Tips for your Photo Shoot

This page contains my suggestions for your photo shoot. Please don't feel that you have to follow all of these suggestions. Make sure you do what you like and think is best for you.

Fake Tans

There are a number of potential problems with fake tans:

  • They can be uneven, and can miss parts visible in the pictures. For example, under arms and palms of hands.
  • When you change your body skin tone, you need to change your foundation tone to match. Please avoid the "white face on tanned body" look :)
  • A recent fake tan will probably rub off on my bedding if you are doing a studio boudoir shoot. If you are going to have a fan tan, please do it a few days, and washes, before your shoot.

A good fake tan for a beach shoot can work well. Especially for studio shoots, I can create tan/warmth to your skin, and do so in a controlled way. A strong fake tan can make this quite difficult, and limit my visual creativity. So for most shoots I suggest no fake tan, or only a mild one. Above all, an even tone, no tan lines, everywhere that will be visible.

Nails

Usually ladies like to look feminine, and long slender fingers is one aspect of that. Fingers are especially prominent in boudoir and closer head shots.
Dark colours and patterns on nails tend to shorten the appearance of fingers.
Light plain colours tend to lengthen the appearance of fingers.
Nail tips are useful for all but those with very long slender fingers, and rounded better than square, plain better than patterned.
Pale or just a gloss is good for a softer more romantic look, red is good for a more sexy look in a boudoir shoot.
I can apply nail tips, as long as your nails have been cleaned beforehand. They can usually be removed on the same day by peeling, but last long enough for the shoot.

Hair

Ideally you've chosen your hair style to match your face shape.
Up or down, straight or wavy/curly, is up to you. I may mention what I think suits you or the type of shoot you've asked for.
For some shots, wet and/or messed up works well, something for the latter part of the shoot, if you're happy :)

Clothes for Individual Ladies Shoots

Please, please, please, bring more rather than less :)
My heart sinks when someone arrives with a small bag with 3 outfits. It's much better to bring lots and not use it, but have the choice.
Generally, bring a variety of types of clothing, dresses, tops and skirts, bikinis, tight, loose, covering, revealing, romantic, sexy, white, pale, coloured, plain, patterned.

Clothes for Couples and Family Shoots

Please consider how your clothes will coordinate. It's best to avoid mixing very smart with very casual, so everyone casual or everyone smart.
Think about how the colours of your clothes will go together. Avoid clashing colours.
It's best to avoid strong logos.
It's best to change clothes so you get different looks from your shoot. Ideally each idea/spot used, would use different clothes, but practically, because changing takes time, a change every 30 minutes to 1 hour is usual.
The longer your shoot, the more change of clothes you'll need.
If you want different styles of picture, for example romantic for some, sexy for others, bring different styles of clothes to suit.
It is always best to bring too many clothes, I've never had a problem with too many clothes, only not having the best option available.

Aspects of clothing for ladies to consider

Emphasise your best features using clothing types and colours.
Some ladies worry about their arms looking large. If that's something you think may be an issue, it's best to avoid sleeveless tops.
If general size is an issue for you, remember the saying "dark is slimming". For studio shoots I can light for slimming, but not so much outdoors.
Please bring suitable lingerie for all the clothes, especially white bras for white tops, strapless bras for strapless dresses.
If you have to change in public, for example on a beach, consider whether wearing a singlet might makes things easier and quicker for you.

Shoes

The current fashion seems to be for high heel shoes with thick soles.
Ladies usually like long slender legs, and slender high heel shoes are best for creating that appearance. It's also difficult to point the toes in some high heel shoes.
That's why I've added lots of dainty slender high heel shoes to my wardrobe.

Makeup

Foundation should ideally be "photo ready". This means it does not contain iron oxides or titanium dioxide, which reflects flash lighting and creates a white face.
This is especially noticeable when combined with a strong fake tan. See my Makeup Tips page for more information on this.
Your foundation should match the tone of your skin. This means if you get a fake tan, you need to use a different foundation to match.

I've found that, especially some young ladies, tend to apply a lot of eye liner and not use much eye shadow.
I often suggest "less on the eye liner and more on the eye shadow".
Ideally you will employ a good Makeup Artist (MUA), who will know how to do the best makeup for your face, including sculpting with lighter and darker foundation colours.

Avoid using old mascara brushes, to avoid clumps.
Check and re-apply your lipstick often during a shoot. I won't complain if you check often. Poor lipstick can ruin a picture and is time consuming to fix in editing..

Hair Bands

Oh dear, hair bands!
Please don't put them on your wrists, or arms. On arms they'll leave a mark when you take them off. On wrists, you'll wish they weren't there in the pictures.

Bra Straps

If you are going to be doing pictures without a bra on, you really need to not wear a bra for at least 2 hours before, so that you don't have bra strap marks on your skin.

Mental Preparation

My priority is that you enjoy your photo shoot. That means whatever we are doing, you feel comfortable. If you look nervous, I will do all I can to help you to relax. This usually involves me talking a lot lol.
I will start with the most easy/comfortable poses, and show you the results in the camera so you can see how good you look, gain confidence, and so enjoy yourself.

When I look through the pictures after a shoot, the deciding factor on whether the picture is great or not, is the expression. That's why it's important that you are happy and comfortable.
The most common expression, and the most useful one, is a relaxed, happy look, a smiling mouth with your lips gently touching. To achieve a believable happy look, you need to feel happy.
I suggest you do a little practice before your shoot. Create a list of things that make you happy, look in the mirror, and think of one of those things. Your mouth should smile, your eyes should smile.
Bring that list of happy thoughts with you mentally for your shoot.

While doing that, look to see which you think is your better side. I'll ask you when we meet.