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Preparing for a Shoot

Good photos are a result of thoughtful preparation both by you and me, the photographer. My part is assured, what about yours?

Your preparation or lack of it can make or break the photo shoot. The difference is either we finish the shoot with a set of best photos of you or with photos you don't like, photos in which poor fitting clothes are sticking out like a sore thumb.

If  you are well  prepared, you will feel comfortable, that makes you feel confident and the confidence shows in your body language.  Otherwise you'd be cringing internally, feeling insecure and struggling to hide things you don't like, your inner voice nagging at you, pulling and tugging at's miserable, trust me...I'd be there, all of us had been there. Do you want to go there again? I don't think you do. 

Here are the 3 most important issues with preparation that I observed in photoshoots:


  1. Ill fitting clothes (men & women): I can't stress this enough. Some folks borrow a jacket/coat from a colleague or dig up clothes from the college days (a century ago) or worse they pickup something on sale without checking the fit. That's a disaster in making.  How often have I seen this? This is the most common issue in photo shoots. Mind you, I do this for a living, photo shoots I mean.

  2. Bad makeup (women): Foundation shade that doesn't match the skin color, poorly applied, going overboard with eye shade (which was actually the lipstick smeared over the eye lids). This is second most often seen issue.

  3. Poorly applied hair dye (men & women): Botched attempts at dyeing one's hair with forehead and ears stained or un-dyed roots and the result? Don't get me started on this...less said, the better! Please don't try this at home, get professional help.

Preparation Tips for Men


If you have time, head over to Suits Expert (click here), if you don't continue reading.

Whatever you choose to wear, fit is the most important aspect of how you will look. Ill fitting clothes will spell disaster, so kindly pay attention to this - if necessary buy a new pair.

Shirts: Well fitting Pantaloons clothes are better than ill fitting Gucci. Shirts with tight collar (if you can't close the collar button, it is too tight) and shorter sleeves don't look good. Please avoid tight shirts - if you can see the bulge of your paunch in the mirror, it is tight, no good! Solid colors do good, pin stripes too. Shirts with double cuffs, are great! 

Half sleeves shirts? Oh, no! NEVER!!!!


Avoid Giza cotton shirts, you can afford them, I get it but they crumple easily and are a nightmare for photo shoots.


Mandarin collars are a NO, NO, NO! 

Blazers/Coats/Jackets: Please get a well fitting jacket, please! I can't stress this enough. Don't borrow someone else's jacket, most likely it won't fit you. If you can't close the buttons standing up, it is too tight. Tight jackets look bad, period. If you already have one or many, get it/them dry cleaned and pressed before the shoot. Here's a big NO to tuxedos.

Trousers & Belts: Tight trousers accentuate your paunch. Please get a pair of well fitting trousers you are comfortable in. Don't forget the belt - of color that matches your shoes. The belt needs to fit well too.

Ties, Tie Pins, Cuff links, Pocket Squares: Decide the shirt, trousers, tie, pocket square combination beforehand. Tie pins don't show in the portraits unless you are going to get a shot without your jacket/coat. 

Shoes: Same color as the belt of your choice. In full length portraits and in seating portraits, they show. Get them buffed to mirror finish...kidding! 


Haircut and Dyeif it is more than 3 weeks since your last hair cut, get one done. and the dye as well, if you are into dyeing your hair.

Moustache, Beard and EyebrowsTrim a day before the shoot. Don't put it off till the day of the shoot, you may not find time for that. If you are into trimming eyebrows, check. Otherwise we are good!

Hair on Ears, on and in the Nose: a reality for some men. Those pesky fellows peek out of nowhere. Ask your mirror if this needs attention as well.

Here's a great 6 minute video by Ashley Weston, celebrity men's wear stylist.  If you are serious about dressing according to your body type here are two useful videos. 


Preparation Tips for Ladies


Here's a beauty check list compiled by a friend of mine, a London based portrait photographer.

Everyday Work & Business Makeup Tutorial


I hope you find these resources helpful! Did I miss anything, please click here to let me know. 

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