How I Ruined my Own Highly Anticipated Photoshoot and Ways You Can Avoid Spoiling Yours! (Plus Two Bonus Tips for Making Any Photo Session Better):

For Couples, Portraits

This post may, or may not, (alright, it definitely does) come from first-hand, personal failure experience. I’ve admittedly spent a large amount of money on a photoshoot with a photographer I LOVE, only to be disappointed with the resulting photos because I hated my dress and hated my make-up. No matter how amazing the scenery is/photographer was/photos are, I don’t enjoy them because I didn’t have my “look” dialed in – I didn’t feel amazing.

Generally, the two rules to apply before a photoshoot are:

  1. Avoid anything new.
  2. Avoid anything last minute. 

Getting a new outfit before your big day is fun! Finding out the new outfit isn’t overly flattering or doesn’t fit the DAY OF your shoot, is not fun. 

Getting a new haircut is exciting! Realizing that said haircut is a huge regret right before your photoshoot, is devastating. 

Getting a spray tan might be one way you want to lift your mood/boost your confidence. Experiencing shock and dismay when the results aren’t as expected immediately preceding your shoot is, well, you get the point. 

The same goes for getting your mani/pedi/lash extensions/makeup done. Ideally you want these things to be as fresh for the shoot as possible, but when you get them done so dang close to your shoot and then realize the color you picked does NOT compliment your skin tone, or that the smoky eye the makeup artist gave you is WAY outside of your comfort zone, it can be too late to fix, and then it can be extra difficult to feel confident when you’re doubting your look. (Picture me sitting in the front seat of my vehicle, desperately dabbing at my eyes with q-tips before heading into my shoot.)

The reason a bride often has a trial run for her hair and makeup before her wedding day is to avoid these types of regrets. Obviously you don’t get a do-over for your wedding day, so the pressure to get it right is certainly high! With that said, it’s still really unfortunate to dislike your engagement session/boudoir session/portrait session/maternity session, etc. because you decided to get experimental last minute or had a lapse in judgement, or ended up with someone unfamiliar doing your nail art.

It is way easier to strut your stuff when you know you’re rocking your look!

Find your trusted technicians/stylists/artists weeks in advance and make sure they will be available in time for your shoot. Don’t do any online shopping unless your item is guaranteed to arrive in plenty of time to replace if necessary. Schedule your appointments with enough time that, should something go wrong, the effects will be less noticeable by the time your photoshoot comes, or with enough time that you can have the mistake fixed. 

Don’t forget about shoes! Too often people put so much effort into coordinating clothing and everything else that their shoes are an afterthought. Often times they won’t be seen in photos, but if there’s a chance they could, you don’t want them ruining your ensemble. (This one my own husband has been guilty of!)

Bonus Tips:

  1. Make sure you get enough sleep the night before your photo session! If you’re well rested, your eyes will look their best, and you’ll be much more relaxed and less susceptible to any stress or jitters you may be feeling. 
  2. Ask your photographer if you’ll have a chance to include an outfit change. While some situations just don’t allow for this, it doesn’t hurt to ask. This way, if one outfit turns out to be a bit of a flop, you’ve got a backup that should do the trick!