How To Properly Prepare For A Photo Shoot

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How To Properly Prepare For A Photo Shoot

Get the Best out of Your Photo Shoot

Whether you’re an aspiring model or just want some cool photos of yourself, preparation is key for a successful photo shoot. I’m always surprised when clients spend so much on a photo shoot but then show up unprepared or not looking their best. Yes, Photoshop is a handy tool, but you really want to use it as little as possible. A little bit of advance preparation makes a huge difference on the day of your shoot. You’ll look better, be less stressed and feel more confident. Below are some of my favorite tips—they’re not all necessary for everyone, but they will help you have a smoother, more successful shoot.

Plan Carefully

Don’t make any big changes to close to your photo shoot. A few days before your shoot is not the time to get that drastic haircut or try dermal fillers. You may not love the haircut or know how you want it styled if it’s too soon before you shoot. If you do want to try Botox or other dermal fillers, schedule them several weeks in advance. You want to make sure there is no bruising or swelling when you get photographed and you want to be comfortable with the results. If you want to do something aggressive, like a chemical peel or laser treatment, book it at a reputable medical skin spa three weeks to a month before so that your skin has lots of time to heal.

properly prepare photo shoot


Get your hair trimmed and roots touched up a few days before. Even if you just have the ends “dusted,”which is just a super subtle trim, your hair will shine and look healthier. Again, do not make any drastic changes close to your big day. You should also do a deep conditioning treatment a day or two before your shoot. Either hit the salon or do one yourself with one of those old school shower caps or turbans to help the conditioner penetrate.


Even if you regularly get facials, you may want to book something special the day before you shoot. I recommend getting a gentle facial treatment with no extractions at a medical skin spa, such as a hydrafacial or oxygen treatment. These give you an awesome glow without the redness and inflammation that extractions can cause. Celebrities often get these the day or Red Carpet Events. Just be sure to tell your aesthetician about your upcoming shoot so that they don’t do anything aggressive. If a professional treatment isn’t in your budget, do a gentle at-home mask to boost your glow. You can even do an all-natural mask with plain yogurt to brighten your skin.

properly prepare photos hoot


Several days before your shoot, get your eyebrows professionally shaped. If you’re baring skin, get waxed around five days before so that there is no redness. If you haven’t had laser hair removal and want photos in a bikini, do a bikini wax.


If your teeth are stained or dull, get them whitened. If there isn’t a budget for professional whitening, you can use Crest White Strips or another drugstore brand. Keep in mind you need about two weeks to see results from at-home treatments.

Hands and Feet

Schedule a manicure/pedicure a day or so before so that your nails look nice and fresh. Soft, neutral colors work best for hands so they don’t distract in your final images. If you wear rings, clean them right before you shoot. Many jewelers will do yours for free with one of those cool sonic cleaners.

properly prepare photo shoot


Whether or not you want to get an airbrush tan before your shoot is up to you. If you do decide you want a faux glow, do it a few days before so it doesn’t look over the top. That also gives you time to eliminate any accidental streaking by using lemon on the areas. You may want to go bare for airbrushing—those tanning lines can be a pain to correct.

Get Your Sleep

Get lots of sleep before your shoot! Aim for eight hours each night for the week before so you look rested. At a minimum, avoid alcohol for three days. A week of abstinence from alcohol is ideal. It can cause sleep deprivation, make your eyes puffy and cause dark circles to get worse. Alcohol can also make the blood vessels in your eyes stand out more in photos.

properly prepare photo shoot

These tips will help you look and feel amazing for your shoot! Good luck.

By | 2017-10-20T22:24:18+00:00 July 15th, 2017|Guest Bloggers|

About the Author:

Kristina Donatoni is a licensed Esthetician at, the leading medical spa located in Santa Monica, California offering over 25 years of experience in skincare. After obtaining her license in 1995, she has further added to her expertise by receiving certifications from Newbury School of Beauty, Epicuren, International Dermal Institute, SkinCeuticals, Le Mieux, Sonage, Aveda and Skin Renewal. Kristina’s passion for the beauty industry has propelled her career into devising the proper protocol for clients, treating an array of celebrity clientele with wide-ranging beauty issues and goals.