One of the questions most often asked by our clients and people featured in our clients’ publications is, “How do I prepare for a photoshoot?” The subtext buried in that question is, “How do I look my best on camera?” But there’s more to it than choosing the right outfit or getting your hair done. Here are the four top tips to prepare for your photoshoot, whether it’s for an editorial profile or for your regular headshot.
Most Important: Have Fun
Some of you will read that and think, “Duh. It’s going to be a blast!” Others may feel a bit camera shy and even dread it a little. We feel you. It’s OK. You can do this. To help you get in the spirit, think of the photoshoot as a way to visually represent the message you want to share with the world—it’s less about you, more about the mission. Talk with your photographer about props you might bring—things that represent you, your business, or your cause. And maybe you can throw in some fun or silly shots to ease any tension you might feel during the shoot.
Secure Permissions in Advance
If the photoshoot will happen anywhere other than the photographer’s studio or on property you personally own, you will need permission to be photographed in that space. Want your office (inside or outside) to be in the background? Contact the property management company. Want that lovely peach orchard you pass on the way to work as your backdrop? Contact the property owner. Want that major banking center skyscraper in the background? In that case, you’ll need permission from the property management and possibly a city permit. Notify property security once you’ve secured permission. And keep your written permission handy in case you’re questioned.
If you do own the property, make sure your security personnel are aware that your photographer will be onsite to scout locations and for the actual shoot. Otherwise, they may think your photographer is casing the joint.
Choose the Right Outfit
- Solid colors. Jewel tones look good on most skin tones, so they’re always a great choice.
- Clothing that you feel confident wearing! We’ve already established that how you feel is super important for how you look.
- White. (It has too much contrast for the camera. On rare occasions, the photographer or art director may set up the shot so that white is a good choice. But if they do that, they will tell you specifically, “Wear white.”)
- Busy prints, stripes, plaids, flowery patterns, or anything with writing or logos (unless it is your own logo).
- Close, high-contrast pin stripes, corduroy, or herringbone. (They create a wavy and unwanted moiré effect on camera).
Makeup is a great idea for everyone, not just the ladies. A light foundation and/or powder will even out your skin tone and control shine. If you’re not accustomed to applying makeup, by all means hire a professional makeup artist. If you regularly wear and apply your own makeup, remember that less is more with high-definition photography. Avoid heavy pancake makeup and blend carefully to avoid contrast lines. You might also want to avoid trying a new look on picture day. Finally, bring your own powder and lipstick or lip gloss to the shoot. Don’t assume the photographer will have something you can use.
If makeup is simply a nonstarter for you, at least use oil blotter sheets or plain tissues (not the lotion kind) to gently dab oil away from your nose, cheeks, and forehead. Don’t rub as that could cause red blotchiness.
If all of this sounds like too much, let us help you. At SPARK Publications, we work directly with several talented photographers, stylists, and makeup artists, and even do a little photography in-house for products and basic headshots. We’ll handle all the details, so you only need to show up and “smize” (smile with your eyes).
Contact us for help making your publication’s next photo shoot amazing.