Tips For Your Portrait

April 12, 2017  •  Leave a Comment



For years I have been handing out a flyer, or sending a pdf called "Tips for your Portrait" to my clients before their portrait sessions. It has been very popular and now it is time for an upgrade to that list. Most of the tips are timeless, while a few updates have been added. I thought I would offer something a little more fun to help educate my clients about how to prepare for a portrait session with me. 


Tip # 9: Update your wardrobe if needed. STAY CURRENT!

Tip #9 Spend a little on your wardrobe New tie, blouse, jacketTip #9 Spend a little on your wardrobe New tie, blouse, jacket Just as your wardrobe choices are important, so is the necessity of updating what you wear. You wouldn't bring a Model T to a modern car show, would you? Of course not. Buy a snappy new tie or that cute blouse you've been eyeing. Keep it classy and sleek. Nobody wants to look dated, so this is your chance to update your wardrobe - just in time for your special Portrait!


So go buy that extra little zing and come back for next week's Tip for Your Portrait!



Tip # 8: Avoid busy patterns that overtake the Portrait.

Tips for your Portrait5035- loud patternsTips for your Portrait5035- loud patterns

When it comes to the wardrobe you choose for your portrait, I would always say dress to impress. Just keep in mind that  we want YOU to shine! I suggest that my clients avoid bright busy patterns, as they can pull attention from you and draw the eye to your shirt instead of your face. Of course there is a place for a fun tie or a lighter blouse in an image, but for the most part  I suggest darker solid colors. We want you to be the star of your own portrait! So although a hawaiian shirt is perfect at a BBQ, it may not be the best choice for your professional business headshot.


So go rethink that pattern and come back next week for tip # 9 



Tip # 7: If you shave your face, make sure you are freshly shaven when you come in for your portrait. 

Tip#7- Get a clean shave the morning of your portraitTip#7- Get a clean shave the morning of your portrait
If unlike the cool guy in tip #5 you are more of the clean shaven type. Make sure your shave is fresh and done the day of the shoot. When aiming for a crisp and clean look, one or two days of growth can really make a difference. I usually keep a razor or two here at the studio just in case but arriving ready to go can save you time and the difference is worth the effort.

So grab your straight razor and come on back next week for tip #8


Tip # 6: If you have a beard or mustache, make sure it is nicely trimmed and groomed. 


Tip#6 Trim your mustacheTip#6 Trim your mustache

Like I mentioned in Tip #5, hair is hard to retouch but also extremely important to a portrait. If you are a man with a beard or mustache and you would like to keep it for your portrait, it is very important that you have it nicely trimmed and groomed. Make sure the parts of your face that you do not usually have hair on are freshly shaved and that your facial hair is brushed, and trimmed to a polished look. Remember that this is how you will be represented to your current and future clients. You want to look professional and well kept. 

So go comb out your handlebars and come back next week for the next Tip for your Portrait! 


Tip # 5:  If you do not love your hair you will not love your portrait! 

professional studio photography of Gerry McIntyre getting his hair cut in preparation for a portrait. Tips for your Portrait: Tip #5. Get your hair done for your portrait I have learned over the years that if you are not comfortable with the way that your hair looks, you will never love your completed portrait. So I stress this tip as it can be a lot more difficult to fix a bad hairdo in photoshop than it is to fix a blemish. For men I suggest getting your hair cut a week before your photoshoot. You want to come to shoot during that sweet spot between when your hair is freshly cut and has had a chance to grow back just a little.

For women, I suggest getting your hair done the day before or even the day of your portrait. If you do not get your hair done, take the time to put a little extra effort into doing it yourself. Make sure if you dye your hair, that your roots are not overgrown. We will make fine tuned adjustments and assist with fly aways and taming those locks when needed but make sure you come in with a hair do you will be happy to see on screen! 

So go make an appointment at the barber or the salon and come back next week to get tip #6


Tip #4. Details Details Details!

Session 1 - Preperation 182-DetailsTip#5- Take care of the Details

This is an important tip! When you are preparing to come in to get your portrait taken, sometimes it is the smallest details that can elevate your image. If your hands will be in the picture, make sure that your nails are groomed and not chipped or dirty. Tweeze those stray hairs and tame back those nose hairs (it's okay we all have them!).  Going that extra mile can really give your image a more high quality and polished look. 



Tip # 3. Drink Plenty of water and make sure you eat! 

Session 1 - Preperation 148-Drink Water GerryTip#3-Drink Plenty of Water , your skin will love it.


This week's tip goes hand in hand with numbers 1 and 2. When my subjects come in dehydrated or hungry, it is usually pretty apparent in their portraits. Our skin looks better when we have had plenty of water and our energy is better when we have had something healthy to eat. Since you know by now that my goal for every client is an energized and engaging image, you are probably starting to see why this tip goes along with the rest.  I don't want my clients, sleep deprived, sluggish, or running on empty.

So grab a power bar and some H20 and check out the next "Tip for your Portrait."


Tip # 2. Try to get in a workout before your shoot to get your blood pumping and your energy up.


Session 1 - Preperation 097_Workout GerryTip #2 Get some exercise before your portrait



If you have the time and are able, a good workout before a photoshoot can do wonders. Rest is definitely important and that is why it is number 1 on my list, but once you hop up from your great night sleep, get your energy up and get moving! Not only will you bring color to your skin with a workout, but it also makes you more energized and ready to be an engaging subject at your portrait shoot. I am not suggesting you go out and run a marathon before you come in, but more along the lines of a brisk walk or another physical activity you enjoy. Personally, I love a good bike ride. 

So get up, get moving, and then come on back when I post my next "Tip for your Portrait"



Tip # 1. Get a good night sleep before your portrait shoot

Studio Portrait of Gerry McIntyre on a blue gradient background at The GMP studio in Downtown Sacramento.Tip # 1 Get plenty of sleepHow to prepare for your professional portrait session for business headshots.

There are a lot of great ways to pull off a beautiful portrait. Between makeup, lighting, and retouching, it is safe to say I have a few tricks up my sleeve to make you look great during your session. However, there is just no substitute for a good nights sleep. When you have given your body the rest it needs, you look younger, fresher and have more color to your skin. Even more importantly, proper rest brings an energy to a portrait that you just cannot achieve with a subject who has been up all night. I also try and direct clients to shoot in the mornings when possible, we are all a little fresher at the start of day verses the end of a busy day.

When you are taking a professional business headshot, you are doing so for a reason. You want an image that shows your clients that you are right for them. My goal is always to tell your story through the image, and you want your portrait to say "I am energized and engaged". So get a good night sleep and come back next week for the new "Tip for your Portrait!"




Of course we wouldn't make you wait to get each tip week by week if your shoot is next week! Here is our new flyer, which is available for download if you click the image. 

Downloadable flyer with Tips to help clients prepare for their professional portrait session. There are three business headshots and a list of tips. How to Prepare for your Portrait SessionThe complete list of tips from Gerry to help you look your best on the day of your portrait session.






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