How to Prepare for a Photoshoot with a Professional Photographer
Having a photography session with a professional photographer isn’t like snapping pictures with friends. You have to take time and prepare for a photoshoot! In this guide, we’ll give you a few tips and points for preparing for your photoshoot so you can have fun while on the set, but also take beautiful pictures, too.
Working with a professional photographer is not cheap. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, photographers had a mean annual wage of $41,940 in 2017. That adds up to a high hourly cost for their clients.
However, anyone who knows how to prepare for a photoshoot will have no problem footing the bill. Not only will this reduce the amount of time it takes to complete shooting, but it will reduce the amount of time spent retouching.
Unless you’re a professional model, you may not know all the fine details behind this preparation. No problem, read more below to find out how to prepare for a photoshoot with a professional photographer.
Prep Your Skin
Although the Internet weaves a different tale, there are very few people on this Earth with naturally beautiful skin. More often than not, the flawless skin you see everywhere is the result of skilled makeup application and Photoshop retouching.
Unfortunately, retouching is one of the most expensive parts of hiring a professional photographer. If you’re not worried about your budget, why not spring for professional makeup as well?
Those with a budget should make sure to follow a healthy skin regimen in the days leading up to their shoot. Make sure to get enough sleep, avoid drinking and partying, and get some exercise. You can also use any beauty products, like toner or moisturizer, diligently.
Be wary of tanning in the days before your shoot. It’s a potential risk for a sunburn, which could ruin your pictures. Even a spray tan may not turn out the way you want, and you’ll be stuck with cancellation fees.
Prep Your Hair
Unless you’re a professional stylist, the hair on your head can be a pain. Of course, if you don’t have a budget, get your hair professionally done before your shoot.
However, to save some money, you can do a deep conditioning treatment by yourself at home. Give your hair some love and care before you put it in the spotlight.
It’s also advisable to get a cheap, simple trim before a photoshoot. You don’t want the photographer to spend extra time retouching split ends afterward.
Body hair is another consideration that people often overlook. Make sure to tend to ay part of the body that will be exposed in the shoot – this includes your eyebrows. Don’t forget to wax or shave any other unwanted hair.
Prep Your Hands
This is probably the most neglected aspect of modeling for non-professionals. Yet, the hands can be one of the greatest props in a photoshoot.
You’ll want a nice and clean manicured look for your nails. Avoid any colors that may clash with your outfits, or be too distracting in your photos. You can even start moisturizing your hands a few days before the shoot to make sure they’re in tip-top shape.
If you’re doing an engagement or wedding shoot, check that your ring is clean. Even if it looks acceptable, it may be best to just take it in to a professional jeweler for a thorough cleaning. It will be a huge focus for the shoot, and you want it to sparkle.
Prep Your Outfits
For most people, this is one of the most important parts of a photoshoot. Before picking your clothes, make sure to decide what kind of look you are going for.
If your shoot is for professional reasons, select clothing that reflect the style of your industry. No matter what, make sure the clothes you pick make you feel comfortable and confident.
It’s good practice to bring more than one outfit, that way you can use your shots for diverse occasions. Bring something dark, something light, and something fun.
Avoid bringing turtlenecks, as they often make a neck look shorter, or even disappear entirely. Also, avoid bringing prints as these completely distract from the intended subject – you.
Prep Your Props
Some of the best photoshoots happen when clients bring personal props with them. It adds a special touch to the photo and makes it more unique.
For a professional shoot, you can consider bringing props that relate to your field. For example, a school teacher may want to bring some books or papers. An attorney, however, may want to carry a briefcase.
For a wedding shoot, you can bring items specific to your relationship. Maybe you even have a pet that you share? Pets always bring something genuine to a photoshoot, and help the subject convey their affection.
Try looking around the Internet for some inspiration before your shoot. You can even ask your friends and family for advice.
While your photographer may have some ideas about where to shoot, you know yourself best. You may have some locations that are special to you. Standing in front of a camera can feel intimidating, so make sure to pick places where you feel comfortable.
What may be even more important than the physical location of the photoshoot is the light availability in that location. Make sure it is a well-lit area so your photographer is best able to capture you. A dark area will not produce good results.
Additionally, make sure to show up at the right time for the perfect sunlight. It’s likely that your photographer will already inform you about this, but make sure to show up on time. Not only will being late incur late fees, but you’ll miss precious moments of sunlight that you can’t get back.
Are You Ready to Prepare for a Photoshoot?
Preparing for a photoshoot may seem like a daunting task, but it’s the best way to get your money’s worth. It will also help you avoid the disappointment of your photos turning out anything less than stellar.
Photoshop is a great tool, but retouching will add a lot of dollar signs to your bill. Your photographer may be a professional, but that does not mean they’re a miracle worker. Some effort must be done on the client’s part to achieve the best results.
For some fun fashion inspiration before you prepare for a photoshoot, don’t forget to check out our fashion page.