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 sheet. While most of the tips are timeless, a few updates have been added to offer something a little more fun to help educate my clients about how to prepare for a portrait session with me.
Tip # 1. Get a good night sleep before your portrait shoot
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 bring out you best during your portrait session. However, there is just no substitute for a good night's sleep. When you have given your body the rest it needs, you look younger, fresher, and your skin glows. Even more importantly, proper rest brings energy to a portrait that you just cannot achieve with a subject who has been up all night. I prefer to shoot clients in the mornings when possible, as we are all a little fresher at the beginning of the day. When you are taking a professional business headshot, you have a certain look in mind. 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 portray you in your best light.
Tip # 2. Try to get in a workout before your shoot to get your blood pumping and your energy up.
A good workout before your photoshoot can do wonders. Rest is important and is number 1 on my list, but once you hop up from your great night's sleep, get your energy up and get moving! Not only will a workout bring color to your skin, but it will also help you be more energized and ready to engage at your portrait shoot. I'm not suggesting you go out and run a marathon before you come in (but if you do, more power to you!), but suggesting something 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 check out the next Tip!
Tip # 3. Drink Plenty of water and make sure you eat!
This tip goes hand in hand with numbers 1 and 2. When my subjects come in dehydrated or hungry, it is apparent in their portraits. Our skin looks better when we have 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 to look sleep-deprived, sluggish, or running on empty.
Tip #4. Details, Details, 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 elevate your image. Make sure that your nails are groomed and not chipped or dirty. Tweeze any stray hairs and tame back those nostril hairs (it's okay we all have them!). Going that extra mile can really give your image a high quality and polished look.
Tip # 5: If you do not love your hair you will not love 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, especially 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, but make sure you come in with hair you will be happy to see on screen!
Tip # 6: If you have a beard or mustache, make sure it is nicely trimmed and groomed.
Like I mentioned in Tip #5, hair can be crucial to a portrait. If you are a man with a beard or mustache, and would like to keep it for your portrait, it is important that you have it nicely trimmed and groomed before you come in. Remember that this is how you will be represented to your current and future clients. You want to look professional and polished.
Tip # 7: If you shave your face, make sure you are freshly shaven when you come in for your portrait.
If unlike the cool guy in tip #6, you are more of the clean shaven type, make sure your shave is freshly done the day of the shoot. Aim 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 effort.
Tip # 8: Avoid busy patterns that overtake the Portrait.
When it comes to your wardrobe for your portrait, I would always recommend to dress to impress. Keep in mind that we want YOU to shine! I suggest that my clients avoid bright or busy patterns, as they can pull attention away from your face and draw the viewer’s eye to your shirt instead. Of course, there is a place for a fun tie or a lighter blouse in an image, but be careful not to overdo it. 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.
Tip # 9: Update your wardrobe if needed. STAY CURRENT!
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 outdated, so this is your chance to update your wardrobe - just in time for your special portrait!
Tip # 10: An Iron a Day Keeps the Wrinkles Away
Send your outfit to the dry cleaners the week before the shoot or break out your iron an d put a fresh crease in those trousers. Yes, you can wear your outfit to the studio, but feel free to bring an outfit on hangers to change into. That way, you're insured of a crisp, wrinkle free look.
Now that you've gone over all the steps for a successful portrait, keep in mind that there are a few other options available for you to explore. Do you need an image shot on green screen, giving your image the ability to have its choice of backgrounds? Or would you like a makeup artist for your convenience and ease of professional services? Drop us a line, give us a call, we are here to help you bring to life the image you want to portray to the world.
That's it for our series Tips For Your Portraits!! Thanks for keeping with us and hopefully this series will help YOU for your best portrait yet!