please get in touch, I’m happy to answer any questions for you.

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