How to prepare for a Photoshoot

How do you prepare for a photoshoot?

Personally, I’ve gone to my own portrait sessions without much thought to it, only to regret it later. Like the time I didn’t look at my outfit until the day-of only to find a small stain that just was as stubborn as a mule and I had to pick something else last minute. I’ve also had great photoshoots where I had prepared long in advance and was rested, dressed in my favorite outfit and was so happy with the results. Getting your portraits done captures a moment in time – a moment that you will look back on, hopefully, with fondness – and you should look your best for that moment! Below are a few ideas that I’ve found helpful with getting myself ready for a photoshoot. Have other ideas, or a story of a photoshoot gone bad? Leave it in the comments below! A future blog post will come soon on how-to have a good experience with a family photoshoot, especially with little ones – but let’s focus on the grown-ups first:

Your Outfit(s)

Though we will be focusing more on you than on your clothing, we want you to feel great in what you’re wearing. To do that, choose and outfit that fits ‘just right’, looks as good as “new”, and is clean and ironed. Outfits that are too tight will show everything that you may want to hide, yet baggy clothing (even one size up) can make you see bigger than you are.

It’s best to not wear outfits that are too busy with patterns, small or thin stripes, signs or logos, and not too trendy that will be out of fashion before the next season. When photographing in black and white, think about contrast – and not just with the outfit, but with your skin and hair color as well. For example, if you’re fair, consider wearing darker clothing, and if your olive or dark then consider wearing white or a light color.

If you’re not sure what looks right, ask some friends or family that you trust will give you their honest opinion. And if you don’t have anyone that feels comfortable answering – don’t worry – the internet has you covered! is a site you can take pics of yourself in an outfit, and people will vote if they ‘Love It’ or recommend you ‘Leave It’ – and will give you suggestions on how-to make it better. The site is free, so take advantage of it!

Accessories, daaawling!

Oh, yes, it’s important to remember the small details, but keep them complementary and not over-bearing. Accessories to consider for your photoshoot:

  • Earrings
  • Bracelets
  • Gloves
  • Necklaces
  • Neckties
  • Hats
  • Veils
  • Scarves
  • Other

48 hours before the shoot

If you booked a photoshoot with us, we will give you a call to confirm that the photoshoot is still on and you are feeling well. If you haven’t booked with us, you may want to call your photographer and be sure they’re on. Trust me, I’ve had the situation of getting the whole family together, in their best, on the beach, only to have the photographer not show up! That’s one big reason that we call 2 days ahead – just to make sure we’re all on the same page.

If you’re getting your nails done, now is a great time to do that. It’s best to use a light neutral color as strong colors, such as red or black nails, can be distracting. But don’t let me tell you what to do too much. If you always wear black nail polish, then wear it – it’s part of your personality and that is something we definitely want to capture.

Now is also the time to start laying off the salty, greasy, and sugary foods to keep your skin clear and unwanted bloating off. Also, to help cleanse your body drink more water, and less alcohol. It’s also important to start getting to bed a little earlier – beauty sleep!

24 hours before the shoot

Time to make sure the outfit(s) you’re going to wear are clean, pressed and ready to go. Lightly exfoliate your skin and lips, and think about tweezing, trimming or waxing any unwanted facial hair. Also, if you haven’t already done so, be sure to print off directions to the photoshoot and you have our number on your cell (949-427-5171). Yep, and more water and beauty sleep!

Time for your close-up!

Time to take a little more time to get ready – and relax in the moment. Be sure to drink water (yep, you can never get enough!) and eat a light meal before you go. I would also suggest bringing a bottle of water and a light snack.  Enjoy!!


Time to have your own close-up? I have a camera, and ready to travel – around Southern California, that is! Use the contact form on this site to contact me – I’m looking forward to learning about you and what you want to capture with my camera. Until then – Rachel Pradhan, Aliso Viejo, CA Photographer and Artist