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A lot is involved in properly preparing for a photoshoot. Clients often spend a lot of time, money and energy on finding the perfect outfit(s) for their engagement, anniversary or family photo sessions. What you wear IS important (that’s why I created a style guide!), but how you prep your lovely face makes a difference too. I’m a wedding photographer, not a makeup artist, but I’ve learned some tricks to ensure people look great on camera. Unprepped, unprimed skin will show makeup streaks and look dull.  A few simple steps will have you looking naturally gorgeous and absolutely GLOWING in front of the camera. Since I’m a wedding photographer I’ll mention that all of this, of course, also applies to my beautiful brides!


Pro tip: curl your lashes before you put on your mascara so the curler doesn’t get messy.

Preparing for a photoshoot, one week before:

If facials aren’t already part of your skin care, consider getting one prior to your photography session or wedding. Not only are facials incredibly relaxing, but a good esthetician will also address your unique skincare needs. But (and this is important!) make sure you schedule your facial at least a week before your photo session or wedding. A week allows enough time for any redness caused by the facial to go away. If you wax your eyebrows, don’t wait until the last minute to do that, either. Make sure you schedule your waxing appointment for at least a few days before your photo session or wedding!

Your teeth are also something to consider (I know! It’s a lot to think about!). If you need to go in for a cleaning, maybe ask your dentist about whitening options as well. Tons of whitening systems are also readily available at every drugstore. The color lipstick you choose can also either enhance your pearly whites, or make them look a bit yellow (more on that in a future post!)

Preparing for a photoshoot, the week of:

If your eyebrows need any tweezing, do that a couple days before. If you exfoliate as part of your regular skincare routine, keep that up on your regular schedule. I like to exfoliate the night before a big event or photoshoot so my face is baby smooth. If you haven’t been regularly exfoliating, try doing so a few weeks before your session or event and see how your face reacts. Then time it accordingly in the days leading up to your session. We want smooth, glowing skin but no redness!

Your beauty sleep is just as important, arguably more important, than any product or skincare routine! If I’m honest, I’m really bad about this. I have a serious case of FOMO and NEVER want to go to bed. But I know this is important and have bought some actual paper books to read before sleep in hopes that I’ll actually look forward to bedtime, turn off the screens and get some sleep! Make sure you’re getting however much rest your body needs to feel bright and fresh for the several days leading up to your session or wedding. Also drink plenty of water so your skin is moisturized from the inside out and make sure you don’t do anything that will dull and dehydrate you (like drinking too much wine, just for example).

Preparing for a photoshoot, the morning of:

Now you have bright, fresh skin and are feeling beautiful thanks to all that beauty sleep! The amount of skin care products and cosmetics on the market is insane, so let me break down for you which are key to camera-ready skin: a toner, a moisturizer, a primer, a foundation of your choice, concealer, setting/finishing powder, blush, mascara and lip color. Of course you can add in eyeshadows, liner and other enhancements but these are the basics for a natural look. If you’re wearing eyeshadow or eyeliner, definitely use an eyelid primer so the makeup stays in place. This one from Urban Decay is magical; no eyeshadow stays on my lid without it.

If you are getting your makeup professionally done, ask your makeup artist about false eyelashes. Long lashes really help open and bring focus to your eyes. If you’re not getting your makeup professionally done or don’t like the idea of false lashes (full disclosure: I’ve never had them put on myself, but I have had portrait and wedding clients LOVE their effect) at least curl your natural lashes. I hadn’t curled my lashes in years but started recently simply because I found a really pretty curler. It’s true that properly curling your lashes makes a big difference in opening up your eyes.

All of the products I’ve linked to are ones that I use and wholeheartedly recommend, but of course you need to find what works for you.

Do you need a headshot or other type of photography session? Get in touch and let’s chat about how I can best serve you!