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1. Essentials for all sessions:
a. It is essential that you think about whom you are and what you want to say about yourself in your portraits. Your photos should tell a story about who you are and capture your true personality. It takes time to capture the photos showing your personality. It is best if you freely communicate with your photographer, let them know who you are, show them your personality. We are going to be working together for at least a couple of hours, try to have some fun and make your experience memorable. If you have seen a pose that you like in a magazine or catalog, feel free to bring that photo along and we can turn that pose into something that works for you.
b. Choose clothing that is comfortable, clean and free of wrinkles.
c. Bring along any props that you would like to incorporate into your photos, i.e., sports equipment/uniforms, hobbies, your car, a favorite book or books, a hat or a special pair of shoes/boots, a scarf, artistic talents and musical instruments. Don’t forget your letterman’s jacket and class ring. You can even bring your pets (if you bring a pet please bring an extra person to handle the animal while we shoot non-pet related photos). If you have something extreme, please let the photographer know when you schedule your session so he can make appropriate plans. If you are a dancer, gymnast or other performer and want photos taken in another private studio or facility, please make sure that you have coordinated and gotten approval from that private facility.
d. If you wear glasses, and if possible, check with your optician about taking the lenses out of your glasses before the session so you don’t get a glare in your finished photos.
e. Make sure you get a good nights rest before your session. If you are tired it will show in your finished photos.
f. Think about where you would like to go for location shoots. Maybe the beach, a park or even an urban area. If you have a specific location in mind, make sure that you let the photographer know before hand so that he can make the appropriate plans and scout the location to make sure it will work.
2. For the guys:
a. A suit or sport coat with a tie is good for traditional portraits but don’t forget the jeans, khakis or shorts either. A solid color button-up shirt with jeans makes for a great look. Bring along a couple of changes of clothes that you think show a little of your personality.
b. Don’t forget to shave. Groomed facial hair is fine but stubble and peach fuzz will show in your finished photos, as it is almost impossible to edit it out and make your face look natural.
c. If you are going to need a haircut, get it at least a week prior to your session so that your hair has a chance to grow out just a bit and look more natural.
d. Make sure that your fingernails are well groomed and clean as your hands may show in some of your photos.
e. If your lips tend to be chapped, try using some Chapstick a few days prior to your session to get those lips nice and smooth, unless you are going for the real rugged look.
3. For the girls;
a. Bring the colors and outfits you feel best in. Dresses and sweaters are good for a traditional look. Bright colors, skirts, jeans or shorts make for great casual portraits. Avoid busy patterns or prints as they distract from the most important part of the portrait – you! Sleeveless shirts tend to be unflattering, in photos, for anyone but the most physically fit subjects. If you want beach photos, feel free to bring a swimsuit and a wrap if you like.
b. Shoes may show, so they should compliment your clothing. If you have a formal or fancy dress, it is important that you either have shoes that match or you can have your photos taken bare foot. Bare foot also works very nicely with casual photos, especially with jeans and shorts.
c. Hair – If you are planning to have your hair cut or colored before your session, try to do this a couple of weeks before your session. It will make for more natural photos. Bring along a comb or brush to put your hair back in place if it gets windy. Go easy on hair gels and hairspray. You don’t want your hair to look too stiff and unnatural.
d. Makeup – Be conservative, too much makeup in photos can give you a painted look and too little might not show off your features. Since most portraits concentrate on the eyes, pay particular attention to the areas around the eyes to make them look their very best. A translucent powder is helpful to eliminate a shine, especially for oily skin. Bring along anything you will need to touch-up your makeup. We will most likely be working outside and, depending on the weather, it might be hot. You will want to be able to touch-up your makeup when it starts to get really warm. Also, make sure, if you aren't wearing lipstick that your lips are properly moistened for several days prior to your session.
e. Nails – Your hands will show in many of your photos so it is important to have the nails well manicured, clean and use coordinating or neutral colors. Don’t forget the toes. It is possible that your bare feet will show in some of your photos so make sure that your toe nails are neatly manicured.
f. Suntans – Do not overdo the tan for your portraits. It looks great but in moderation. Sunburn can be an expensive problem. It causes facial shine, red noses and cheeks, strap marks, hat lines and peeling which are fixable but at an additional cost.
g. If you have to remove facial or body hair before your session, try to do it at least a couple of days prior to your session. Waxing and shaving can leave red marks that are almost impossible to clean up with software. If there is a part of your body that will show in your finished photos, make sure it is neatly manicured.