How to Prepare

General Advice


If you're getting a hair cut for your shoot, do so about two weeks beforehand. For men, a fresh cut a couple of days before the shoot is fine. Come hair-ready and bring a brush, comb, etc. in case you need one.

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 favourite accessories.


If people 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 or you can also visit an inexpensive company online and buy a suitable pair of duplicate frames.

Red eyes

Visine will help reducing redness.


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.


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


Start using African Black Bar Soap/or your usual product 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.


Do not use Retin A and Alpha Hydroxy creams (causes skin peeling that will show with photo makeup). A subtle application of make-up can really soften your skin and accent your facial features. But make sure it matches your skin tone, or your face may look orange compared to the rest of your body. Make sure you use professional help or use tips online how to do a photo shoot ready make-up. Don't forget to finish with "NO SHINE" setting powder. Bring the powder with you to touch up if you need it. For men: Shine-Control Blotting Sheets work well.

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 beard, 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.


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, 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.


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.


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.


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/Tan lines

If you plan to tan before your shoot, do so at least a week beforehand. Be mindful of clothing tan lines, sunglass tan lines, hat tan lines, etc.


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.


Ladies, can't go wrong in heels or wedges. Men, clean'em up!


Be sure to eat something before you leave for your session so you're not hungry during the shoot. I can't stress this enough. You will look better, be more focused, and have the energy throughout the shoot. This is especially important for children. A great idea would be to bring crackers, nutrition bars, etc; but stay away from chocolate or colored items/drinks, etc. Three days before your photo shoot, avoid to eat red meat and spicy foods (these items can give you oily skin and swelling).


  • Moisturize that belly!
  • Gather your props to bring along - ultrasound printout, baby shoes, stuffed animals, flowers, fabrics for wrapping or whatever you've seen in other maternity photos that you like.
  • Bring black yoga pants and jeans, black tank tops and/or strapless bra.
  • Tube dresses are great for showing off your shape. A button-up shirt also makes it easy to transition into showing your belly.
  • A good rule-of-thumb is to try and wear clothing that doesn't detract from your face: Your clothes should be free of logos. You would also want to stay away from large busy prints and loud vibrant colours.
  • 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.
  • If you're doing semi-nude/implied nude photos, bras and underwear will create noticable lines on your skin, so wear loose-fitting clothing to the shoot. You can add undergarments as necessary for photos later in the shoot.
  • If you see ideas in magazines, etc. that really attract your attention, feel free to bring those clipping or phone pics to your session. How you feel about photography, what moves you and what you gravitate to provides much insight into who you are and your expectations. Never hesitate to share your ideas with me.

Newborns and Babies

  • 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 own childhood - they're great for the youngster 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
  • Dress up decorative diaper covers, solids preferred.
  • For mom, a simple black or white tank, short-sleeved shirt or tube top is perfect. Simple is best, avoid patterns.
  • For dad, a black or white t-shirt. For those dads that are comfortable bearing their chest please do because these can make for some of the most precious images with father and child.
  • Use a wash cloth to clean away flaky skin and eye boogers.
  • Trim those tiny fingernails and toenails with appropriate baby trimmers.
  • Book your shoot around your baby's feeding and nap times, work with the natural rhythm of your baby.
  • Best results for newborn sessions within 0-10 days after birth.
  • If you see ideas online or in magazines feel free to bring those clipping or phone pics to our session. Do share your ideas with me!


  • Clean, clean, clean - clean nails, clean hair, wipe away eye boogers, clean feet (sandals on kids = black feet!), wipe snotty noses, fresh-scrub teeth.
  • If your child is 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 - given 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 lollipops within 24 hours of your shoot, don't let them eat or drink anything that will stain their face, teeth or mouths.
  • Wardrobe - For girls, you can't go wrong with cute dresses, rompers, and dainty hats or headbands. For boys, jeans and polos or a button-up shirt, or a T-shirt with a 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 drive the attention in photos to sweet faces and darling expressions instead of loud prints or colors. If nothing else, pick a colour that compliments your child's eye colour.



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. When you wash your face, pay attention to eye boogers and sleep crusties. For wardrobe, go for jeans / pants, tucked polo / dress shirt with a belt, or go casual with just a T-shirt / un-tucked polo, button-up short sleeve, etc. Again you don't have to perfectly match the rest of the family, just wear something that coordinates.


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.


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.

Practicing facial expressions and poses with you family in front of the mirror will definitely give you more confidence and better results. Bring a smile!