Photo Shoot Prep: What Should You Do to Get Ready?

It’s true when people say, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” A good photo can convey personality, set people’s expectations, and give you more credibility. But the path to the perfect snapshot isn’t really the easiest. It takes effort from teams on either side of the camera’s lens, and sometimes there will be aspects of prepping that you won’t be in control of.

What you can control is how to prep the star of the photo shoot day: yourself. You know you already look good. But assuming you’d want these photos up on your socials (or somewhere else), you can spruce up some aspects of your appearance. You can shine even more so this way. Some points of photo shoot prep might take weeks or even months, but it will all be worth it. So learn how to get glowing.

Dress to impress (accordingly)

From your jewelry, clothes, and down to your shoes, photos capture everything, so make sure your ensembles match and fit your shoot’s intention. Wearing something too out of place will be misleading and can throw off the creative direction. If you’re posing for an official photo for a medical journal, go with rich colors that can still pop from under your white coat (think emerald or a deep blue). Search on the Internet for fit inspirations that align with your intent and comfort.

Tame those tresses

And we’re not talking about making big changes to your ‘do. Even just a trim or some highlights can give you a fresher look. A few weeks before the photo shoot, make it a habit to regularly moisturize your hair and give yourself scalp massages. This encourages healthy oils to come through and give you natural volume, especially if you plan to go natural.

Be gentle with your skin and nails

Try to avoid food that makes you break out or get too oily. Up your water intake to help your skin look brighter, and don’t forget to use sunscreen. Start a skincare regimen and be consistent — no product switch-ups in between. You can also book an appointment for a manicure and a pedicure a few days before the day to keep the colors fresh on photos (crucial for bridal shoots).

Get some Zzzs


The secret to looking well-rested isn’t a luxurious spa getaway (sure, it helps, but that’s beside the point), but just good old sleep. A solid six to eight hours of shuteye can help your body restore itself and make you look and feel better. Make sure to keep a healthy sleep schedule as much as you can. And no: staying up in bed for hours scrolling on social media is not resting.

Prep those pearly whites

If you’re thinking of whitening treatment, there are DIY methods, or you can book an appointment. However, make sure that your teeth don’t become two to three shades brighter than the whites of your eyes. If you’d rather do a bit of straightening or realigning but have no time for actual braces, some orthodontic clinics offer 3D printing services to streamline making retainers. What matters at the end of the day is how confident your smile makes you.

Relax your mind


It’s important not to put too much pressure on yourself and fret over details you can’t control. Instead, boost your self-esteem with positive self-affirmations. Lines like, “I already look great, and I’m going to look stunning in those photos” will help you with confidence. Always remember that you’re already a queen, and embodying that energy in the days leading up to the photo shoot will show through. It’s also great practice for self-love down the line.

Official photo shoots, whether they’re for a career portfolio, a major life event like a graduation, or a new social media post, come with a bit of pressure, so it is vital that you go into yours with a good amount of positive energy. If you’re feeling unsure about something, feel free to ask for help. Everyone involved is always ready and willing to give you a hand or some insight, especially when it can affect how your pictures come out.

Remember: you are the star of these photos. Smile like you are a million bucks, and your photos will look like it. You don’t have to look a certain way for your pics to turn out great, but these are suggestions if you’d like to make little “upgrades” to make you feel even more ready. You are already a star, so shine on and have fun posing for the camera.

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