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 it 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 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.
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, moustache 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 groom eyebrows, if that’s your preference.
Moisturizer – Dry skin can really detract from a great photo shoot. Start moisturizing nightly a week in advance of your shoot. 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. ProTip: 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, and 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 a facial moisturizer, not a thick body moisturizer, or you could break out.
Make-up should feel natural and enhance your beauty. If you’re on a budget, schedule a makeover at your preferred make-up counter.
Lips – You will probably wipe or lick your lips during your shoot, so bring fresh lip gloss or 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 – 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 blisters try Abreva, immediately, if one pops up anyway.
Touch ups: Bring along any makeup, lip gloss, hair pins, etc… that you may need during the session.
Undergarments – Bra straps won’t do anything to help your outfit look its best. Be sure you bring a set of bras and strap-adjusting accessories to work with any outfit you want to shoot in to keep those straps well-hidden.
Sun burns 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, sunglass 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 – Scuff free shoes are best. If you’re comfortable in sandals, heels, wedges, boots, etc doesn’t matter. Make sure they are in good condition. Heels are going to elongate your legs.
Eat a light snack before the shoot. Please make sure your children have eaten as well. Bring snacks.
Hydrate: Take care of yourself – and that baby! Believe it or not, a photo session can be tiring and the most common thing that people overlook is staying hydrated (myself included). Bring along a bottle of water and/or snacks so you can keep your energy flowing.
Moisturize that belly!
Wear whatever you feel comfortable and pretty in – long, flowy 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 the belly panel ones. A button-up shirt also makes it easy to transition into showing your belly. Avoid heavy patterns, stripes, busy prints, and plaids, if at all possible. They tend to not be flattering in a photograph, and they distract from the subject. You will also want to wear comfortable sandals, slippers, or you may even go barefoot for the session. If you’re into sneakers, by all means! Our goal is for you to be as comfortable as possible.
Do bring your significant other! 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 expressions, your emotions, your personality, your joy and your connection.
It is best to wear nude under garments if at all possible. Avoid busy prints on undergarments to avoid showing through fabrics or clothing. If you plan on showing your belly, please do not wear any elastic over the belly for several hours before the session to avoid a red mark on the skin from the elastic.
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 later in the shoot.
Two hours before, remove anything with elastic to prevent strap marks from appearing on your skin.
Props: This is entirely up to you. If you have any items of special meaning, such as a baby outfit, shoes, blanket, picture or toy, ultrasound printout, alphabet blocks that spell your name, bring them along and I can incorporate them into a shot.
Siblings: A family maternity session is definitely an option and certainly encouraged.
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 nails are clean and trimmed. Wash your hands. Clean up 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. You don’t have to perfectly match the rest of the family, just wear something that coordinates.