I am so excited to be photographing you! I tend to over-communicate with my clients so they know exactly how to prepare and exactly what to expect throughout the whole process. Hope you don’t mind.
FEEL FREE TO RE-VISIT THIS PREP GUIDE AS OFTEN AS YOU’D LIKE.
How would you like to be seen? What kind of images would you like to create us together? You have absolutely no idea? It can be very difficult to articulate your own style, so I don’t ask you to. Instead, the first thing that I ask you, is to create a “secret” Pinterest board for your photo session and share the link with me. Or, if you are not a Pinterest user, you can also just send me some photos that speak to you.
I have lots of boards on my Pinterest-page for you to reference, but you can also take it upon yourself to venture out into Pinterest. Do you like a special picture from my website – let me know. Try to turn off your fear and over-thinking at this point. Don’t say things like “OHH that’s so beautiful, but I would NEVER be able to pull that off!” or “I WISH I could look like that!”. That’s not the point of this exercise. I want you to pin anything that speaks to you and your style!
After pinning/sending about 25 images, I will very easily be able to get a visual of your style and the type of images you are interested in. Do you like sweet, bright, and bubbly? Do you like dark, moody, and seductive? Do you like shots that capture the entire body? Do you like close-up teaser shots of body parts? Do you prefer more modest portraits? Do you like it more creative? We’ll find out together!
The purpose of this is NOT to find photos to replicate! It is inspiration and now that we’ll both know the kind of images you really like, it will be easier to deliver a set of photos that are YOUR STYLE, as long as it syncs well with my artistic style.
Don’t stress out over this!
Don’t feel the need to run out and buy all new things (only if you really want). I can do a completely versatile and awesome shoot with the clothes you have.
There is also a lot of wardrobe that I can offer to you. Truly.
But there are some important rules to follow when choosing your wardrobe:
Do not bring outfits that you don’t love!
I can’t tell you how many women show up with outfits that prompt them to say “I really don’t like the way I look in this one, but I’ll leave it up to you!”. If you don’t like the outfit, it’s likely that you won’t like photos of you in the outfit.
Structured pieces like lace work amazing.
A dress with an interesting neckline, or just a bodysuit and jeans….I want you to look and feel like yourself (just on your best day).
Avoid tiny busy patterns & neon colors.
They are often harsh on-camera and a bit unflattering so try to avoid them.
Have several outfits picked out.
We can go through them together before your shoot to determine what will photograph best. We will have enough time for changing the outfits during the session. All packages provide minimum 5 outfits. I recommend to pick minimum 7 outfits to choose from.
Try to incorporate a variety of pieces into your wardrobe selections.
Having 5 different colors of one blouse won’t allow for a whole lot of variety in your photos. Rather, have something formal, something casual, something super textured and fun, something more modest, to something black and sleek…you get the idea.
Make sure your wardrobe selections aren’t wrinkled, and cut all the tags off of your sheer items before arriving.
This is about you. And I don’t want to disrupt your portraits with props. They are leading the attention away from you.
Also think of some jewelry.
It should suit your outfits and shouldn’t be too overwhelming.
When in doubt, just bring in some of your favorite wardrobe items and let me style them for you. It’s part of the service and I’m happy to do it.
You will find some more things to talk about outfits: HERE
Don’t be afraid to get creative!
A garter belt and thigh high fish nets would go great with a cropped sweater or graphic tee.
A gorgeous bra can be paired with a long flowing skirt.
Your favorite tank top can be paired with no pants.
A sheet can be used for everything.
Your 20 year old favorite t-shirt paired with cheeky bottoms will get the job done just perfectly.
I love to work with pretty scarves, sheets, white button down shirts, jackets and coats, or anything you love. It doesn’t have to be complicated.
If wearing thigh-highs, buy them 1-2 sizes too big according to the size chart on the back.
Buying them in a size that supposedly “fits” according to the package size chart will likely result in the stockings giving a bit of thigh muffin top.
We can get them to stay up for each “pose”, or you can wear a garter belt to keep them from slipping.
Have yourself properly fitted for lingerie if you will be wearing it for your session.
I recommend going to a local lingerie boutique to have yourself properly fitted.
Use this photoshooting as an opportunity to pamper yourself.
Go a few days before your shoot and get a manicure and pedicure! This will give you a finished, polished look.
Chipped polish can be distracting.
BRUSH YOUR LIPS
Sounds weird, right?! Dry lips are very hard to fix in post processing. In the days leading up to your photoshoot, use your toothbrush while brushing your teeth to also make a few passes over that pucker of yours. This will help shed dead skin. After that, apply a moisturizing lip balm…repeat repeat repeat.
LATHER ON THE LOTION
Supple is key for beautiful skin! Be sure to moisturize twice a day for the week leading up to your shoot. On the day of your shoot, use a non-bronzer illuminizing lotion. If you’re having a hard time finding an illuminizing lotion without color, you can absolutely just go with an oil based lotion like Argan Oil Moisturizer or Coconut Oil Moisturizer. Don’t use tinted lotions or anything with color. I will have some moisturizer at the studio for you to use if you don’t have a lotion you love.
There are a few things you should really avoid
SPRAY TAN BEFORE YOUR SHOOT
I know you think that you look better with a tan…but I assure you, even if you don’t see the streaks and unevenness with your naked eye, the camera will pick them up. You will photograph a lot more tan than you think you look (especially in low-key lighting and black and white imagery), and spray tans will photograph orange in color images. Trust me on this!! On that same note: no tinted lotions or bronzers on your body. Even after this warning I get a lot of women who message me to say that they’ve been spray tanning for years and they cannot fathom not doing so before a photo shoot. Of course I will still photograph you, but unfortunately our standard retouch will NOT account for spray tan correction! So just keep that in mind.
PARTY THE NIGHT BEFORE YOUR SHOOT
If you’re nervous, try a bubble bath and a yoga class. Hangovers aren’t sexy. Believe me… I know it.
DRINK RED WINE TO CALM YOUR NERVES
Don’t drink a bottle of red wine right before you show up in efforts to calm your nerves!
#1-It will stain your teeth and lips.
#2–Drunk doesn’t photograph pretty either.
HOWEVER, I’m admittedly an advocate of a little bit of booze to soothe anxiety if you are super nervous. SO, I set a firm 2 drink maximum limit for my clients on the day of their shoot. Champagne or white wine is a good option because it won’t stain your teeth and will still calm you down a little. You’re welcome to bring a small bottle with you to the studio. I have non-alcoholic refreshments to offer you.
FORGET TO STRETCH
Many of these poses, while they look effortless, are quite unnatural feeling. Take a few minutes on the morning of your shoot to stretch your arms, legs, hips, and especially your back. People are surprised to see how sore their muscles get after something as silly as a photo shoot, so any extra flexibility you can add by a quick yoga flow will only benefit you.
GET A NEW HAIRCUT / COLOR IMMEDIATELY BEFORE YOUR SHOOT
Now isn’t the time to experiment with a whole new look.
TALK SMACK ON YOURSELF
I don’t want to hear about how you hate your hips. I want to hear about how you LOVE your legs.
A great attitude will go a long way in having a fabulous and upbeat experience!
HOWEVER… if you really feel the need to discuss the thing that bothers you the most about your body, just let me know by saying “I love my ___, but my biggest insecurity is my ___”. I will be extra careful to play down your “flaws”…but I will ALSO make it my challenge to take the best damn image featuring your ____ so you have a new-found appreciation for it 😉
Nothing puts a damper on a fun and relaxing photo shoot like feeling rushed or late!
You should plan for traffic and arrive about 5 minutes before your scheduled start time.
MAKE A PLAYLIST
Music will really help you get into the super model zone!! Try to select music that matches the concept of your shoot. I have a bluetooth speaker at the studio to stream your tunes if you bring them! I also have a pretty kickass set of photo shoot playlists that tend to jive well with most people.
I won’t make you do anything that is going to make you look bad. I’m a pro. I’ve been doing this for a long time and I know how to make a woman look good with killer poses, strategic lighting, and appropriate camera angles.
It happens all the time…a client’s photo shoot is a few days away and she begins to panic. I get a terrified e-mail in the middle of the night begging for me to talk them off the ledge. They want to cancel, they just haven’t had the time to prepare, you name the excuse, I’ve heard it. So let me be proactive here and tackle the most common trepidations I hear, so that maybe you won’t be hyperventilating in the middle of the night on the day before your session.
Yeah, it happens. Pimples suck. If you think for one second that every woman you see pictured on my website was magically pimple-free on the day of their session, you’re taking crazy pills. I retouch blemishes and bruises with ease on every photo you see. No problem. No stress. Let that pimple try it’s hardest to ruin your day, but your photos will not be a permanent reminder of it.
Yep, it’s the worst. No, it will not affect your finished product. I run an all-female studio and I totally understand the plight of menstruation on photo shoot day. I keep extra strength Advil and feminine hygiene products on hand, and I have zero qualms with 30 bathroom breaks. Start your morning with some fresh fruit and a heating pad and we’ll take it from there. No worries about bloat or blemishes.
This one’s easy. You don’t have to know how to pose…not even a little bit. I will walk you through every step of the way. I will get into the poses myself and have you mirror me. If we didn’t get it right on the first try, I’ll gently redirect you. It’s not YOUR job to take amazing photos, it’s mine. And I’m pretty competitive about taking amazing photos.
I’M NOT PHOTOGENIC
If you’re thinking that all of the women featured on the pages of my website and social media are models, you’re sorely mistaken. I have NEVER….EVER had a client who didn’t love their photos. You don’t have to love EVERY SINGLE ONE of them, but you will love most of them. And you will be shocked that you could love photos of yourself this much. I WILL rock out your photo session and I WILL get a whole bunch of killer images of you. I always do. But if you come into the shoot with an open mind and with trust in me, we’ll get EXTRA. And extra is always good. I’ve never met a woman who I couldn’t capture beautifully.
That includes you.
I long for the day that women are comfortable in their skin at all stages, for the day that women embrace their wobbly bits and beautiful side creases. That said, I know women well enough to be realistic and understand that many women struggle with self love and no matter how much I tell them they are beautiful, they wish they would have lost just a few more pounds before their session. If that is you, I can assure you, that this ain’t my first rodeo. The majority of the women that come in to see me are working on loving themselves, but struggle. They don’t approve of the size of their thighs, their belly pooch, their dimples.
I take women’s feelings very seriously and never want to make anyone uncomfortable. While this is a body positive studio, I will also light and pose you in the most flattering possible way while I shoot you from the best possible angles. I’ve spent the last decade photographing all kinds of women, all extraordinary in their own way. I’ve learned all the tricks to ensure that I am featuring the attributes that women most love about themselves, while paying special care to downplay areas of concern. While I’m going to make it my very best effort to change your mind on what you consider to be your “flaws”, I don’t expect every woman to be ready for that yet.