Preparing for your photo shoot

So you're going to have your photo taken. How do you prepare?

Pick a location

All of our shoots are on location. It might be at a public park, or a conservation area, or your office, your house, a friend's house.... it's a long list of possibilities.

If you don't already have a location in mind, I can probably suggest a few suitable choices based on what themes and feelings you want the photos to convey.

Choose clothing carefully

The fashions you choose should reflect your own personal style. A portrait is about you, and how you want to be seen.

For standard portraits, you should choose colours that complement, rather than clash with, your skin and hair tones. If you're dark-skinned, then darker fabrics with rich colours will tend to look better than white fabrics; similarly, light skin and blonde hair tend to photograph better when paired with lighter clothing colours. You can of course break this rule if you want a sharper, edgier style.

Undergarments with buckles or wires often create distracting lumps in the outer layers of clothing, and are best avoided in favour of smoother versions that don't create visible wrinkles and bumps. If you plan to change or remove clothes during the shoot, try to avoid tight-fitting garments that might leave marks on visible skin. Jewellery of any kind is quite all right if it's part of your normal style, or if it's part of the style you want to convey in the photos.

Hair & make-up

You're certainly free to put as much effort as you like into your hair and make-up, if you so choose. I'm far from an expert in this area and you are welcome to have this professionally done if you're so inclined. Generally speaking, though, I find portraits work better if you stick to your own personal style, whatever that may be. Don't worry about the occasional pimple; these are easily corrected in digital post-processing.

Bring your music

Familiar muisc will help you to relax and to enjoy the photo shoot. If we'll be shooting indoors, or if we're shooting outside in a single location, feel free to put on whatever music makes you comfortable. (Modern pop, classical symphonies, '70s rock, baroque opera, '80s metal- it's your call, I won't judge.)

For outdoor shoots where we'll be moving around a lot, though, a stereo might be a bit too much to carry around.

Bring a friend

As citizens of the modern world, we are striving for a society in which everyone is respectful and everyone is safe, and nobody would dare to violate that. Modern reality is, unfortunately, lagging somewhat behind the ideal. Call them what you will- creeps, douchebags, pervs, whatever- there are still dangerous actors out there, particularly where younger women are concerned.

I can tell you with absolute certainty that we are not among that crowd, but you should never trust your safety to someone you don't know. So please consider bringing a trusted friend to your photo session. Or hiring a ninja. Whatever makes you happy- it's your shoot and your call.