How to Prepare for Your Professional Photoshoot

Congrats! You finally booked that professional photographer. You’re getting those portraits done for your business or model portfolio, so now you can sit back, relax, and let the photographer do the work, right? Well, sort of.

As your headshot, portrait or portfolio photographer, I’m going to do everything I can to help you feel comfortable and at ease. It’s my job to capture your winning personality, after all! But there are a few things you can (and should) do to prepare and make sure everything goes off without a hitch.

Get Your Outfit(s) Ready to Go

I’m sure you’ve already thought about what you will wear for your photoshoot (and if you haven’t, there’s no time like the present!), so get those clothes out now and make sure they’re cleaned, steamed, and ready to rock!

If it’s been a while since you wore the outfit, or you recently went up or down a few sizes, Try. It. On. Do a try-on a week or two before your photoshoot to make sure it all fits perfectly. An ill-fitting outfit will result in higher retouching fees, and the outcome may not be as natural as you’re hoping for. It’s best if it just fits right from the start, not only to save you money on retouching but to help you feel more comfortable and confident during the shoot! If you don’t like the way your outfit looks and feels, it’ll show.

Bring your outfits to the shoot on hangers, with all the wrinkles ironed out. If you’re just getting headshots, don’t worry about pants! I mean, please wear them. But you don’t need to stress about wrinkles - just make sure the fit of your pants doesn’t mess up the fit of your top (this is especially important if you’re wearing a suit or jacket).

Plan Your Hair and Makeup

I highly, highly recommend hiring a makeup artist and hair stylist to help you look your best. Men, this is for you too - so pay attention! These portraits or headshots are how you market yourself and your brand, so they need to be as professionally done as possible. Professional stylists will know exactly what looks will or won’t work with the camera - you don’t want to look like you just rolled out of bed, but you also don’t want to be so overdone that your headshots look more like 80’s glamour shots. Especially for business men, you may prefer looking as if you’re not wearing any makeup at all. A makeup artist can absolutely provide that, with just a little touch up here and there to take care of shine and give your skin tone a bit of color.

Coming to your shoot professionally styled lessens the need for that extra retouching. If you don’t know who to hire for this, let me know and I can refer you to some of my go-tos in the area! Many artists even offer both hair and makeup services, so you can get it all taken care of in one stop before the shoot.

Get Ready the Night Before

No, I’m not saying sleep in your outfit (that’s a wrinkly disaster waiting to happen). But don’t leave everything until the last minute scramble in the morning! Take some time the day before your professional photoshoot to double-check your outfit(s), review the times and locations for your hair and makeup appointments and the photoshoot itself, and fill out all the necessary forms.

Aside from the standard contract between us, you’ll also need to fill out a couple of liability and COVID-related forms as well as model releases, depending on what kind of shoot we’re doing. I’ll give you most of these forms way in advance, so just make sure they’re submitted before the shoot so you don’t have to worry about it when you get here.

Last but not least, make time for some SELF CARE. Get a good night’s sleep - resist the urge to binge watch that latest Netflix show - and drink lots and lots and lots of water. I suggest literally carrying a water bottle with you everywhere you go for at least a week leading up to your photoshoot and getting in the habit of staying hydrated. This is such a good natural way to keep your hair, skin, nails, and everything else healthy and glowy. So drink up!

What to Bring to Your Photoshoot

You really don’t need to bring much beyond yourself, but here’s a quick list of items that are good to have at your photoshoot:

  • Hairspray and a comb for dealing with last minute unruly hairs
  • Powder or face blotters if your skin tends to be oily
  • All outfit changes
  • A limited selection of accessories (but keep these to a minimum, as they can draw the eye away from the face - we want you to be the star here!)
  • A lint roller to clean up any lint or pet hairs
  • Wearing glasses? Bring some cleaner and a cloth to keep them smudge-free
  • Water! Water! Water!

Finally, bring your unique energy and charm! I’ll coach and direct you, so don’t stress. You’re well taken care of in front of my lens - just come ready to relax, be yourself, and have fun.

Ready to Book?

If you’re in the Winston-Salem, Charlotte, or Raleigh regions of North Carolina, contact me to schedule your portraits!  I also am known to make frequent trips to my hometown of New York City if you want to set something up there. I do everything from business and actor headshots to model portfolio shoots and branding or commercial shoots. Shoot me a message and let’s get this thing in the books for 2022!