How to Prepare for your Contemporary Portraits


If you’re reading this page then you’ve made the decision to invest in your portraits and legacy. As an investment you should treat this as such by following my guidelines below so that you can plan and prepare to get the most out of your session.

Hydrate and Rest. Staying hydrated and getting plenty of rest can go a long way in maintaining a refreshed look. By staying hydrated, you can naturally prevent dry and tight skin, With staying rested you can prevent from appearing tired and rid those infamous dark circles under the eyes. These two tips also help with energy levels, so not only will you look refreshed but you will feel refreshed as well, combined you will create a natural glow and maintain good energy on set.

Bring Options. 5 – 6 options is usually best for your portraits. Depending on the length of the session we may not work through them all, and we may not even need to, but it’s better to have and not need than to need and not have enough options. Try things on before you pack for the session, see what looks good and what doesn’t. The composition of the portraits will range from up close to full body, so keep that in mind. Ask yourself if your clothes fit well? Perfect! Are they too snug? Ditch it! Consider the entire outfit, clothes you can easily move around in work best because I will be doing more posing in that part of the session. You can browse through my portfolio for ideas on what to wear, but just know that it comes down to clothes are worn well and with confidence.​

Tanning. Please refrain from tanning, whether it’s the sun or a bed, two to three days at least before your session. Tanning will leave unwanted color and texture in your skin that my camera will pick up. If you do want to tan, just plan ahead to allow time for your skin to heal. This also holds true if you have your eyebrows micro-bladed, you actually need several days for this healing process. Anything that effects your skin will need to have time for healing. We want your skin to have a natural and refreshed glow.

Inspiration. I always suggest to create a Pinterest board to start collecting and organizing ideas. My style is heavily influenced by Annie Leibovitz so if you do a search for her you will see plenty of work that favors my own. Other search words would be editorial portraits, contemporary portraits, Vanity Fair portraits or fine art boudoir​


What should I wear for my Portraits?

Again, this is a portrait experience, to get most from it keep in mind that it’s about you and your personality. There is no need to over dress, we will get amazing images which comes from your eyes and your expression, the clothes are only be meant to further enhance your story.

What to wear: 

  • Form fitting clothes that you look and feel great in (this boosts your confidence and energy).
  • Black, white or any shade of gray (gray on gray is the most aesthetically pleasing).
  • Solid colored jewel tones (sure win if they bring out the color of your eyes).
  • Lighter colors and tones can work too depending on the mood or set design we decide on.
  • Layers, bring a jacket or sweater that compliments one or more of your shirts/tops.
  • Bring a range from casual and sporty to elegant and evening. Have favorite tank top or a stunning dress? Bring it!
  • Minimal jewelry is best for portraits, if you have a jewelry piece with sentimental value then bring it.
  • Bright, dangling or gaudy jewelry can be a nice accent if you are going for a formal or evening look.
  • Here is a link to my portfolio for more examples – Contemporary Portraits
  • For boudoir sessions please bring intimate pieces you wish to be photographed along with a robe to cover up while we review the images on the monitor.

Pro Tip #1 – Iron or press – Plan ahead to get this taken care of, wrinkles are very distracting and give a sloppy appearance. Please take the time do this.

What not to wear: 

  • Baggy, oversized or wrinkled clothing (they add weight and give a sloppy appearance).
  • Loud colors, logos and dominating patterns/textures, (these are distracting, the focus is you not the fashion).
  • High collared shirts/jackets (you have a neck, we want to see it, hidden necks appear stumpy).
  • Shorts, this just does not look right in studio portraits. Also, please don’t bring all short sleeves or sleeveless garments.

Pro Tip #2 – Buy and Save – Is there a jacket or top at the mall that’s calling your name? Go back and get it! Leave the tags on, bring it to the shoot then return it when we are done.


Men… Shaving, Let’s talk about this real quick. 

  • If you are normally clean shaven please shave a few hours before our session if possible. Not the night before, but earlier in the morning if possible. This will give time for the skin to heal and allow the redness to settle down.
  • If you are going for a bearded or scruffy look but also want a clean cut look, then please come how you would rock your facial hair. We can capture that first, then you can go to the bathroom and shave. Please bring your shaving toiletries and a towel if you decide to go this route.
  • Trimming up, I’m just going to say this since there is no other way around it… ear and nose hairs, please make sure those are under control

Do I need to use a Make-up Artist for my portraits?

​Well the good news is that make-up is included if you booked a contemporary portrait session!

Although it’s not required and you are welcomed to do your own make-up I do highly recommend going with one of the talented artists I work closely with. Their work can be seen throughout my portfolio and website. Each of the artists have been professionally trained and specialize in clean and natural make-up styles, I place my full trust in them. You may now be asking, why use an artist from my team vs doing it yourself, well there are two major benefits – 

Benefit One – ​With my team being present in the studio during your photo shoot they will ensure your makeup is photogenic and cohesive with the other styling factors such as hair, clothing, or backdrop. The team is familiar with my lighting style to optimize the makeup needs of each client. When I am behind the camera they are watching on the monitor for anything the camera picks up that is less noticeable with the eye. The goal of professional portrait make-up is to end with a result that looks like there is not much make-up applied in the first place. That doesn’t mean, less applied, it’s just applied differently using advanced techniques.
Benefit Two – They remain on set throughout the entire session. By doing so, adjustments are made based on lighting, styling and the clients preferences. They also to tend to make-up corrections such as lipstick or eye make-up smudges along with flyaway taming. Frequent hair placements and makeup touch ups are necessary to get the best scenarios in between sets. This allows me to concentrate on working with you to bring out the best expressions with each of the sets. Plus, when it comes to the styling, it’s always good to have a second opinion!

Bonus – Pampering – You are essentially receiving a pampering session during your portrait session. So why not make plans after the session for a night out with friends or loved one. You’ll look stunning!

Preparing for the day of your session – 

  • Do rest up, hydrate and eat something small before arriving.
  • Do arrive with a clean refreshed face (no applied facial products or medicines). 
  • Do arrive with your hair lightly styled as you would wear it on a good hair day. 
  • Do bring your favorite color lipstick, eye shadow. We can try to work it in during the session. ​

For children under 13, I strongly encourage little to no make-up as I want to preserve their natural and youthful appearance in camera. Ages 14 to 15/16, we can apply light and natural make-up, again the goal is to preserve their youth and not make them look older than they are.

Pro Tip #4 – Natural Retouching – I honed my lighting and post production retouching skills in the beauty & fashion industry. So between the skills of the make up artist and my retouch philosophy, a few blemishes or minor breakouts will not be an issue. Please don’t stress over this, you will be in experienced profressional hands! 

If you have further questions, feel free to email and I will be happy to chat with you. See you soon!