About Your shoot

General tips

If this is your first boudoir or glamour shoot, you're probably feeling nervous and excited in equal measure. Here are a few tips to help settle the nerves.

The most important tip is to choose a photographer who will make you feel comfortable and relaxed throughout your shoot. Boudoir shoots are all about getting up-close-and-personal with the camera while wearing your skimpiest lingerie or even less, so having a trusting relationship with your photographer is a must.

Allow plenty of time. Hot and stressed after running to get to your appointment is not a good look, trust me, and it won't help you to relax and enjoy the shoot. Bear in mind that a shoot can take several hours and you don't want to be worrying about your next appointment. Also, since it can also take a while after the shoot for your pictures to be ready, be sure to book your session far enough ahead of Christmas Day, Valentine's Day, or whatever special occasion you have in mind.

Ditch the stress! Anything that causes tension will show in the photos. Unwind with a glass of wine before the shoot, you don't want to get tipsy but a glass or two to help you relax. I'm happy to have music playing while I shoot so let me know your favourites or bring your own. If you have any concerns, do not hesitate to get in touch so I can try to lay them to rest.

Have a party! One of my shoots is perfect for adding a twist to your usual girls' night out. While each girl would have her own session with the photographer, making a party out of getting ready is guaranteed to make the shoot even more fun. If you want to pose together, I'm quite happy to accommodate that as well.

If your nerves are still getting the better of you, you're welcome bring a friend. We don't recommend they sit in and watch but knowing they are just a short distance away can help you to relax.

Before the shoot.

Eat smart, and drink lots of water in the weeks leading up to your photo shoot. This will give you a healthy glow from the inside out. You'll look better, you'll feel better.

Practice your poses before the day. I will, of course, have suggestions about which positions and poses will showcase you at your best, but it doesn't hurt to bring along a few ideas of your own. Search the web, scour magazines, and check out my sample photos to get ideas. Then practice in front of a mirror at home, so that when the time comes, you'll be ready to rock.

Clothes - What to wear and what to bring.

Some photographers limit the number of "looks" or costume changes. I prefer to set a time-frame for the shoot. For a two hour shoot you can change your look as many times as you wish, but I'd recommend no more than three or four changes for the best results.

Shoes! Don't forget to pack several pairs in different colours and styles to match your clothes.

A few make-up tips

The make-up counters at most department stores and, of course, Boots will have demonstrators that will give you a free make-up make-over or you can engage a professional. Be sure to let them know that it's for a photo-shoot as your make-up will need to be a bit darker than you normally wear it.

Watch the hair! If you're doing your hair and make-up before the shoot (I highly recommend it... Why not splash out on a professional?) a soft, mobile style that you can flip around is better than a stiff perm. Also, think about what you're going to wear so you don't mess up your hair when changing outfits.

However you choose to do your make-up, here are some tips to get the best results.

A clean slate. For photography friendly makeup, it's important to start with a fresh, clean face. Cleanse, exfoliate, and moisturize your face. Follow with a primer to make sure your foundation doesn't slide off throughout the day!

Au naturel. Always apply your make-up in natural window light if at all possible. This may mean applying your make-up in a room other than your bathroom but it will give a better indication of how it will look in the finished photographs.

No SPF! Products with sunscreen in them are an ultimate no-no when it comes to photos because they cast a ghost-like glow that can make you looked washed out. Instead, choose a foundation that is HD or claims to be great for photos. Moisturisers with sunscreen should be avoided as well.

Matte is a must! One thing you don't want in your photographs is a shiny face! There are a number of ways you can avoid this. First, apply a loose, matte powder over your make-up to set it and combat shine. Second, carry oil-absorbing papers with you to soak up any excess oil throughout the day. Finally, avoid using a pressed powder, as pressed powders can give you that "washed-out" look.

Avoid minerals. Please stay away from using mineral make-up for your portraits. Mineral make-up is fantastic for everyday wear; however, in photographs it gives a very distinct and undesirable glow or shine.

More is more! Camera flash will wash out colours so you can get away with bolder colours. Don't go too OTT, you don't want to appear clown-like but don't be scared of a dramatic finished look, it won't photograph that way.

Well matched. It's important that you make sure your foundation is an exact match to your skin tone, not only so you look natural in real life, but also so that you look natural in pictures. Even just one shade too light can make you appear pale. Go to a make-up counter and ask to have your foundation shade matched to your skin. This service is usually complimentary!

No Nude! When it comes to the lips, nude and natural looking colours can look great to the naked eye but not to the camera. Flash tends to wash out colour by a large percentage so by wearing a nude colour you're just asking to look ghostly. Instead, opt for a colour that's a little brighter or more intense than your usual shade - Try a brighter pink or hot red!

The eyes have it. Shade in your eyebrows - Your brow frames your eye and without shading, light will go straight through your brows and make them look patchy so you should always fill in your brows. Use a soft brow pencil or a brow powder, and don't aim to draw on new brows. Just follow the natural shape of your brow and fill in sparse spots.

With dramatic brows, you'll find your lash-line looking a bit naked. How heavily you line your top and bottom lid will be determined by your eye shape and personal style. Wingtips or a cat-eye are always classic, but if you've never done them before it takes a lot of practice to apply symmetrically.

Wear false lashes if possible. This makes a phenomenal difference in photos and truly brings attention to a feature most of us are very comfortable with. They will make you feel glamorous, feminine and confident and that will show in the results. A good lash glue is a must!

Practice! The day of your shoot is not the time to try new make-up ideas or products. Consultations and trial runs will give you the opportunity to make any changes so you can look sensational on the day.

Wise Words