What should I do to get ready for my photo shoot?

Great question. Here are some of the things I’ve learned along the way.

The basics are:

  • Skip the moisturizer or shiny make up – the last thing you want to do is look sweaty or oily – unless that’s what we’re going for…but that’s a different kind of shoot…
  • Stay away from patterns. Itty bitty ones. Medium ones. Big giant print ones. No. Maybe a subtle plaid, but not too bright.  Go with softer solid tones with not much texture.
  • Get your hairs did. Book a hair cut a day or two before your photo shoot – you’ll feel fresher, and that counts.
  • Shave before the shoot, not in the morning. Showing up for professional head shots with a five o’clock shadow just means we’ll need to reschedule.
  • Groom your holes. Ears. Nose. Eyebrows. Beard & neck. (wait, what holes did you think I meant?)
  • Clean your glasses. Or, put in fresh contacts.
  • Polish the jewels. Rings, earrings…all that glitters and sparkles.
  • Get some sleep and drink some water. Duh, but really — your skin is mostly water and your eyes show it all. You’re worth preparing for your close up.
  • Grab a snack. Nothing bloating, but a little something in your system. Looking like a hungry ghost probably isn’t the look we’re going for. That, and shoots take energy and focus.

And the more esoteric:

  • What are the photos for? Work? That’s one look. Finding a date? That’s a different shoot. Hooking up? – totally different shoot. And they’re all different kinds of energy, lighting, and backdrop and need to be done separately.
  • Have a conversation with your photographer and ask lots of questions. See if you connect with them and like their style. There’s an old saying in photography: if you like your photographer, you’ll probably like your pictures.
  • Treat yourself to some new frocks. Maybe cute undies and a couple of shirts. Things you feel good in…and throw in a couple of basics that are your old stand-bys.
  • Have photos to show your photographer that you like and don’t like. That way we’re not looking at proofs going ‘huh, I didn’t know you already knew about that.’ Who you follow on instagram is a good place to start, and other shoots with other photographers.
  • Keep talking. The more honest you are about what works for you and what doesn’t the better chance you’ll have at getting photos that you like.

Totally Bonus Secret Top Tip:

  1. It’s not final. If it’s not in your agreement with your photographer, ask for the rider for a one-time reshoot. This way if you think you’re looking on point and realize that it’s not the look you were going for you get a do-over. The photographer will most likely have the same option. Nothing is perfect — and this is a personalized creative process.

Cover photo by Daniel G.

© 2019 Michael Kerner. All rights reserved.