Photo Shoot Preparation Tips

Photo Shoot Preparation

General Preparation Tips for Your Photo Shoot:

  1. Do not try anything new last minute, no new hair color or hair cuts the day of or the night before unless there has been a trial run.  Don’t switch to a new makeup color or skincare products.  Use what you know works.
  2. Be well rested.  Dark circles and blood shot eyes from lack of sleep and hangovers do show and the energy of the shoot suffers.
  3. Body and Facial Hair  –  Ladies please take whatever precautions necessary to remove anything that may be seen in photos (legs, armpits, etc) I would not suggest waxing or laser hair removal soon before the shoot due to increased redness.
  4. Manicure and pedicure  – Guys don’t panic Im not saying you have to go to the spa just make sure you don’t look like a homeless person. Ladies, try and stick to natural colors for polish – french tips work well.
  5. Tanning – I suggest avoiding spray-on tans or excessive use of tanning beds – if you want to add some color I suggest using a light shade of bronzer or something you are familiar with that will not over do it. Spray on tanning rarely blends well and reflects very different then most facial makeups so you get strange skin coloration in photographs.  For couples – another reason is if one person excessively tans and the other does not or has pale complexion… not a good mix for photos.
  6. Hair – Nothing looks less prepared then roots showing through colored hair. Its always a good idea to have your roots touched up a few days prior to the shoot.
  7. Tattoos – if you do not want them showing in the photo I would suggest either trying to cover them up with clothing choice or trying a concealer makeup to hide them. Sephora carries a number of products specifically to cover tattoos, try them before the day of the shoot to make sure it works how you want it.
  8. Wardrobe – Most importantly wear something you love! Make sure your clothes are clean and wrinkle-free. Avoid extremely bright colors and shirts with big logos or advertisements on them.  Dont mix too many colors. If you are going to wear black or dark colors try and pick pieces with some texture or break it up with some accessories.

Attitude!  One of the most important factors for any kind of shoot is attitude – for all parties involved. Keep positive and friendly and everyone will enjoy themselves more and it will show in the photos! Allow for enough time so you aren’t rushing.

For you camera shy people… we’ll work with you and promise to be patient, no pressure, its your shoot and you should enjoy it. There are some things you can do prior to the shoot that will help get you comfortable.  Spend time with friends and family and bring a camera, take pictures of them and with them just as a casual fun thing.  Spend some face time with your camera phone – this will help you become familiar with how you look in photos and how to improve things you don’t like.

Tip for Creative Portfolio and Commercial Shoots:

Creative Planning, Concept Development:  Before scheduling and coordinating all of the details of the photo shoot there are numerous things to consider from a creative planning perspective standpoint.  Here is a checklist to help with the planning process:

  1. How are these photos going to be used, what am I going to do with them or how will I get the most out of them?
  2. Who is your target audience and how will these photos appeal to them?
  3. Create multiple concepts to potentially use, ask for friend’s and co-worker’s opinions and pick your favorite.
  4. Will your concept fit with your brand image, what will the photos say about you as an artist or company and the services you provide.
  5. Think with an edited eye – look at the bigger picture and how all aspects of the shoot come together to form your finished look.
  6. Casual or Extreme – With hair, makeup, and fashion there is a fine line between playing it safe and taking risks. If your concept is extreme make sure its not so intense that its not appealing or usable on some level.  If your concept is more casual remember to maintain your own signature of style and quality of execution so the images are still your own and is not just another typical look. Also keep in mind the intended use, if you are doing makeup or hair for a fashion shoot to show off the clothing you dont want the hair and makeup styling to be so loud that it distracts from what your trying to sell.
  7. Originality – people often draw inspiration from magazines, TV, and surfing photos online but trying to emulate their exact style will not do you any favors and may actually land you in legal trouble if your work is ever published and earning you money.  Sometimes this happens on an unconscious level or even totally by chance that your styling shares similarity with others – the more you try and make it your own the better.
  8. Location vs. Studio – the location of the photo shoot can have a big impact on the results beyond just whats in the background.  Studio shoots can tend to feel more official or formal and in some cases people are intimidated by that or feel pressured to deliver.  On-location shoots can really help set the mood while providing a more natural social environment. People reflect on whats around them – its only natural.
  9. Commercial Application: Most fashion and beauty photos are used to sell products so even if we’re just shooting for your portfolio, if you can showcase a particular product this makes you even more appealing as an artist because your work is usable beyond your own marketing purpose as a service provider.
  10. Plan Your Team Carefully: Avoid having to many cooks in the kitchen. If there are going to be multiple people involved with the shoot for hair, makeup, wardrobe, styling, and photographer its best if they have compatible personalities and understand their role in the shoot.  Its awesome to get input and when working with creative people you’ll likely get feedback whether you ask for it or not but if you have 5 people trying to run everything you’ll end up with frustrated people and looking unprofessional.
  11. Share your expectations:  This is very much related to the point above and developing/sharing the overall concept.  Make sure that everyone involved understands the overall concept of the shoot and their role in it.
  12. Follow up and remind people of dates/times and confirm with everyone involved the day before the shoot.
About the Author:
Ryan holds a Bachelors in Marketing from Grand Canyon University, graduating on the dean's list. He has been providing professional photography services starting in 2003 and internet marketing services starting in 2007. His experience in specific industries including e-commerce gift/retail, aftermarket automotive industry, and Beauty/Cosmetology education and salon, and high-end designer fashion market provides him with unique insight for practical application of photography as it applies to modern advertising mediums and business needs.

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error: All Images © 2016 Ryan M. Walsh