Preparing for a Professional Portrait Session: Your Guide to Picture Perfection

Preparing for a Professional Portrait Session: Your Guide to Picture Perfection

Raleigh Cary NC Family Photographer Near Me Kathy Howard Portrait

Whether you’re preparing to get professional headshots taken or are celebrating a personal achievement or milestone with professional portraits, planning a photo shoot can be intimidating. I am here to help you make it a stress-free and fun experience!  I’ve put together a list of tips to help you create the perfect outfits for your portrait session. My recommendations will help you choose outfits that flatter your body type, spotlight your uniqueness and help you feel comfortable and confident during the shoot.

At Kathy Howard Portrait in Raleigh, NC, you get nothing short of a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Your portrait experience includes guidance every step of the way, o ensure you arrive with confidence, a photo shoot that makes you feel beautiful and empowered and a collection of heirloom-quality prints to celebrate you. 

Preparing for Your Professional Portrait Photoshoot

Getting ready for a professional photoshoot is exciting but can also be a bit stressful. You can do a few things to prepare yourself so that you feel confident and ready to feel your best in front of the camera.

First of all, hydrate! Drink lots of water the week leading up to your shoot. Staying hydrated will help you look more radiant and keep you feeling fresh and energetic during your session.

Secondly, get plenty of rest! This is important for everyone, especially those who have had long nights out or have been traveling recently.

Lastly, stay away from alcohol, even if it’s just the night before. Alcohol dehydrates you and you want to be sure that you’re looking your best when you step in front of the camera.

Raleigh Cary NC Family Photographer Near Me Kathy Howard Portrait

Picking the perfect outfit

“The most important thing is to be yourself,” says photographer Peter Hurley. “If you’re not comfortable in your own skin, it will show.”

This is your chance to be a model for a day. Choose something flattering and comfortable but also fun. Confidence is key — if you feel good in what you’re wearing, it will show through in your photos.

When preparing for your photos with Kathy Howard Portrait, follow these guidelines:


  1. Bring 4-5 outfits.
    You’ll have the opportunity to wear several different looks during your shoot. Choose outfits in different colors, styles and moods. Depending on the desired outcome of your shoot, you could bring your favorite jeans, a fancy blouse or even lingerie. 
  1. Choose something light and ethereal.
    Colors like light blush, nude and whites are universally flattering. Sheer, flowing fabrics have beautiful movement and create a feminine vibe. 
  1. Bring something dark and smoldering.
    Create another look with pieces that are dark blue, black or charcoal color. These colors are sexy and timeless.
  1. Go for color.
    We all have that color that we feel magnetic in! Bring a top or dress in a color that makes you feel fabulous! Choose pieces in your brand colors for personal branding portraits. Accessories that add a pop of color work beautifully.

“I prefer that my clients choose a color that makes them feel good about themselves,” says photographer Lindsay Adler. “It doesn’t have to be flashy or trendy, but if it’s something that makes them feel like they look good, then I think that’s what matters.”

  1. Take it up a notch.
    Create one epic look! This is your opportunity to be a model for the day and wear something over-the-top. It might be an amazing red dress or killer black lingerie. Think about a stunning gown that you only wore once. Look for opportunities to rent an outfit for this look. Or browse the selection of pieces I keep in my studio. 


Pro tips to keep in mind


  1. Fitted clothing is the most flattering for portraits
    Fitted clothing that shows your shape works best for photographs. This applies to all body types. Pick pieces that hug your curves, especially along your top half. Flowing skirts work as long as your top is form-fitted. Skip that billowy blouson top or anything with dolman or batwing sleeves. While flattering in person, they will not be slimming in photos.
  1. Consider texture
    Use texture to create dimension and interest in your photos. Sumptuous textures like lace, chiffon, bead-work or embroidery lend a rich, tactile element to your photos. But avoid high-contrast patterns or prints, which can be distracting.
  1. Choose a neckline that flatters
    Mixing up necklines will add variety to your shots, so try not to bring all of one style. Necklines that show your collarbone and shoulders create a slimming and feminine look. Choose a cut that flatters your figure and facial features.Certain necklines can evoke different moods. An off-the-shoulder top tends to appear vulnerable, while a square or high neck denotes power.
  1. Flatter your arms
    Varying sleeve lengths is another great way to add extra diversity to your looks. If arms are a trouble zone for you, pass on cap sleeves that emphasize the widest part of the arm. Instead, choose a ¾ length sleeve or longer.To show a little shoulder without bearing arms, try an off-the-shoulder top. You could add a scarf or cardigan to a strapless or sleeveless dress to show off a hint of skin.
  1. What you wear underneath matters
    Consider the underwear you’ll need for each outfit. Certain looks call for a strapless bra or nude panty. Black bras look best under dark clothing, and nude bras are always better than white. Shapewear is awesome for concealing any wobbly bits!
  1. Accessories are key
    Bring jewelry, hair accessories and scarves or wraps to complete each outfit. Choose timeless over trendy. Forget shoes – your feet won’t be showing!

Remember, when you’re having fun and feeling confident, it shows in your photos. Take a few minutes to think about what pieces in your wardrobe make you feel great, and use them as a starting point to build outfits.

Your photoshoot is designed to be a memorable and empowering experience! I’m here every step of the way to ensure that the planning is stress-free and that your photoshoot is an empowering and uplifting experience. Your needs are my top priority, and I look forward to working with you!



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