Tips for Achieving Your Best Portraits

Pre-Session Preparation

Our clients want to capture memories that they will love for years to come. While it may seem effortless, the best images are a collaboration between client and photographer, where each comes prepared for their role. As your photographer, I will be sure to plan out our setting, lighting, focal lengths and compositions to tell your story in the best way. I will curate the best selection and edit to achieve the look and feel that you will love. Your role as the client, is simply to bring the best version of you, and or your family that you would like to remember for years to come. Here are a few tips & suggestions that will make all the difference.

Studio & Mini

  • Plan outfits and have attire ironed and looking the best it can.
  • Get plenty of rest to ensure you are at your best.
  • Set aside/bring any props you want to use in the pictures.
  • Ensure that all individuals in the photo session are ready and excited.
  • Ensure hair is styled and freshly cut within 2 weeks.
  • Arrive 10 -15 minutes early to give yourself plenty of time for last minute issues that may arrive.
  • If you wear glasses reflections/glare may occur in photos consider using a pair without any glass in them to prevent this, if folks wouldn’t recognize you without them.
  • Men’s facial hair should be freshly shaved, and trim up beards, goatee, moustache and sideburns.
  • If you wear jewelry, aim for subtlety and be aware of it twisting or turning.
  • If you wear make-up, a subtle application can really soften your skin and accent your facial features. Ensure it matches your skin tone, or your face may look orange or discolored compared to the rest of your body.
  • Avoid high salt and high fat foods 2-3 days before a photo session, as bloating will sap your confidence and comfort in front of the camera.
  • 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 do the photo session, to keep those straps well-hidden.
  • Nails tidy and neat, if coated choosing a neutral or matching color not to distract or clash with the outfit.
  • Moisturizing to avoid dry skin, improving how your photos will turn out.
  • Lip balm is great to avoid having cracked lips that will show in your photos.
  • Avoid red eyes, visine is your friend and proper rest.
  • Avoid sunburns and tan lines, avoid significant sun exposure the day before a photo session, be mindful of clothing tan lines, sunglasses tan lines and hat tan lines.
  • Regarding footwear, heels or wedges can elongate the body for a more flattering look. Regardless of footwear, be sure it is clean. Another option is shoe-less, especially at the beach.
  • Bring hair accessories, especially for outdoor sessions in case of windy days. Bring bobby pins, hair clips, headbands, hats or any other favorite accessory.
  • Bring facial powder to remove excess shine.


  • Clean their, nails, hair wipe away eye boogers, clean feet, wipe snotty noses, fresh-scrubbed teeth, the cleaner the better their photos will turn out
  • Napping age children - ensure they nap before the photo session
  • It is perfectly fine to bring bribes to help maintain their attention. Small candies, cereals, ensure they don’t stain teeth.
  • Avoid any colorful drinks within 24 hours of a photo session as it will stain their teeth, mouth, or face.
  • For siblings, the children don’t have to match perfectly, just coordinated attire.
  • Feel free to use your preference of colors and patterns in attire; however, logos, branded clothing, or too much writing on clothing can detract from portraits.


  • Moisturize that belly!
  • Gather your props to bring along – ultrasound printout, alphabet blocks that spell your baby’s name, baby shoes, stuffed animals, flowers, whatever you’ve seen in other maternity photos that you like.
  • Wear whatever you feel comfortable and pretty in – long, flowy skirts, especially solids are nice, and strapless bras that coordinate with them. Tube dresses are great for showing off your shape. Bring a pair of regular jeans, not the belly panel ones. A button-up shirt also makes it easy to transition into showing your belly.
  • If you’re doing semi-nude/implied nude photos, bras and underwear will create noticeable lines on your skin, so wear loose-fitting clothing to the shoot. You can add undergarments as necessary for photos later in the shoot.
  • Do bring your significant other! They’ll make a great prop for your photos, and greatly expand on the number of different photos you can make during your shoot. They should bring outfits that coordinate with what you’ll be wearing, or a dark long-sleeved shirt or sweater and dark pants. The focus should always be on you, your expressions, your emotions, your personality, your joy and your connection.


Newborn & Babies

  • Use a washcloth to clean away flaky skin and eye boogers
  • Trim those tiny fingernails and toenails with appropriate baby trimmers
  • The perfect time to shoot is right when the baby would be laying down for a nap. If your baby sleeps after feed, wait until you're about to do the photo session to do the feed. You are welcome to feed at the studio!
  • Dress up paper diapers, with decorative covers, solid colors preferred. Cloth diapers are classy and stylish.
  • Nothing is the best wardrobe for a newborn, most don’t fit well. Accessories are good, little hats, headbands, crocheted items. Bring sentimental items like quilts, baby blankets.


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