How to prepare for personal photoshoot

How to prepare for personal photoshoot. Wedding and family photographer in EU
How to prepare for personal photoshoot. Wedding and family photographer in EU
How to prepare for personal photoshoot. Wedding and family photographer in EU
How to prepare for personal photoshoot. Wedding and family photographer in EU

How to prepare for personal photoshoot


In this article, I will tell you how to prepare for a photo shoot — an adult portrait photo shoot, a pregnancy photo shoot. 

Careful preparation for a photo shoot is already half of a good result 😉

Next, I describe step by step how I work with my shooting heroes before a photo shoot. 

 1. Decide what you want 

Even if you saw a photographer’s portfolio and want to do the same, your portfolio will still contain different shots — by light, clothing, mood. Your photos will please you much more if you decide what exactly you want before shooting. 

 To do this, I ask my heroes to search the Internet (in my portfolio, on photographers' websites, on Google or just on Pinterest) for photos that they like, send them to me and write what they like. For example, “the hair is beautiful here” or “I like the mood here” or “everything here is beautiful in bright colors”. 

 You can create an album right on Pinterest and add your finds there. Why is this needed? Each person has their own “beautiful”. And it is very important for me, as a photographer, to understand what is beautiful for you, what mood you are in, what you expect from a photo shoot with me. For my part, I will try to answer your request as much as possible by adding my vision during the shooting, my ability to catch real emotions. 

 2. How to choose the date and time of the photoshoot 

I usually ask clients which days are best for them — weekdays or weekends. 

If we decide to shoot with daylight, in a studio or at home, then this is a fairly short period of time during the day, from about 10 am to 2 pm, in winter it is shorter, because there is little light and it is dim, especially on cloudy days.

 For studio lighting, time does not matter, which means you can shoot in the evenings. 

For outdoor photography in the summer, I usually recommend a time close to sunset, photographers call this “golden hour”, in fact, about an hour before sunset and almost an hour after. But in any case, in the summer on a sunny day, it is better to start shooting no earlier than 4 pm, otherwise it will be hot, and the sun will be too bright, giving black shadows on the face. On a cloudy or overcast day, you can shoot at any time. 

And now all this good time for shooting around the world must be combined with your daily routine. For example, someone is not ready to smile and talk in the morning, but for someone this is the most cheerful and fresh time for a photo shoot. 

 3. How to choose clothes for a photoshoot

Before the photo shoot, I write a detailed letter to my heroes with recommendations for preparing for the photo shoot. I look at their references again, now I pay attention to the clothes in the selected photos. And I prescribe in detail what clothes they should choose for shooting. here are also general recommendations for choosing clothes for a photo shoot: 

  •  if there are two or more people in the photo, their clothes should be combined with each other, be in the same color scheme, in the same style (not necessarily the same color) — for this it is useful to look at different collections of clothes on Pinterest for the query “family outfit for photoshoot” 
  • it is better if there are no large inscriptions, drawings on the clothes, this is very distracting from the faces in the photo plain clothes look very good in photographs, 
  • calmly shading the faces of the characters a small pattern can “ripple” in photographs, it must be treated with caution it is better not to combine white with black, as this is too strong a contrast for the camera. For example, the classic bride and groom are quite difficult to shoot in the correct exposure (so that everything is not too dark and not too light). Then the photographer needs to correct this when processing, the red colour in the photo is usually even brighter than in life. However, when processing, the photographer can muffle it a little. 
  • women’s underwear is better to wear seamless and matching in color with clothes or skin-colored if clothes combine no more than 3 different colors, then such a portrait will look more elegant and restrained 
  • it is better to take several sets to the shooting, even if you don’t wear everything. Let there be more choices 
  • It’s better to iron your clothes well, rumpled clothes in the photo can upset you, and retouching unironed clothes can cost a lot later 😉 
  • think about shoes for all sets, you can also be barefoot, especially if it’s a summer photo shoot in nature or on the beach 
  • DO NOT PHOTOGRAPH IN SOCKS! Barefoot is better 🙂 Unless this is a special idea, for example, the same socks for the whole family 
  • And one more thing: clothes should fit well on you. In Photoshop, it will not be possible to fit clothes to size if they are small or large for you. 

Or will it cost a lot All of these recommendations are quite general. If you have a special idea, then, of course, these rules can be violated. In general, it is best to take for shooting the clothes that you like, in which you like yourself, in which you feel comfortable (taking into account the above recommendations on patterns).

4. Makeup, hair, nails

In makeup for a photo shoot, the most important thing is always skin tone, tone alignment, powdering, and so on, professional makeup artists know how to do it. Then everything else is added — an emphasis on the eyes or lips, emphasizing the cheekbones, and so on.

Now the hairstyle. Forgive me for mentioning this, but before any shoot, even children’s, everyone needs to wash their hair. You won’t believe how often people forget about this. Washing and combing is the bare minimum.

And one more very important nuance: ALWAYS check the manicure before shooting, this also applies to men. In portraits and in family photography, hands often fall into the frame, and it is better that the nails are well-groomed and can be done without bright varnish, just natural. If you plan to shoot barefoot, check out the pedicure as well. Someone thinks that nails are easy to paint in Photoshop, but this is not so. Difficult and expensive 😉 Better to do everything in advance.

5. How to choose props for a photoshoot

Props are pretty easy. Again, look at your references and pay attention to all the additional details that are in the frame — hats, glasses, umbrellas, flowers, cups, blankets, and so on. 

Choose what you would also like to apply and / or what is already there or easy to find. Studios are usually full of various small and large props. You can go to the studio’s website and see what’s there. 

And you can take any other things that seem interesting to you. 

You can consult with the photographer about some specific props. 


 I hope my recommendations helped you, and your photo shoots will be even better now. Have a good photo session!

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