PREPARING FOR YOUR SESSION
DRESS FOR SUCCESS
If we’re doing a Dallas-area portrait or corporate headshot shoot, then chances are we’ve already hashed out some of the details. We’ve got the Dallas-Fort Worth location nailed down, the vibe we want to go for, the date is circled on the calendar, and everyone’s pretty much on the same page.
Still, there are a whole bunch of tiny elements to keep in mind when planning for a photo-shoot in Dallas. Something inconsequential that neither of us thought to mention before could be a make-or-break on the day of. And that’s no fun.
Over the years, I’ve gathered some helpful tips to keep things moving smoothly — points to digest before I arrive. These aren’t the hard-and-fast rule of law; rather, think of them as guidelines to help get your brain in “photo shoot mode.” With the hard stuff out of the way, you’ll be free to actually be yourself when the camera starts snapping. The result will be impactful, memorable images that define you, and your brand.
In general, for a corporate shoot, go for the peak of professionalism, and make it appropriate for what you do: if your power look is a three piece suit and a tie pin, do it; if a pair of jeans and a blazer are how you usually dress for your 9-to-5, then make it happen. Authenticity, in other words. For a single portrait or a couples shoot, wear what you would wear to a swank cocktail party to let your best parts shine.
White Clothes. They’re tricky, unless it’s a shirt or blouse under a jacket, or something. If the sun hits in just the right way, it could look like your head is floating on an amorphous white shape, and that’s a little odd. Best to stick with a darker color that picks up the different tones in the lighting.
No patterns. Big logo? Zigzag stripe? UN-ironic Christmas sweater? Leave it at home. Bold patterns generally distract, so sticking with an uncomplicated, solid color is the way to go.
Avoid Matching. Unless that’s the point (your whole crew in company polos, for instance), try to avoid wearing the same colors. Sending out a memo for everyone to “wear green” means that people will be showing up in shades from mint to hunter. The result looks UN-coordinated, which is the opposite of what you were going for.
Shoes are the last things people will be looking at when they see your portrait, so go for comfort. High heels can stab into grass, so go for wedges instead — this is doubly true for location shoots, where we might be hiking to get to the perfect spot.
To Sleeve or Not to Sleeve. Sleeveless looks, in the real world, are fun and freeing. But in pictures, your shoulders are close to your face. All that skin confuses the eye, so I always recommend leaving the sleeveless tops at home.
Form Fitting. Baggy clothes are going to come across as bulky on the camera. Same goes for too many layers. No matter your body type, something tasteful and as form-fitting as possible (read: tailored) is always going to come across the best on film.
THE NIGHT BEFORE
Lay out your clothes. Go through your closet, find what you want to wear, and lay it out, from socks to suspenders. There’s nothing worse than finding out that an outfit you wanted to wear is in the hamper, especially if you’re 10 minutes from heading out the door. Then, stick everything inside a garment bag to keep it safe and sound.
Steer clear of booze. Having a couple of drinks the night before a shoot can dehydrate you and leave you feeling puffy the next morning. Nothing a cup of coffee and some Advil can’t cure on the day-to-day, but the camera picks up all sorts of details. Abstain the night before, and your shots will just look better.
Get a good night’s sleep. Close the computer, put the phone on the charger, and turn in at a reasonable time so you’re refreshed.
THE DAY OF
Face First. Guys, go ahead and give your face a shave within a few hours of the shoot to keep the stubble as low as possible (if you have a beard, take a moment to trim any flyaway hairs). Ladies, steer clear of excessive makeup. The camera picks up nuance, and we’ll be capturing your best angles, so keeping your look as natural as possible will let the true you shine.
Avoid wrinkles the easy way — by not wearing the outfit you’ve picked out until the shoot. Everything will still look freshly ironed, and you’ll drastically lower the odds of gathering stray mustard stains by not having your clothes on in the first place.
Eat light. Avoid a huge breakfast or lunch, or anything that makes you feel especially lethargic. Instead, a bowl of oatmeal (or something) won’t fill you up, and will give you some energy to burn. Yay, complex carbs!
As always, please get in touch if you need some guidance. No question is too big or too small, and I’m happy to share my insight. See you on the day of the shoot!