Decide on outfits, choose which beautification steps you will take, and schedule the appointments (even if they're just with yourself). Remember, these tips are here to help you think of ideas for preparing for your shoot but are definitely not required or even necessary for everybody. Just choose what fits in with your budget, lifestyle, and current beauty regimen, and go from there!
When having your photo session, there are five areas where a little advanced preparation can make a huge difference. Neglect them, and an otherwise perfect photo could end up with distracting elements that take the focus from where it should be. (*Ahem* Your beautiful eyes, of course.) Face, Hair, Hands, Skin, and Clothes are five areas.
Don’t Pick. A pimple is very easy to cover with makeup, but scabs, wounds and flaky patches are more tricky. As soon as possible, stop picking at your skin. Stop examining your face closer than 50cm / 2 feet from a mirror. If you distractedly pick while you’re doing something else, try wearing bandaids on your fingertips. Go for some with a really sassy print, like Barbie or Dora the Explorer.
Exfoliate. A nice, soothing session using a grainy scrub (or gently rubbing your skin with a washcloth) on your face and body is an indulgent way to spend an evening. Plan to exfoliate a couple times before your appointment, but be sure to allow a few days between ‘treatments’, as well as a couple days after the last one before your shoot.
Get a Facial. If you’re going to go all out into pamper mode, be sure to do your facial at least a week before your shoot. Since facials tend to cause redness, a week usually allows enough time to heal.
For those of us on a budget, an at-home facial with a gooey, florescent masque is always a fun alternative to a night on the town. Throw in a delicious book and recharge your psyche. Repeat as necessary.
Wax Eyebrows. If you decide to have your eyebrows waxed or threaded, be sure to schedule the appointment for at least a few days before your photoshoot. Otherwise, an eyebrow trim/touch up at home could be done a day or two before the shoot.
Touch Up Your Roots. If you dye your hair, touching up your regrowth three days before your photoshoot is ideal. Take my advice: this is not the time for drastic changes. Trust me.
Get a Trim. Neat, healthy hair is youthful and vibrant. If it’s been a while since your last haircut, even a subtle trim can make a world of difference.
Deep Condition. Your salon can do a professional conditioning treatment, or you can use your favorite deep conditioner or protein pack at home. Toss it on with the gooey facial masque. Wrap your head, turban-style. Wear harem pants and pretend you’re a genie while you’re marinating. Or read a book. Your call.
Get a Manicure. While you’re at it, toss in the pedicure. If you’re hard on your manicures, book the mani/pedi for the day before your shoot.
Minimalists can stick with neatly shaped, clear nails. Soft, neutral colors work well for fingertips. Toes can get away with any color. (Think about the outfits you’re bringing and be sure to choose a color that will compliment your choices.)
Wax or Shave. If you go the waxing route, give yourself a few days to heal before your shoot. Shaving can be done the night before. Be sure to get your legs and underarms, and if you’ll be wearing a swimsuit or lingerie, go for the bikini area as well.
Something Dark. Bring at least one dark outfit or top. Black, Navy or Charcoal work best here.
Something Light. For your light outfit, think angelic. Soft, gauzy, maybe even layered and sheer. It doesn't have to be white, you could go with cream, nude, light pink – whatever.
Something Fun/Funky/Whimsical. This outfit is your chance to really show your personal style. If you tend toward more conservative tastes, choose a different adjective. Instead of Funky, try Structured, Soft, Elegant, or Formal.
Something Sexy. This one is entirely your call. You could skip sexy, and that’s up to you. But if you’d like to, you can be an understated sexy in a backless formal dress, or a more overt sexy in a pretty pinup-style swimsuit. Beautiful lingerie is lovely and empowering.
Consider Necklines. I love to be able to see your collar bone, so boat neck, scoop neck, square neck, deep V and off-the-shoulder are my favorite necklines. Whatever you choose, try to make it more interesting than the basic T-Shirt neckline. If you love turtlenecks, go for it! Feel free to bring whatever calls to you. Mixing up the necklines will add variety to your shots, so try not to bring all of one style.
Think Texture. Sumptuous textures lend a rich, tactile element to your photos. Delicious.
Avoid Prints. Patterns and prints are distracting. We want people to look at you when they see your portrait, and even the most beautiful print will steal that attention.
Fit Your Form. Fitted clothing that shows your shape work best for photographs. Skip that billowy, blouson top, or anything with dolman or batwing sleeves. While they might be flattering in person, they will not be slimming in camera. This applies to any body type. Choose outfits that will hug your curves, especially your waist, hips, arms, and chest.