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Photo Session Prep

Getting ready for a photo session can be overwhelming and stressful but it doesn't have to be! Below are some advice on how to prep beforehand so that you can enjoy your session even beforehand. 


- Avoid distracting patterns. Solids tend to photograph much better. Bring a variety of colors, don't bring 3 red outfits even if it is your favorite color.

- Avoid clothing that has distracting wording on it.

- Vary the dress level, bring some dressy, some medium and some casual. Come dressed in an outfit that requires most prep work since it will be easier to prep from home.

- Clients can change in a portable changing station, car, or public bathroom if available. 

Some shots are close up, others are full length. Plan outfits completely. It is hard to do a full length formal in your suit if all you brought was big old tennis shoes. Basic primary colors like red and blue, along with maroon also work great. Purple, yellow, and pink colors tend to "pop" nicely in photos. 

Group your outfits together ON HANGERS. It is amazing how many people come in with clothes stuffed in a plastic bag and wonder why they are wrinkled! Make sure they are ironed.


Avoid changing your hairstyle or cutting your hair right before your session. Let it be natural. Quick easy hairstyle changes during your session are OK, but make it quick or you loose camera time. Artificially bleached hair is often not best, in 10 years you might say "What was I thinking??" Bring your hair care tools and products with you if need be. It IS ok to show up early in curlers if you need to. Although our photographer tries to help with hair, it is hard to know what your hair "is supposed to look like". So make sure you like the look or let the photographer know your preferences. Hair style is ultimately YOUR responsibility.


Best tip here, keep it simple. We want the attention on you. Big, shiny jewelry can distract from the real subject, YOU. If you have different jewelry for different outfits, you might put each set of jewelry in a plastic baggie and hang it on the hangar with that outfit.


Bring props that help define who you are. Some popular choices are: Sports equipment (soccer ball, football, basketball, baseball, etc.), sports uniforms, music instruments (from school tuba to rock guitar), activities (dance leotard and shoes, swimming, hobbies, you name it!), vehicles and motorcycles can come to the outdoor session.


Most glasses glare! Some prescriptions more than others. Your best bet is to check with your optometrist. Most will "loan" you an empty set of frames similar to yours for your photo session. Anti-glare glasses are HIGHLY recommended or better yet, just frames. I don't know how many times clients had to take their glasses off b/c of glare. So please prepare accordingly.


AVOID SUNBURN! Sunburn and peeling skin DO NOT photograph well!! Tan, yes, burn, no. If you are a winter or spring session and your tan has faded, you might consider tanning. But don't overdue it so you look too fake-and-bake. Also. tan lines are not attractive in portraits. We suggest you vary your swimsuit top or use a tanning bed to minimize any tan marks.


Make-up does wonders. Yes even for guys. A little touch up on blemishes makes your previews even better. Makeup should represent you. Be sure the makeup is consistent with the rest of your body's skin color. Mascara should be clean and contain no clumps. 

Make sure you do not have dry skin! Lotion up before you come and carrying a small portable lotion and lip balm is a good idea as well.


Be careful of baggy clothes that might make you look larger than you are. Make sure your clothing flatters you. If you think you have large arms, be careful of sleeveless styles, they can make your arms look fuller. Tighter your clothes, more definition of your body will show so choose your fitting carefully.


NAILS SHOW! If they have the paint all chipped off, it will show. If you are wearing open toe shoes, you will definitely want to show off your pretty nails! Avoid real bright colors. Natural or basic work best. We don't want to draw attention to your neon orange toe nails. And they may look really bad with your next outfit!


Please avoid bringing pets so that the session can focus on taking care of you. Some locations do not allow pets at all.


Friends or parents are welcome. In fact, please DO bring someone with you to carry your outfit or be your assistant. They can be a help. However, if your friends or parents are going to make a comment about your every pose, it might be better for them to sit somewhere else since this can stress you out. Believe me, I've seen it happen! Leave the coaching to the photographer please. Please do not try to make the session into a different combined  photo session. For example, a senior portrait session is for an individual session only. 


Let's face it, we are at the mercy of mother nature especially here in Colorado. If it rains, we'll have to reschedule. Don't worry about clouds, they actually help. But rain falling and bad wind IS a problem. We will stay in touch if the weather is threatening.

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