Preparing For Your Photoshoot: The Beauty Checklist

This month I have asked professional photographer and make-up artist, Claire Lewis, to give us a few tips to ensure we look our very best in photos.

Over to Claire….

Check out the Photographer.

Look at their work. Is it the kind of picture and feel you want to capture?
It’s not just about being able to technically work a camera or be amazing at Photoshop ( I prefer to spend more time with my client than with Photoshop).  The experience, creativity and personality of your photographer will show through their pictures, creating their style.

Remember this is all about you – you need to be able to relax and enjoy the experience without being rushed.  This should be a feel good experience and a journey……

Once you’ve chosen your photographer, it’s time to plan your look and give attention to five key areas. Neglect them, and an otherwise perfect photo could end up with distracting elements which take the focus away from where it should be; your eyes!

The five areas are: Face, Hair, Hands, Skin, and Clothes.

A week or two before your shoot (or sooner, if you’ve booked ahead) decide on outfits, choose which beautification steps you will take, and schedule the appointments. Remember, these tips are here to give you ideas for preparing for your shoot, you don’t need to follow every one rigidly. Just choose what fits in with your budget, lifestyle, and current beauty regimen, and go from there!

Have a Facial. If you’re going to go all out into pamper mode, be sure to do your facial at least a week before your shoot. Since facials tend to cause redness, a week usually allows enough time to heal. For those of us on a budget, an at-home facial with a gooey, florescent masque is always a fun alternative.

Tidy Up Your Eyebrows. If you decide to have your eyebrows waxed or threaded, be sure to schedule the appointment for at least a few days before your photoshoot. Otherwise, an eyebrow trim/touch up at home could be done a day or two before the shoot.

Make-Up. If you have access to a Professional Makeup Artist, then that is the way to go BUT make sure you are both on the same page as to the look you wish to achieve. Remember it is all about YOU. A Professional Makeup Artist can take away those shadows under the eyes, conceal a few of the wrinkles, make those eyes sparkle and those lips look amazing.

If you’re going to do your own makeup, here are a few tips:

Base – make sure you use non-shimmer and shine products. Even products with SPF can glare back on camera making you look greasy.

Eyes – keep colours muted and non-shimmer. Just enhance the shape and contour of the eye. Don’t go over board on the eyeliner, but do curl and use a good mascara.

Cheeks – put your blusher ON the cheekbone not under, as this will lift your face and instantly make you look brighter.

Lips – Be as bold as you like but make sure you line and prep your lips to make them look extra lush, also a spot of gloss goes down well on camera.


Touch Up Your Roots. If you dye your hair, touching up your regrowth three days before your photoshoot is ideal.

Get a Trim. Neat, healthy hair is youthful and vibrant. If it’s been a while since your last haircut, even a slight trim can make a world of difference.

Deep Condition. Your salon can do a professional conditioning treatment, or you can use your favorite deep conditioner or protein pack at home.


Book a mani/pedi for the day before your shoot. Soft, neutral colors work well for fingertips. Toes can get away with any color. (Think about the outfits you’re bringing and be sure to choose a color that will
compliment your choices.)


Exfoliate. A nice, soothing session using a grainy scrub (or gently rubbing your skin with a washcloth) on your face and body is an indulgent way to spend an evening.

Wax or Shave. If you go the waxing route, give yourself a few days for your skin to calm down before
your shoot. Shaving can be done the night before. Be sure to give attention to your legs and
underarms, and if you’ll be wearing a swimsuit or lingerie,  the bikini area as well.

Remember that, while Photoshop can hide a multitude of sins, you’ll love knowing that your pictures have captured your most perfect self. At the end of the day,though there are some things no amount of preparation can change, (and maybe you wouldn’t want to). A couple of examples are birthmarks or scars. Some people feel that these markings are part of who we are, while others would rather have
them “photoshopped” away. Which is right? Whatever you want. It’s your face,your body, your photos.


Bring 5-6 outfits. Your portraits should be a reflection of you so choose outfits you love. Think of those special pieces you might not wear often because they’re impractical for day-to-day use, or the go-to blouse you always wear when you’re going somewhere nice.

Something Dark. Bring at least one dark outfit or top. Black, navy or charcoal work best.
Something Light. For your light outfit, think angelic. Soft, gauzy, maybe even layered and sheer. It doesn’t have to be white, you could go with cream, nude, light pink.

Something Fun/Funky/Whimsical. This outfit is your chance to really show your personal style. If you tend toward more conservative tastes, choose a different adjective. Instead of Funky, try Structured, Soft, Elegant, or Formal.

Consider Necklines. I love to be able to see your collar bone, so boat neck, scoop neck, square neck, deep V and off-the-shoulder are my favorite necklines. Whatever you choose, try to make it more interesting than the basic T-Shirt neckline. If you love turtlenecks, go for it! Feel free to bring whatever calls to you.
Mixing up the necklines will add variety to your shots, so try not to bring all of one style.

Think Texture. Sumptuous textures lend a rich, tactile element to your photos. Delicious.

Avoid Prints. Patterns and prints are distracting. We want people to look at you when they see your portrait, and even the most beautiful print will steal that attention. Fitted clothing that shows your shape works best for photographs. Skip that billowy, blouson top, or anything with dolman or batwing sleeves. While they might be flattering in person, they will not be slimming in camera. This applies to any body type. Choose outfits that will hug your curves, especially your waist, hips, arms, and chest.

Forget Shoes. Unless you have a special pair you’re dying to photograph, there’s really no need to worry about the shoes you’ll wear. Most images won’t show your feet at all, and if some do, bare feet will add an organic feel to your portraits.

The main thing to remember is to enjoy……

Find out more about Claire and her work here