Thursday, February 16, 2012

"What should I do to prepare for my photo session?" Part 1 of 6 - General

You just booked a session with ALArms Photography! YAY GO YOU! Now, you have a few weeks until the date is here, and like everyone, you want to look your best, of course. These photos are going to be hanging on the wall or sitting on the mantel for years to come, so this is important business!


No worries - I am going to help you as much as possible because the end result, that being a happy client with awesome portraits, is all I'm concerned about because I want you go to tell all your friends and family how great these photos are and when they ask where you got them done you'll proudly say ALArms Photography!  

So you start going through magazines and pinterest* getting inspired for style tips, make up tips and poses that you like and you are pinning everything you like and keeping track of all those great photos you have seen because you are going to try and recreate a couple of these at your own session.
*If you really are doing this, make sure to tag me @Amanda Arms so I can see what your looking to recreate or what your are inspired by - thus helping me get to know, even better, what it is you are looking to create during our session together.

You probably are going to try some new make-up techniques so you have been practicing using those techniques only to end up looking like a raccoon that's been in a fight with a circus clown, but that's ok... practice makes perfect! So go head girl... keep on working that shimmer shine!

If you are wondering what other things you should prep for and think about before your session, your in luck because I am going to post for you a list of things to consider before you step in front of my camera (or anyone elses for that matter) and strike that pose!

Take a look at the list below of "general" advice as to how to prepare for your up coming photo session. Up coming posts will be less lengthy but will talk about specific sessions and what to think about when prep-ing for them.

General Advice:
  • Hair – If you’re getting a hair cut or color for your shoot, do so about two weeks beforehand, just in case it goes wrong – you just never know. For men, a fresh cut a couple of days before the shoot is fine.

  • Hair accessories – Because we will be shooting outdoors, be ready to put your hair up and make it look nice in case of a windy day. Bring bobby pins, hair clips, headbands or any other favorite accessories.

  • Glasses - If people wouldn’t recognize you without glasses, you want to wear glasses in your shoot – however, the glare on glasses can detract from your eyes in photos. You can have your lenses removed from your frames for your shoot (don’t worry, it’s what Hollywood does to avoid glare in movies), you can get a cute pair of reading glasses from Wal-mart or some other thrifty type place and take the lenses out for cool & fresh look.

  • Red eyes – Visine is your friend. Not getting drunk the night before your shoot helps, too. It happens! IF you need to use Visine be sure to do it a couple of times before your shoot but not directly before so you don't ruin make-up or have wet looking lashes that are matted together.

  • Lips – You will probably wipe, kiss or lick your lipstick off during your shoot, so bring fresh lip gloss or lipstick to do touch-up. Use lip balm for a few days in advance of your shoot to make your smoochers look their best. Staying hydrated will help the "crust factor" as well.

  • Teeth – If you want to brighten your smile, start your treatments about two weeks before your shoot. Please don't go over board with the whitening of the teeth and tanning of the skin...
       you WILL end up looking like an oompa loompa <---- NOT COOL!

    • Breakouts – Don’t cake on a lot of make-up to try to hide blemishes – it’s almost always easier to Photoshop away pimples than to clean up overdone make-up. For fever blisters, avoid getting them in the first place, then use Abreva if one pops up anyway.

    • Make-up – A subtle application of make-up can really soften your skin and accent your facial features. But make sure you know what you’re doing, and make sure it matches your skin tone, or your face may look orange compared to the rest of your body. If it's a rather warm day, bring some translucent facial powder to combat shine from oil/perspiration.

    • Facial hair – Men, be freshly shaved with a new razor, shaving cream and a moisturizing after-shave lotion to avoid bumps and redness. Trim up your board, sideburns, moustache or goatee, especially looking for wiry stray hairs. Ladies, even if you have some light facial hair (particularly around your lip or chin), indulge in a waxing in advance of your shoot – even barely-there light facial hair will be noticeable in your photos. Men and women both, pluck and clean up those eyebrows.

    • Moisturizer – Dry skin can really detract from a great photo shoot. Start moisturizing nightly a week in advance of your shoot. When you get out of the shower, dry off until lightly damp, and slather on moisturizer. Focus on your arms, shoulders, neck, face, hands, anywhere you’ll be exposed to the camera. This includes your legs if you’re shooting in shorts or a skirt. ProTip: For dry skin on your face, especially around your nose, use a sugar scrub. Mix a cup of sugar with about a quarter cup of olive oil, or just until it looks like wet sand. Scrub your face with it anywhere you have flaky skin, wash it off, then wash with soap to remove the oil. The sugar paste shouldn’t be oily, just wet enough to moisten the sugar. Also, be sure on your face to use a facial moisturizer, not a thick body moisturizer, or you could break out. [men, are most in need of this advice, especially around the face and hands.]

    • KILL SHINE for Men & Women: If it's a rather warm day, bring a hand towel or paper towels to dab away perspiration and don't forget translucent facial powder to combat shine from oil/perspiration. Men, I promise I will not say a word about your use of make-up and trust me your loved ones will thank me for it when they get their photos back with a non-oily, non-shiny handsome face in it.

    • Nails – A fresh coat of nail polish will make a world of difference in your photo shoot. Pick a neutral color that won’t distract in your shoot or clash with your outfits. Freshen the morning of the shoot, then be careful not to scuff it while prepping. [I see this most often with high school senior girls, to whom half-gone nail polish seems to be a popular fad.] Your photo shoot is a great excuse for a fresh manicure, but if you can’t go to the salon, make sure your nails look tidy and clean, including the cuticles. If all else fails, just take all the paint off completely and go without.

    • Bloating – Ladies, avoid high salt and high fat foods for two to three days in advance of your shoot. Being bloated will zap your confidence and comfort in front of the camera.

    • Undergarments – Bra straps won’t do anything to help your outfit look its best. Be sure you bring a set of bras and strap-adjusting accessories to work with any outfit you want to shoot in to keep those straps well-hidden.

    • Sun burns and tan lines – If your shoot is booked for Saturday, don’t go to the tanning bed on Friday. If you plan to tan before your shoot, do so at least a week beforehand and don’t get burned. Be mindful of clothing tan lines, sunglasses tan lines, hat tan lines, etc.

    • Ironing - If you iron, iron the night before and then hang the clothes for your shoot. If you’re wearing something that wrinkles easily, don’t wear it in the car on the way to the shoot – just change at the location.

    • Shoes – Ladies, can’t go wrong in heels or wedges. Men, clean’em up! Dress shoes are best, but as with most things, let your momma or your wife decide.
    That's all for now, as if that wasn't enough... Keep an eye out for those session specific tips to follow.

    Part 2 - Family Sessions
    Part 3 - Senior Sessions
    Part 4 - Children Sessions
    Part 5 - Maternity Sessions
    Part 6 - Newborn Sessions

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