I'll start out by saying that plenty of rest and hydration is the best preparation for any photo shoot. It may be tough to fully address all the items on this list before your session, but, accomplishing even some of these will greatly impact the resulting images.
1. Get plenty of rest the night before your photo session.
2. Eat! Be sure to eat something before you leave for your session so you're not hungry during the shoot. I can't stress this enough. You will look better, be more focused, and have the energy throughout the shoot. This is especially important for children. A great idea would be to bring crackers, nutrition bar, etc.; but stay away from chocolate or colored items/drinks, etc. You wouldn't want to color the lips, tongue, and teeth. Try to avoid alcohol the night before your session. Alcohol tends to make the face "puffy".
3. Make-up: You want to achieve a natural even skin tone, and be sure to cover blemishes. If you’re having your makeup done by a makeup artist, have your face clean, makeup free.
4. Fingers and toes should be clean and groomed. Nails should be a natural color (nude, french, light-pink, etc.) for model/actor headshots and portfolios; and any color for family portraits, etc. Although, for all, you want to be careful your nail color doesn't detract from you and your face as the primary subject. The focus of a viewer naturally gravitates first to laud vibrant colors, then secondly to the rest of the photo.
5. For men, all facial hair should be groomed. If you wish to have a few "rough" shots and then shave to include a few shots with a smoother look, please bring your shaving kit and mention this to the photographer before the shoot.
6. Facials and haircuts should be done a week or so before the shoot date - never the night before your session. Ladies, have your under arm area shaved. The same would apply to the bikini area if that area will be exposed
7. For all, be sure eyebrows are groomed, teeth are clean, and lips are not dry. If necessary, please bring a lip balm/moisturizer with you. Moist lips always look better.
8. Come hair-ready and bring a brush, comb, etc. for touching up during the shoot. Hair and Make-up professionals are recommended for best results and are available for an additional cost.
9. Wardrobe: A good rule-of-thumb is to try and wear clothing that doesn't detract from your face: Your clothes should be free of logos. You would also want to stay away from large busy prints and loud vibrant colors, Similar to nails, loud colors usually command the viewer's attention, etc. You should discuss wardrobe with me before the shoot.
10. I will put this tip on its own bullet point as it is so important. Be sure all clothes are lint and hair free. I cannot stress this enough. All you intend to wear should be laid out, clean and ironed the night before. Wrinkle-free clothing will help make your image much more professional.
If you see ideas in magazines, etc. that really attract your attention, feel free to bring those clipping or phone pics to your session. How you feel about photography, what moves you and what you gravitate to provides much insight into who you are and your expectations. Never hesitate to share your ideas with me.
Headshots are a bit different, as most are shot in natural light and from the chest up. These are pretty straight forward; with colors, venues, and expressions as the core focus.