Preparing for a Shoot

If you are planning for your portrait session, some preparation before the shoot makes a big difference. The purpose is to remove/minimize any distracting elements that take focus away from your personality.

Please note: do not expect to fix poorly applied makeup, ill fitting clothes and poor grooming in Photoshop. With years of experience in shooting portraits I am assuring you it is a very BAD IDEA.

Following are some tips that you might find useful.


Preparation Tips for Men


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 after 50 years of age. Those pesky fellows peek out of nowhere. Ask your mirror if this needs attention as well.


Shirts: Solid colors do good, pin stripes too. Shirts with double cuffs, are preferable, they look better and give more posing opportunities. Please avoid tight shirts - if you can see the bulge of your paunch in the mirror, it is tight, no good! Printed shirts are suitable only for informal pictures.

Trousers & Belts: Tight trousers accentuate your paunch. Better use a recently bought, well fitting trousers you are comfortable in. Don't forget the belt - of color that matches your shoes.

Jackets: Can be used if you want a semi formal look. Don't depend on your colleague who promised to get his jacket for you to borrow...just kidding! If you can't close the buttons standing up, it is tight. Tight jackets don't look good, period. Get a well fitting jacket. If you need to buy one, this is the best time and excuse to do so. If you already have one or many, get it/them dry cleaned and pressed a couple of days before the shoot. A well fitting jacket gives you confidence that shows in the photograph.

Suits: are better than jackets if you want a formal look. Suggestions same as above.

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! Don't depend on Photoshop please, it is an overrated tool. Many things people assume is possible on Photoshop are not actually possible.

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.