How to prepare for a photo shoot

You have booked a photo shoot, what’s next?

Whether you are someone who has never done a photo shoot before, or someone who has already done several sessions, it’s always a challenge to get ready for a photo shoot. There are a lot of things to think about and it can be overwhelming at first as to where to start.

It’s smart to make a pin-board or mood-board to give you ideas for what you like and don’t like. Many photographers work with a pin or mood-board to help their clients get ready for their photo session. Ask your photographer if he has a board they can add you to.

In this article I will go a little bit more in depth about what kind of tips I give to clients, based on outdoor photo sessions.

In what season is the photo shoot taking place?

This is of course very important. You can not do a bikini photo session in the snow, or wear a parka in the summer on the beach. Well, technically you can, but it is usually not what you’re looking for. Besides the style of clothing, it is also important to look at the color of the clothing.

Fall/Winter photo session

In the winter period I personally love to work with with deep colors. Nature doesn’t have a lot of color in winter, so I love to work with color in clothing. Think about bright red, bright green, blue and yellow. Those colors are great when nature is dull and the same. It gives a beautiful pop in color and the contrast between the brownish color of nature and the colorful clothing is beautiful and attracts the eye to the subject, you!

When there is snow, red, brown and grey are beautiful colors to work with. I love to work with red when it snows outside. Red and white is such a beautiful combination!

Organic colors are great for the fall. Deep red, yellow, brown, orange, etc. are great for photo session in the fall. The colors in fall are spectacular and matching clothing to the already existing colors in nature is always a fantastic way to create beautiful images.

Image credit:

Image credit:

Spring/Summer photo session

In the spring and summer there are a lot of bright colors in nature, especially greens. This is the perfect opportunity to wear light colored clothing. Think about white, light pink, light blue etc. Because nature is already so bright, you don’t need to wear bright colors. This does not mean you can not wear bright colors at all of course. Especially on the beach, bright colors can work really beautifully.
Or even when you are in a location where the color is mostly green and brown, this is where you can pull out those bright red colored clothes, or bright blue, yellow, orange, any color is possible.
I personally love love love light colors in the summer.

Always make sure that the colors you wear match. Try to avoid wearing the same color pants and shirt. If you are going to a session with you partner of family members, also make sure that the colors match or go well together. You don’t need to wear the same colors, but it’s important that it all matches and goes well together.

What to do with your hair and make-up?

This comes down a bit to personal choice. I would advice against heavy make-up, because this can be very visible in the picture. Cameras nowadays are incredibly sharp and you can see heavy layers of make-up. A natural look works really well. Besides a natural look, eye shadow in several shades of brown/beige work wonderful as well. Or light colors in different shades in the summer are very beautiful as well. Lips can always pop a little more in color. A beautiful shade of red or pink can work beautiful. Make sure it’s a natural looking color and not an unnatural bright color that doesn’t match the clothing.

When it comes to hair, almost anything can work. You can either put it up in a bun, have it down and only half up. You can choose braids, have a more out of bed look or tight and “sterile”. Just make sure it matches what you are wearing.
For instance, if you are wearing formal clothing, I would not recommend an ‘out of bed’-look.

Get inspiration from google/pinterest

If you are having a hard time choosing what works well together, do a google search or go to pinterest. Pinterest is a fantastic way to get inspiration. Your photographer most likely has a board or two to share with you as well for ideas and inspiration.

I hope this article helps you a bit to prepare for your photo shoot. The best piece of advice I can give you, be yourself. Wear what you are comfortable with, dress according to what fits your personality. It is important that you are YOU, both in life as well as in front of the camera.

And last but not least, enjoy your photo session!