For a photographer, each person’s personality and unique qualities should shine through in their photographs. When a subject feels comfortable and free to interact with their photographer is how the best photographs are captured.
Portrait Photography is a team effort. There are a few things you can do as a client that will ensure your photographs as good as they possibly can be. When I take a booking from clients, I like to go through this simple check list with them that ensures they arrive looking great, feeling fresh and are ready to shoot!
1. Get a Good Night’s Sleep
They call it beauty sleep for a reason. No amount of retouching can eliminate the exhaustion present in your eyes after a bad nights sleep. It’s important to be well rested so your natural energy and allow you to have fun during your shoot.
2. Choose Clothing That Represents Your Who You Are
An artist may wear something flowing and comfortable to reflect your creative personality. If you are an entrepreneur or business manager you may want to wear something that portrays your professionalism and trustworthiness.
If fitness is your thing make sure your clothes show off the physic you have worked so hard for. If you’re an Actor you should consider the roles you want to audition for and how would you be dressed in your preferred role.
It’s a good idea to wear solid colours and avoid patterned clothes like narrowly striped shirts or herringbone patterns as they can cause odd optical effects at certain print sizes. Logos have a tendency to date quickly so I often recommend to be cautious with them.
I always advise to bring at least three changes of clothes to allow for different options. Remember what looks good in the mirror may not reflect well in a photograph. And if you are shooting in cooler weather you have warm clothes handy to stay comfortable between shots.
3. Makeup or No Makeup? How Much is Too Much?
If you love your makeup and would never leave the house without it, by all means, wear your make up to the portrait shoot. Photography tends to enhance colour and contrast so heavy make up is best avoided and spray tans need time to fade a little.
If make up isn’t your forte don’t panic. Wear very light makeup or none at all. You could also request hiring a professional makeup artist for the shoot.
If you want to get your hair cut for the shoot, it’s best to do it a week before the shoot date. Small blemishes, cuts or spots are easily removed in photoshop, so if a pimple appears on the morning of the shoot don’t panic!
4. Eat a Good Meal, Avoid Alcohol
Sitting in front of a camera for an hour or two can be very tiring work. Make sure you have energy by eating a good healthy meal in preparation for your photo shoot and avoid any heavy foods which could make you feel bloated.
Alcohol can cause the skin to blush red and give bloodshot eyes. I always recommend avoiding alcohol for at least a day in advance of the shoot to ensure you feel bright and look your best.
5. Practice Posing
This may sound silly but trust me, it works. Preparing for your portrait by pulling faces in front of a mirror can assist you understand how you will look in front of the camera. Test Smiling, smiling wider and smiling with your eyes. Learn to understand what this feels like so when you have a camera pointed in your direction will assist you to feel more comfortable on the day and allow you to relax and enjoy the experience.