preparing for your session

Look online (Pinterest, Instagram and other social media) for beautiful ideas for every style and budget. In your online gallery,  you will be able to conveniently order stunning, high quality prints, framed photos, and canvases.

Clothes & accessories

Set aside your clothing options and accessories to wear during your session at least a week before, so you're not stressing the day of.  

You want to wake up feeling relaxed and prepared, so plan these details out early. Feel free to text me photos of your wardrobe if you’re having a hard time choosing! I’m happy to help.

Do opt for accessories! Bowties, suspenders, hats, flower headbands, chunky scarves, beautiful flowing dresses and skirts—these create visual interest and movement in your photos, and really help the images stand apart. Photos are a special occasion; take advantage of this fun opportunity to dress up a little more.

Be careful about undergarments. Retouching bra straps or undergarment lines is an additional fee.  Choose an ensemble that properly covers your undergarments, in all types of movement scenarios.

Make sure that ALL clothes are ironed and pressed before the session. Removing excessive wrinkles will incur additional retouching fees per image, and is not guaranteed.

Wear comfortable shoes and clothes you can move in.

 

Headshots

A headshot image presents the shoulders, or mid-chest up to the top of the head, so the shirt is the most important article of clothing.  I also like to l get some 3/4 body and full body images, if you're up for it.  Bring one or two options for pants, but focus more on bringing a range of different tops.  If your session is only for strictly for headshots, don’t worry about your lower body. 

Lifestyle, Family, Group Portraits 
Dress for the weather! We want everyone comfortable!  Don’t wear matching clothes. Opt for complimentary color palette, such as earth tones and neutrals. 

You know your family (and friends) better than anyone, so you probably have your own tricks for managing your little ones (and sometimes friends)! Here’s a few things you might want to add to your list:

  1. Any personal touchup items you might want, including things like lipstick or a hairbrush.

  2. Make sure everyone has eaten. A light meal(or snack) prior to goes a long way.  Snacks on snacks on snacks, and if necessary, treats to bribe little ones with! (However, it’s best not to tell them about the treats before the session; wait until they start getting fatigued before you pull out candy or toy card! They’ll usually perk right up then!)

  3. Walkable shoes. We will probably be walking short/moderate distances, often on unpaved trails, possibly with hills. Walkable shoes are a must! If you just love your wedges, bring them to change into before we start shooting.

  4. A change of clothes for the kiddies, in case anyone gets muddy or dirty. As a photographer, I love when kids interact fully with their surroundings, and I’m thrilled to photograph them playing in water or running through the grass. As a parent, you might not be too keen to let them back into your car, covered in mud. Feel free to bring a change of clothes or shoes. Maybe even a towel. You never know!!

  5. Make sure the kids are also well rested. Self-explanatory :)

  6. A "beverage". Just kidding! (kind of!) But seriously, if it will loosen up your partner a bit beforehand, I totally support it :) Be responsible, and know I can't retouch "lit" faces :)

 

Consider:

A solid colored or simple patterned shirt

A simple shirt/blouse with a solid blazer.

Simple jewelry - earring studs, nose ring stud

Shoes, especially sneakers, should be clean and scuff free.

Medium or long dresses instead of pants because they capture more movement and generally photograph more flatteringly. Short dresses can be a challenge in seated positions.

 

Avoid:

Shirts with busy patterns, words or images, because it distracts from the face (unless it's your personal/professional aesthetic).

Turtlenecks , because it adds bulk and shortens the neck.

Also avoid clothing with large logos., because it can be distracting. 

Consider avoiding head to toe black or white attire, as it wash out your skin tone.

Skin & Make-up

Don’t do any extreme beauty regimens right before your session, like facial peels, tanning or extensive exfoliating. Your skin can look very irritated.  Avoid prolonged sun exposure, which can leave your skin irritated and with uneven tan lines.

 

If you can, drink plenty of water in the week prior to your session, as this will keep your skin hydrated.  Try to avoid fried and salty foods which causes bloating and water retention.  The night before brush your lips with your toothbrush to help get rid of any dead skin. Get plenty of sleep to look refreshed and feel your best!  

Bring lip balm or lip gloss with you to help keep lips looking soft.

For lipstick changes, we'll start out with lighter colors and can add darker lipstick later in the session.

Try not to use matte styles of makeup. It will dry out your skin.

Bring your makeup and moisturizer with you to the session in case your skin does get dry or you need touchups.

It's a good idea to bring some oil absorbing sheets to remove oil and sweat during your session. 

Leave your colored contacts at home and bring clear contacts with you. Colored contacts ALWAYS look fake in images. Bring eyedrops.

Consider hiring a Makeup artist to do your makeup and stay with you for touch-ups.

 

Hair & facial hair

Wigs and Weaves need to be on point. Matting, tangling and lifted hairlines require an additional retouching fee.

Bring a comb/brush,  some hair product (gel/hairspray) and bobby pins with you to the session to help calm fly-aways. 

Start with your hair down/out and towards the end of the session put it up in a ponytail for a more casual look.

 

Prepare your facial hair for your headshots by trimming, plucking and/or choosing a style for facial hair days in advance.  Knowing that plucking can leave red marks, and bleaching can irritate skin, be sure to do these things prior to your session.  Remove unwanted hair a few days before your session. Don't forget to clean up brows and upper lip hair

 

For packages that allow for more time between looks, I invite my clients to arrive at the session with stubble or beard for the first shots, then you can shave so we can get a cleaner look. Be cautioned,  skin can becomes red and irritated after immediately shaving so this option may work for some better than others.

 

Teeth, Nails & Hands

Brush before your session to remove any food or particles. And avoid anything that may stain your teeth on the day of your session.  If your teeth are noticeably yellowed or stained, consider an at home whitening kit and/or a professional cleaning and whitening, but don't worry if you don't have the time or money, we can easily get the same result with retouching. 

Your hands may end up in some of our shots, a manicure is recommended.  Unless your style is bright nails, choose a neutral, skin tone polish, or a clear coat, so as not to distract from your face; and/or a clean trim is enough. Lotion up those hands!  Tip: lotion mixed with a bit of dab of olive or coconut oil works wonders the night before.

 

Peace Of Mind

For peace of mind write down all the details for your session and add it to your clothing bag: helpful info to include would be time, location, directions, and any instructions provided. It's also a good idea to have my number saved into your phone in case you need to contact me on the way. If you are working with your own hair stylist or make-up artist, make sure to send them all these details too. 

 

For a lot of people having their photograph taken is stressful, so set yourself up to minimize your stress.  Be sure to GPS the  location in advance and allow yourself plenty of time to get there. Map your route in advance and consider what the traffic conditions will be on the day of your session. Give yourself at least two hours to spend at the studio. It's important that we get at a comfortable pace and not feel rushed.

 

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© 2016 - 2021, Clicks by Courtney®

Established 2016
Clicks by Courtney® is a registered business under Courtney M. Ramsey, LLC

Event and lifestyle photographer

Washington, DC / DMV
DC Metro

Baltimore Metro

(410) 413-0530