General Advice | tips from Lauren J.

  • Plan- First and for most...plan your outfits, hair, makeup, and all those details out at least 2 weeks beforehand. You don’t want to be stressed day of the shoot searching through closets and deciding on what to wear. Have your outfits done, polished and ready to go. You don’t want to have 4 outfits to decide on day of. Try on your outfits together before to make sure they coordinate or if you need to run to the store and grab something you didn’t realize until you tried the entire outfit on top to bottom. I style shoots too, so if you need help for overall ideas or inspiration for outfits let me know. Lastly wear something you feel beautiful & confident in.
  • Hair – If you’re getting a hair cut/color for your shoot, do so about two weeks beforehand, just in case it goes wrong – you just never know. For men, a fresh cut a couple of days before the shoot is fine.

  • Hair accessories – If you’re shooting outdoors, be ready to put your hair up and make it look nice in case of a windy day. Bring bobby pins, hair clips, headbands or any other favorite accessories.

  • Glasses – If folks wouldn’t recognize you without glasses, you want to wear glasses in your shoot – however, the glare on glasses can detract from your eyes in photos.

  • Spray Tans – Don’t do it. It looks good in person, BUT it looks orange in photos. Laying in the sun or tanning beds is the only way to get a natural looking tan in photographs.

  • Lips – Don’t forget to wear lipstick, trust me. You will probably wipe or lick your lips during your shoot, so bring fresh lip gloss or lipstick to do touch-up. Use lip balm for a few days in advance of your shoot to make your smoochers look their best.

  • Teeth – If you want to brighten your smile, start your treatments about two weeks before your shoot.

  • Breakouts – Start using African Black Bar Soap for a week in advance of your shoot to help reduce and limit pimples and blemishes. If you have a huge one, don’t panic I can Photoshop that out to make you flawless.

  • Make-up – Hire a professional if you can or make sure you know what you’re doing, and make sure it matches your skin tone, or your face may look orange compared to the rest of your body. I always think you should wear more for photos then you normally do, just because you can look washed out if you don’t, however don’t go overboard you want to look like yourself just enhance your features.

  • Facial hair – Men, be freshly shaved with a new razor, shaving cream and a moisturizing after-shave lotion to avoid bumps and redness. Trim up your board, sideburns, mustache or goatee, especially looking for wiry stray hairs. Ladies, even if you have some light facial hair (particularly around your lip or chin), indulge in a waxing in advance of your shoot – even barely-there light facial hair will be noticeable in your photos. Men and women both, pluck and clean up those eyebrows.

  • Moisturizer – Dry skin can really detract from a great photo shoot. Start moisturizing nightly a week in advance of your shoot. When you get out of the shower, dry off until lightly damp, and slather on moisturizer. Focus on your arms, shoulders, neck, face, hands, anywhere you’ll be exposed to the camera. This includes your legs if you’re shooting in shorts or a skirt. ProTip: For dry skin on your face, especially around your nose, use a sugar scrub. Mix a cup of sugar with about a quarter cup of olive oil, or just until it looks like wet sand. Scrub your face with it anywhere you have flaky skin, wash it off, then wash with soap to remove the oil. The sugar paste shouldn’t be oily, just wet enough to moisten the sugar. Also, be sure on your face to use a facial moisturizer, not a thick body moisturizer, or you could break out
  • Nails – A fresh coat of nail polish will make a world of difference in your photo shoot. Pick a neutral color that won’t distract in your shoot or clash with your outfits. Freshen the morning of the shoot, then be careful not to scuff it while prepping. Your photo shoot is a great excuse for a fresh manicure, but if you can’t go to the salon, make sure your nails look tidy and clean, including the cuticles.
  • Bloating – Ladies, avoid high salt and high fat foods for two to three days in advance of your shoot. Being bloated will zap your confidence and comfort in front of the camera. Try to eat clean the week before; it will make a world of difference in your face.
  • Undergarments – Bra straps won’t do anything to help your outfit look its best. Be sure you bring a set of bras and strap-adjusting accessories to work with any outfit you want to shoot in to keep those straps well-hidden.
  • Sun burns and tan lines – If your shoot is booked for Saturday, don’t go to the beach on Friday. If you plan to tan before your shoot, do so at least a week beforehand and don’t get burned. Be mindful of clothing tan lines, sunglass tan lines, hat tan lines, etc.
  • Ironing – If you iron, iron the night before and then hang the clothes for your shoot. If you’re wearing something that wrinkles easily, don’t wear it in the car on the way to the shoot – just change at the location.
  • Shoes – Ladies, can’t go wrong in heels or wedges. Men, clean’em up! Dress shoes are best[or boots down here in Texas], but as with most things, let your momma or your wife decide.
  • Practice - Before the shoot practice in the mirror or even better selfies with your phone. Practice your perfect smile. So many clients complain that they aren’t photogenic and I say it’s because you haven’t had enough time in front of the camera. It can feel foreign to you, so practice. Get in front of the camera or mirror and practice your most flattering pose. Believe me, if you know your body you will nail it.