How to prepare for your photoshoot

The other day I was packing to get ready for a headshot session when I got this email from one of my clients:

- “In regards to clothing, what should I wear for the shoot? Which make-up should I bring?”

I realised that this could be a very common doubt for someone who is getting ready for their first photoshoot or hasn’t done a shoot for a while.

Getting your pictures taken is not something that happens every day: it can be an investment in your business or just in your personal life. Plus, it can be a bit scary at first or intimidating, so let's make sure we swap this fear for excitement by having everything under control.

Which type of shoot you are having and for what

First of all, ask yourself some questions:

- What type of shoot are you going for: a quick headshot, a brand shoot…?

- How long will the photo shoot last?

- Where are you going to use this pictures?

- Is this a corporate headshot for Linkedin? Or something a bit more informal?

- Will a MUAH and stylist be involved in the shoot?

Gather all the information before your shoot to have a better idea of how to prepare yourself.

This will help you to have a clear idea as to which type of shoot you will be having and to understand, for example, the number of looks you want/need, if you need to bring your own make-up, etc.

One key thing to do is to communicate with the photographer to know exactly what to take with you to the shoot, so don’t hesitate to ask as many questions as you need.

I always offer a 30min free consultation prior to the shoot to make sure my client feels comfortable and in control of our upcoming shoot.

Get yourself ready

Now that you know which type of shoot you are going for, the number of looks, etc… it is time to get ready!

Make-up and hair

Do you normally wear red lipstick? Do you always have your eyeliner done? Is your beard always perfectly trimmed? Do you always straighten your hair?

See what really defines you in terms of make-up and hair and go with it. Don't try to overdo it: if you are a person who hardly wears make-up, don't go crazy on the eye shadow just for the sake of it!

I would suggest trying some ideas maybe the days before, to see if there is a specific look you are going for.

One tip I got from a make-up artist, is to hydrate your skin the night before.Wash it and use some fresh hydrating lotion and let it rest. It will look fresh and clean the next day.

In terms of hair, see if you need a trim or shaving but nothing drastic and do it always a couple of days before the shoot.

If you are not sure about what to choose or if it is a very big shoot, I would suggest looking for a professional MUAH artist.

In my brand photoshoots, I work with Jen Lo, a good friend of mine and a professional make-up artist. We offer also consultation prior to the shoot to talk about the type of photography and the looks our client is going for.


If you are going for a quick headshot ( 30min) I would suggest 1-2 looks maximum.

If you are going for a long shoot, for example, a brand shoot that can last up to 4 hours, then I would suggest more looks.

I would suggest picking outfits that truly represent you. If you are going for a more formal shoot that may be a dress code required, however you can always add your own style to it.

Some ideas to inspire you:

- Think a