Preparing for your Portrait Session


Basic pre-shoot tips:

  • Drink plenty of water the day before and the day of the shoot - hydrating the skin is important
  • Try to get enough sleep the day before. I realize that this isn't always realistic, but it makes a difference
  • If possible for your schedule, try to book the shoot earlier in the day. Your skin naturally starts to accumulate oil through the course of the day, so often the best time to take photos is in the morning.

What should I wear?

  • How many outfits?
    • Recommend bringing 2-3 different outfits. Generally for professional portraits, images will be cropped at waist or mid-chest level so opt for different tops in this case.
  • What types of outfits do you recommend?
    • Clothing with solid colors - recommend no prints, patterns, florals etc
    • Clothing with texture looks great in portraits: Chambray, denim, distressed clothing all look very good in portraits.
    • If this is for a standard headshot portrait, they will be cropped around chest or waist level so don't worry about bringing different changes of what you're wearing on the bottom. Focus on your tops.
    • Layering and accessories like scarves is always a good idea and is a fun way to dress up basic outfits
  • Should I wear jewelry and eyeglasses? Avoid large pieces of jewelry as it can be distracting when it catches light from the studio flash. If possible I recommend not wearing eyeglasses, as the flash can appear in the glass from certain angles - however this is something I can easily work around if needed. Best case scenario if you want to wear frames in your portrait is if you have a spare pair of glasses without lenses in them.
  • Tips on suit jackets/blazers: Darker colors for jackets/blazers is in general best. Recommend against jackets/blazers that have a lining or are made from a thick heavy fabric as they can add bulk to a portrait. Fit is of course important with suits and blazers - so make sure the seam is hitting correctly on your shoulders

Makeup Tips

  • Bring powder! By far the most important tip. Even if you don't normally feel like your skin is oily, the bright light of the flash will emphasize skin oil. Also, oil builds through the course of the day so if you're doing your shoot in the afternoon/evening, using some oil is definitely recommended.
  • Minimize usage of products that have a highlighter in them: A "highlighter" is often used with makeup "contouring", and basically just makes specific wherever the makeup is applied shinier. They'll often come across with a slight sheen in the makeup.
  • Go easy on blush: It's easy to put on too much blush for photographs as usually it's not as obvious under natural or lights in your home. The color-corrected nature of portrait lighting will show over-application of blush though, so everything in moderation. 
  • What if I typically don't use much or any makeup? This is completely fine - as retouching allows me to apply similar effects of makeup in post like smoothing skin and removing under eye shadows. If possible I typically recommend applying at least something around the eyes to bring them out.

If you have any questions of course feel free to contact me at as we build out your portrait shoot! Again thank you for choosing me as your photographer, and I'm excited to work with you!!