One of the toughest choices you have to make when preparing for your session is what to wear and what to bring. Obviously, if what you’re planning is an artistic nude shoot, your wardrobe isn’t going to require much planning, but there are still some things you will want to bring along!
There’s probably nothing more awkward than starting out a photo session, especially if it’s a photographer you haven’t worked with before. It takes time to get comfortable and get into the groove in order to get great images. We’ve found that one of the best things to add to the session is music, especially if it’s music that will get you moving and get your heart beating. We have a pretty awesome play list we use, or we’re happy to play whatever you’d like to hear. If you have a specific playlist you think will help you get in the groove, please bring it along.
Modeling is hard, thirsty work! You need to be comfortable, hydrated and not hungry. Our potential offering of snacks and refreshments varies depending on studio or location choice, so we recommend you bring along anything you might want to have. At a minimum, we suggest a bottle of water or two and a snack of some kind. If we have it wherever we’re shooting, you’re welcome to it, but we can’t promise what options we’ll have at any given time.
Smoking is not allowed inside any of our studio options, although you may step outside to do so if you wish. Courteous vaping may be permitted, but we reserve the right to ask you to take that outside as well.
We do allow alcohol at our sessions, provided the location doesn’t otherwise have restrictions against it. We will not provide it. We understand that the occasional sip of wine or other adult beverage can help calm the nerves, but we reserve the right to cancel the session without refund if you allow yourself to become inebriated.
Sooner or later, you’re going to need a break from shooting. While we’re happy for you to run around our studios in whatever you’re wearing (or not wearing), that may be an issue in some locations. Further, if you’re shooting in something revealing, changing clothes for a break can be a hassle. To minimize such hassles, we suggest bringing a robe or other similar to don garment and slippers or other easy to don shoes so that if a quick break is needed, it’s just a “slip on, slip off” evolution. This is also helpful if you tend to get cold easy. Additionally, we have multiple options for portable heaters if needed.
Are you having a good hair day? We hope so! Are you still going to be having a good hair day by the time you get to the studio or location? We hope so too! But, you should probably be prepared to make adjustments as needed just in case. Hair tends to get tussled by some poses and actions as well. Items to consider:
- Comb, brush, hair pic, etc
- Hair dryer, curler, straightener
- Hairspray, gel or other products
Assuming you’re the type that wears makeup and would have it on for a session (we do shoot guys too after all!), much like your hair, you’re going to want to be able to touch up your makeup. This is especially true of your lips!
When choosing your makeup, keep in mind that for photography, makeup is typically done more boldly than it would be for a normal event or day. Consider more intense colors and heavier application. We’re not makeup experts by any means, but there’s a wealth of information out there. A quick Google Search on the subject yielded a treasure trove of potentially helpful info.
On that note, we do occasionally work with local hair and makeup artists on projects. Their rates are their own and would be your responsibility, but if you’d like us to coordinate a makeup artist for your session, we’d be happy to do so.
Of particular note, especially if you’re shooting something revealing: make sure your choice of foundation is appropriate for your skin tone both above and below the neck! There’s not much worse than a marked difference in skin tone due to makeup. You’ll want to make sure that area is blended well also.
If you might want to wear it for a session, bring it. We shoot, and have shot everything from mild to wild and not much surprises us any more. Having said that, keep in mind that changing wardrobe is a pain. Such hassles lead to being tired and irritable and being tired and irritable will show in the images. As such, we suggest trying to keep a session to a few distinct looks. Our recommendation is three or less. Don’t get us wrong, we’ll shoot all day if you want, but after a while, you’re going to get tired. And when you’re tired… well, you get the point.
Our “three look” recommendation comes from years of experience. Your looks can be anything you like. Many of our clients start with a full outfit and then start to remove it, revealing more intimate attire underneath. This is helpful if you’re nervous and need to warm up to something more revealing. Others just jump right in and bring multiple completely different looks.
A note of caution: beware tight fitting clothing and especially undergarments! Lines in the skin from tight fitting undergarments can be difficult and expensive to edit out. If you’re considering shooting in both lingerie and nude or implied nude, consider arriving without the offending garments on and starting with nude or implied and then add garments. This approach prevents those unsightly lines in the first place.
Be sure to consider your set and location when choosing attire. Dark and especially black garments have to be handled carefully in low key images. White garments have to be handled carefully in high key images. Color garments pop more in all types of lighting.
Bring alternates! Don’t just pick out three sets and go. If there’s any chance you might want to shoot in it, bring it. This will also help protect you if there’s a garment failure, or it doesn’t show well in the lighting of choice for some reason. We would much rather you bring a bunch of items and take many home untouched than for you to be at the session saying “Oh, I wish I’d brought…”.
Getting it here
Do you have a huge pile of stuff to bring along? We thought you might. That’s actually normal for this type of session. Our veteran clients often come to a session with luggage in tow such as a carry-on type bag at a minimum.
We hope that we’ve offered enough suggestions to help you be prepared for your session. If you have specific questions on any of these topics or anything else related to your session, please don’t hesitate to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Don’t forget to check out the rest of the “Planning Your Session” series for more information on getting ready for the big day!