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 come out of the shoot with a set of great, your best photos yet or it is a disaster - you don't like how your poor fitting jacket ruined otherwise good photos.
If you are well prepared, the confidence shows in your body language otherwise you'd be cringing internally, feeling insecure and struggling to hide things you don't like with your inner voice nagging at you and you pulling and tugging...it's miserable.
Here are the most important 3 issues with preparation that I observed in photoshoots:
Ill fitting clothes: Some people borrow a jacket/coat from a colleague or dig up a shirt they bought in their college days (a century ago) or worse they pickup something on sale without checking the fit.
The result? An utter disaster!
How often have I seen this? This is the most common issue.
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.
Bad hair dye: Botched attempts at dyeing one's hair with forehead and ears stained or un-dyed roots and the result? 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: 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 preferable. Printed shirts are suitable only for informal pictures.
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.
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.
Suits: are better than jackets if you want a formal look. Fit and size are of utmost importance.
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 Dye: if 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 Eyebrows: Trim 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 London based portrait photographer.
Everyday Work & Business Makeup Tutorial
Here are two great videos, one to help you know your body type and the other to help you decide how to dress according to your body type
I hope you find these resources helpful! Did I miss anything, please click here to let me know.