How to Achieve that    Great Photograph

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General Advice



Clothing- Have you clothing chosen in advance and make sure that your out fit choices are comfortable and attractive. Ask yourself, "What do your family photos look like? Are they soft and elegant? Chose neutral colors with soft, flowing fabrics...Think Creams, very soft pastels, oatmeals, light browns, tans, grays and slate blues. Want to showcase the fun and spunky side of your family? Choose coordinating colors with bold accents colors, such as hues of gray with yellow or bright red accents. Add fun accessories like scarves, headbands, hats, etc. can add a modern twist and sassy flair to your images. Bold or dark colors work well for photo shoots. Example: Emerald green would be the perfect contrast for a pale-skinned, green eyed redhead. Midnight blue, for a slimming effect. Select a color that flatters your skin tones and highlight your eyes. Choose solids instead of patterns (solids are less distracting to the eye, meaning the viewer will be drawn to the face). Complementary Hues rather than contrasting colors. For instance, You can pair dark blue jeans with a lighter-colored jean jacket. {It sounds from the articles anything goes except large patterns and flowers, due to they distract from you the Model.}


Hair-If you're getting a haircut for your shoot, do so about two weeks beforehand, just in case it goes wrong-you just never know. For men, a fresh cut a couple of days before the shoot is fine.

Hair Accessories-If you're shooting outdoors, be ready to put your hair up and make t look nice in case of a windy day. Bring bobby pins, hair clips headbands or any other favorite accessories. 

Glasses-If folks wouldn't recognize you without glasses, you want to wear glasses in your shoot-however, the glare on glasses can detract from your eyes in photos, You can have your lenses removed from your frames for your shoot (don't worry, it's what Hollywood does to avoid glare in movies), ask your eye doctor to loan you a pair of similar frames, or you can also visit an inexpensive company online like Zenni Optical and buy a suitable pair of duplicate frames on the cheap. 


Red Eyes-Visine is your friend. Not getting drunk the night before your shoot helps, too. (I mean that with a lot of love!)

Lips- You will probably wipe or lick your lips during your shoot, so bring fresh lipstick to do touch-up. Use lip balm for a few days in advance of your shoot to make your smoochers look their best. 

Teeth- If you want to brighten your smile, start your treatments about two weeks before your shoot. 

Breakouts- Start using African Black Bar soap for a week in advance of your shoot to help reduce and limit pimples and blemishes. 
Equally important, don't cake on a lot of make-up to try to hide blemishes - it's almost always easier to Photoshop away pimples than to clean up overdone make-up. For fever blister, avoid getting them in the first place, then use Abreva if one pops up anyway.

Make-up- A subtle application of make-up can really soften your skin and accent your facial features. But make sure you know what you're doing, and make sure it matches your skin tone, or your face may look orange compared to the rest of your body. 

Facial hair- Men, be freshly shaved with a new razor, shaving cream, and a moisturizing after-shave lotion to avoid bumps and redness. Trim up your board, sideburns, mustache or goatee, especially looking for wiry stray hairs. Ladies, even if you have some light facial hair (particularly around your lip or chin), Indulge in a waxing in advance of your shoot - even barely-there light facial hair will be noticeable in your photos. Men and women both, pluck and clean up those eyebrows. 

Moisturizer- Dry skin can really detract from a great photo shoot. Start moisturizing nightly a week in advance of your shoot. When you get out of the shower,l dry off until lightly damp and slather on moisturizer. Focus on your arms, shoulders, neck, face, hands, anywhere you'll be exposed to the camera. This includes your legs if you're shooting in shorts or a skirt. Pro Tip: For dry skin on your face, especially around your nose, use a sugar scrub. Mix a cup of sugar with about a quarter cup of olive oil, or just until it looks like wet sand, Scrub your face with it anywhere you have flaky skin, wash it off, then wash with soap to remove the oil. The sugar paste shouldn't be oily, just wet enough to moisten the sugar. Also be sure on your face to use facial moisturizer, not a thick body moisturizer, or you could break out. 

Nails-A fresh coat of nail polish will make a world of difference in your photo shoot. Pick a neutral color that won't distract in your shoot or clash with your outfits. Freshen the morning of the shoot, then be careful not to scuff it while prepping. [I see this most often with high school senior girls, to whom half-gone nail polish seems to be a popular fad.] Your photo shoot is a great excuse for a fresh manicure, but if you can't go to the salon, make sure your nails look tidy and clean, including the cuticles. 

Bloating- Ladies, avoid high salt and high-fat foods for two to three days in advance of your shoot. Being bloated will sap your confidence and comfort in front of the camera. 

Undergarments-Bra straps won't do anything to help your outfit look its best. Be sure you bring a set of bra and strap-adjusting accessories to work with any outfit you want to shoot in to keep those straps well-hidden. 

Sunburns and tan lines-If your shoot is booked for Saturday, don't go to the beach on Friday, If you plan to tan before your shoot, do so at least a week beforehand and don't get burned. Be mindful of clothing tan lines, sunglasses, tan lines, hat tan lines, etc

Ironing- If you iron, iron the night before and then hang the clothes for your shoot, If you're wearing something that wrinkles easily, don't wear it in the car on the way to the shoot-just change at the location. 

Shoes-Ladies, can't go wrong in heels or wedges, Men, clean'em up! Dress shoes are best, but as with most things, let your momma or your wife decide. 

Well Rest and well fed-Be well rested and well fed. Eat a healthy snack if you plan to have supper after shoot.

Leave yourself plenty of time to get ready-Get your make up and hair professionally done (if you can). This leaves the mother feeling pretty and confident, this will reflect on the rest of the family as well. Leave plenty of time for showers, baths, dressing and grooming.

Dads, please cheerfully participate. Once you see your happy wife and amazing photographs, you will be so glad that you gave this time to your family.

Cheese is for Crackers. Sit back, and allow the photographer to naturally interact and talk with your children. This will result in natural, gorgeous smiles allow the true essence of your child's personality to come out.

Have fun with your family. Don't be afraid to pick up your children and toss them in the air. Give your wife a sweet kiss on the check. Tell your husband how much you love him and appreciate him. Laugh, Giggle, Joke, Embrace, Kiss, Snuggle, Play. Show the photographer who you really are so she has the opportunity to capture the LOVE through lens.

Bring an activity that you enjoy doing together.  Books, board games, special snacks, football, piggy back rides, races, bike riding, hiking, singing, picnics, the ideas are endless. When families are engaged in doing something that they love together, the photographer will have the opportunity to take some beautiful and authentic photographs.

​​Not everyone needs to be looking or smiling at the camera at the same time. If you are engaged as a family and loving on each other, your eyes will be on your family members and your smile will be natural. These are the photographs that you will cherish most because they depict your family connection and your love.

Here are some specific suggestions for certain types of shoots:


  • Moisturize that belly!

  • Gather your props to bring along-Ultrasound printout, alphabet blocks that spell your baby's name, baby shoes, stuffed animals, flowers, whatever you've seen in other maternity photos that you like. 

  • Wear whatever you feel comfortable and pretty in- long, flowing skirts, especially solids are nice, and strapless bras that coordinate with them. Tube dresses are great for showing off your shape. Bring a pair of regular jeans, not a belly panel ones. A button-up shirt also makes it easy to transition into showing your belly. 

  • If you're doing semi-nude/implied nude photos, bras and underwear will create noticeable lines on your skin, so wear loose-fitting clothing to the shoot. You can add undergarments as necessary for photos late in the shoot. 

  • Do bring your significant other1 They'll make a great prop for your photos, and greatly expand on the number of different photos you can make during your shoot. They should bring outfits that coordinate with what you'll be wearing or a dark long-sleeved shirt or sweater and dark pants. The focus should always be on you, your expression, your emotions, your personality, your joy, and your connection. 

 Newborns and Babies


  • Use a washcloth to clean away flaky skin and eye boogers. 

  • If your baby has flaky skin, cradle cap, or eczema, I can highly suggest Lil' Outlaw's Rump Rub. It's handmade, it's vegan, it's chemical-free, and it works wonderfully. 

  • Trim those tiny fingernails and toenails with appropriate baby trimmers or use small emery board.

  • Book your shoot around your baby's feeding and nap times, work with the natural rhythm of your baby. The perfect time to shoot is right when the baby would be laying down for a nap. If your baby normally falls asleep after a feeding, wait to feed the baby until you're at the shoot. Baby photographers allot plenty of time for this sort of thing to set up the best situation for great photos. 

  • Dress up paper diapers. Cloth diapers are classy and stylish, but if you don't use them, bring bloomers or decorative diaper covers, solids preferred.

  • Nothing is the best wardrobe for a newborn- no outfit fits a newborn well. and they often look swallowed in clothes. Accessories are good, though-little hats, dainty headbands, boys in crocheted hats, etc. Bring sentimental items like the quilt that Grandma made for the baby, a baby blanket from your childhood- They're great for the baby to lay on. 

  • If your baby takes a pacifier, bring it- If they're bottle fed, bring an extra bottle to help put the baby to sleep. 


  • Clean, clean, clean- clean nails, clean hair, wipe away eye boogers, clean feet (sandals on kids=black feet!), wipe snotty noses, fresh-scrubbed teeth. The cleaner the child, the better their photos will turn out. 

  • If your child still in diapers or pull-ups, tuck'em in or wear bloomers.

  • If your child is still of napping age, make sure they nap before the shoot. 

  • It is perfectly okay to bring bribes to a photo shoot-give a stage and being the center of attention, it's like our kids know exactly when to act their worst. Some cereal, smarties or other candy that won't stain teeth can help a short photo shoot go by smoothly.

  • Avoid colorful drinks or lollypops within 24 hours of your shoot, don't let them eat or drink anything that will stain their faces, teeth or mouths.

  • Wardrobe-Layering is best and provides the most options, For girls, you can't go wrong with cute dresses, rompers, and dainty hats or headbands. For boys, jeans and polo's or button-up over it can be very cute, as well as overalls on the right age and personality. For siblings, the children don't have to match perfectly, just coordinate. You can't go wrong with dark, rich monotones, which drives the attention in photos to sweet faces and darling expressions instead of loud prints or colors. If nothing else, pick a color that compliments your child's eye color. 



  • ​Dad-Have a fresh shave or trim and use a new razor with shaving cream and a moisturizing after-shave lotion to limit bumps and redness. Make sure the nails are clean and trimmed. Wash your hands. Clean your shoes. Moisturize and scrub away flaky facial skin (see above General Advice). When you wash your face, pay attention to eye boogers and sleep crusties. For wardrobe, go for jeans or pants, tucked polo or dress shirt with a belt, or go casual with just a T-shirt or untucked polo, button-up short sleeve, etc, In general, whatever your wife tells you to wear. Again, you don't have to match perfectly with the rest of the family, just wear something that coordinates. 

  • Mom- Women know what to wear, but in general, unless you are extremely thin you may want to wear something that covers your upper-arms. Long or 3/4 sleeve tops are very flattering. If you wear jewelry, aim for subtlety, and be aware of it =twisting or turning. 

  • Kids-Same advice as above, but again, everything needn't match, simply coordinate with the parents' outfits. If Dad's in a T-shirt, don't put the kids in dress shirts-make it makes sense.

High School Senior


  • The biggest tips for seniors are to have an even tan, don't get sunburned, clean and freshly-painted nails, and moisturized and scrub away dry skin. 

  • Bring a variety of outfits-cap and gown, something casual, something stylish, ladies slip a dress in there to throw folks off, fellas try a formal look to impress. Wear what you think you look best in, but take the opportunity to also try a new look, just to surprise folks. 

  • Bring props that recall your high school years- Band instrument, sports gear, like volleyball, or a baseball bat, your beloved (or cursed) High School car, letter jacket, sunglasses. Most of all, rep your style, whatever that may be. Your senior photo should be unique to your life and personality. 

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