Pre Shoot Tip Guide

We’ve put together this list of tips and suggestions to help our subjects be as prepared as possible for their photo session. Many of these tips are subtle suggestions, but when combined they can make people feel more confident and make the retouching process quicker. Faster retouching means more expeditious photo delivery! As always if you have any questions, please let us know!

With the majority of our multi-person headshot sessions, the standard apparel is typically some form of business attire, from semi-formal to casual. We highly recommend trying on the clothes you intend to wear a few days before the session to allow you to compensate for a new outfit if you're finding that the one you thought you wanted to wear doesn't fit. It's hard to feel confident in your shoot if your clothes don't fit! Remember to avoid elaborate patterns or excessive jewelry. Unless intentional, it's usually wise to avoid wearing the same color as the background of the photo. Some colors that are extremely saturated ("coral" is a good example), may not always photograph as well as they appear to the human eye. Since our specialty is photography and not fashion, we recommend connecting with a stylist like Ashley Rae Lopez who can give much better fashion advice than we can!

"Clothing Debris" is the term we affectionately call lint, stray hairs, pet fur, and anything that shows up on clothes that we have to retouch. Spending a few moments with a lint roller/brush is a big help to us in retouching.

Dry shampoo is super popular these days, and we are 100% on board for water conversation! The only problem is that in photos dry shampoo looks a lot like dandruff. This can become complicated to retouch because of the fine detail of hair. So if you can avoid using it on the day you are photographed it will make our retouching job easier!

We hate to throw any gender under the bus, so we'll make a blanket statement that there is no shame in trimming or shaping up your brows. You get points for knowing what a Mentat is, but not for looking like one.

If you’re an established wearer of facial hair it’s a good idea to give trim/shape it before the shoot. If you’re planning on growing something out, make sure you give yourself enough time to be completely grown out before you schedule your shoot. Also, regardless of gender, everyone has facial hair. We've zoomed in on enough faces on large monitors to know the truth of this. It's nothing you need to be embarrassed discussing with us!

If you wear glasses it’s ideal if your glasses have a glare coating on them, especially if we’re using artificial light (which we do in nearly all of our shoots, even if outdoors). If your glasses do not have the glare coating we sometimes may be able to angle you in a way that the glare will be less visible. Remember to clean your lenses well before the shoot!

A fresh haircut can take a portrait up a notch, especially versus having your photos taken when you’re in desperate need of a cut. Haircuts do tend to look their best a few days after the initial cut. If you are planning on changing your hairstyle dramatically soon, consider that you may wish to schedule your session after that change has happened to further the longevity of the photos we take. For those who are planning on a style change, it's a good idea to give yourself a few days to get used to styling it before the actual day of the shoot. Also, if you color your hair, make sure your roots are up to date! If your hair is prone to fly-aways it’s always a good idea to bring a brush (especially for outdoor shoots).

Whether you are wearing makeup or not, exfoliating lips and wearing a moisturizing chapstick is something we highly recommend. Unless your nickname is already "Chappy."

First and foremost we do recommend utilizing the services of a professional makeup artist. Below you will find a few links to makeup artists we’ve worked with. Makeup for men is a thing too and can be highly beneficial in photos. Whether you decide to do it yourself or hire a professional, we strongly recommend avoiding strip lashes. Strip lashes are a favorite with a lot of makeup artists, but we’ve had numerous shoots where the glue has failed at a corner. That is a nightmare of a problem to retouch! For that reason, we recommend individual lashes over the strip variety. If you or your makeup artist still wishes to use them, please bring the lash glue with you. Makeup artist recommendations: Cindy Sterling, Irene Kim, or Kimm DiCato.

Unless you know that we’re shooting strictly headshots (i.e. hands will not be making an appearance), there is a chance your hands may work their way into a photo or two. Nails should be filed, hangnails removed, and obviously, any dirt under the nail should be cleaned. Generally, we recommend keeping nails painted in neutral tones, or just clear coated if you’re a nail painting sort.

Even though this falls under the clothing tip, neckties are a confusing garment to a lot of people so we are giving them a dedicated category. If you’re planning on wearing a tie to your session and you’re not usually a tie-wearing person, you may be unfamiliar with the various methods one can knot a tie. Please practice tying your knot before the shoot! I’ve been wearing ties once in a blue moon since I was 14, and I think I can do a decent Four-in-Hand knot after about the fourth try (provided I’m putting it on myself and I’ve got a mirror). We highly recommend not relying on the photographer to be able to knot your tie. Your tie should cover the neck button on your collar and hang down to the top edge of your belt. There is no end to the number of tie knot tutorials on YouTube, and we recommend selecting one where the instructor has a British accent.

Sure nose hair serves a function when it's safely tucked up inside within your nostrils. Smiling tends to draw the nostrils up and project the hairs downwards - so you may not even be aware of your nose forest. We have nothing personally against nose hair - but it will help to trim it up just a little before your session. Don't feel bad, we're all forested on occasion. Just give yourself a big smile in the mirror and pay attention to your nostrils - if no hair is sneaking out you're all good.

Rest and hydration are two of the main tips we can offer for having the best skin day possible. Dry skin folks will want to exfoliate and moisturize. Oily skin folks might want to consider bringing some oil blotting papers. While we do retouch our images, results will always be best if you're able to follow all of the listed tips here!

Brushing and flossing your teeth before any photoshoot seems like it would be a given. However, we have had subjects we've photographed who've arrived after a recent meal, who have forgotten to very carefully look at their teeth and gums before we began. The camera viewfinder is small, so these subtle details can sometimes get missed! Additionally, if something that holds back your genuine smile is your teeth not being white enough - don't worry! Whitening teeth is something we automatically address in our retouching process. Smile away with confidence!

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