Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Tips for Preparing for Your Portrait Sitting

  • Blemishes: If you get a pimple the day of your portrait, leave it alone, as this will make it redder and harder to cover. One or two pimples can easily be digitally removed.

  • Tans: If you don’t have a tan, don’t try to get a last minute tan or use self-tanning lotions. Tan lines, sunburn, and streaks from uneven application of self-tanning lotion are expensive to correct.

  • Tattoos: If you have a tattoo and don’t want it to show in your portrait, let your photographer know. In most cases, tattoos can be digitally removed. (For an example, see previous post.)

  • Makeup: Photography lighting tends to make the skin look shinier than usual. Avoid shiny or bright make-up that might cause reflection or glare. Avoid white eye makeup below or above the eyes as it does not photograph well. Apply a base to smooth your skin and make it look consistent. A loose translucent powder (not white) also helps eliminate shine. Use mascara to bring out your eyes. Lip gloss or a light lipstick is a must. Bring your makeup with you to touch up if necessary.

  • Hair: If you need a haircut or perm, schedule it at least one or more weeks prior to your portrait sitting. Don’t try something new; you want to be yourself. Chances are that the “do” won’t be you, and you will not be comfortable with it or your portraits. Bring your curling iron, flat iron as well as comb or brush and other styling aids you use to touch up your hair if necessary.

  • Nails: Be sure your finger nails look clean and manicured. Use either a clear nail polish which will go with any color clothing or a neutral white or cream.

  • Underwear: If you’ve chosen a strapless gown, wear a strapless bra. Straps can leave lines on the skin, which can require 30-60 minutes to disappear.


Please bring a couple of your favorite photographs so that your photographer can get an idea of what you like (or dislike). If you have any ads or photos from magazines that inspire you, bring them too. These images will help you talk to your photographer and give them an idea of what you like and dislike. It also gives you a chance to interact with your photographer and get to know them before you stand in front of the camera. Above all, have fun. The portrait sitting is about you - capturing your personality.

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