Important tips on how to prep for your upcoming shoot

Great photos are not just about fun backdrops, awesome scenery, cute outfits and creative camera angles. Great photos happen when photographers and their clients work together to create special images that will become lasting family memories. So, what is the key to a great photograph? It is about paying attention to the details! You could have coordinated everyone's outfits and chosen the "perfect" spot for the session, but if the details are amiss, it could ruin a great shoot.

Important details to consider include paying attention to teeth, nails, lips, skin and hair. These may seem like a "no-brainer" but in the hustle of prepping for a photo shoot, these details are often forgotten, and they can ruin an otherwise great picture.


Clean teeth are essential to a successful, close-up photo shoot. Whether it is a simple headshot, a couples shoot or a family session, if you are smiling for the camera, nothing looks worse than food stuck between your teeth. Teeth are often whitened in the re-touching process if necessary.


If you wear nail polish and its chipped, then be sure to take it off! Nails for men and women should be clean and not ragged. Clip and file ragged edges and be sure not to harbor any dirt under those nails. Your photos might include a pose that features hands. Likewise, if you have dry, chapped skin, be sure to use a moisturizer before your shoot.


With temperatures getting cooler, lips can be dry and chapped. Women, be sure to bring the lipstick you're wearing to the shoot for touchups. If you don't wear lip stick or gloss, bring a non-caking chap stick or Vaseline to keep the lips looking lush. Men and kids should also have a chap stick to keep lips looking moist and fresh.


When wearing make-up, be sure that it is smooth and not caked on your skin. If you are wearing foundation, be sure that the color complements your skin tones and blends properly. If you have a blemish, don't try to cover it with make-up. It will be removed in the re-touching process. Above all, do NOT squeeze any pimples on the day before or the day of your session. That will often create blotchy red and swollen skin.


The day before a photo session is NOT the time to try out a new hair cut or style. If you think you'd like to make a change, do so about a week in advance, so that you have time to get used to working with the new hair style. Be mindful of facial hair, especially if you are planning on a headshot or other close-up portrait. Trim nose and ear hair. Pay attention to eyebrows and if you are planning to shape, pluck or wax, do that several days BEFORE your session so you don't have swollen, red skin for your pictures. Men, shave carefully and be sure to include all areas.


So now that the essential details are covered, another issue you'll need to tackle is, what to wear. Most important here is to wear clothes that you are comfortable in. Things that are too tight or ill-fitting will make you uncomfortable and that WILL show on your face. Choose colors that are complementary. Everyone in your group does not have to wear the same thing, but they should have a similar or complementary color scheme. Unless you are going for a specific look to create a specific message, graphic tees are OUT. No slogans or pictures. If you and your clan are wearing tee shirts, make them plain in colors that complement each other. Stay away from neon and loud prints. Give yourself enough time to plan your clothing. Never wait until the last minute to make your selections, especially if you are "shopping in your closet." If you are feeling insecure and "fat" (Let's face it girls, we've ALL been there one time or another!) don't panic! Layering your clothing with a longer sweater, shirt or jacket gives your look dimension and creates a slimming effect. Stress can show on your face so remember to be confident and try to relax. Embracing these simple prepping tips can help you have photos that showcase the very best of you.