Capturing timeless moments in a photograph is not just about the click of the camera. A successful photoshoot is a culmination of careful planning, ideal preparation, and the combined efforts of the photographer and the client. As an individual or a family looking forward to a photoshoot, you might wonder how you can contribute to the success of the session.

In this guide, we'll walk you through a comprehensive list of effective practices, from what to wear to how to pose, that will ensure you are well-prepared and confident for your upcoming photoshoot. Whether it's an individual portrait, a family session, or engagement photography, these tips will help you make the most of your time in front of the camera.



Firstly, take a deep breath and relax. You have hired or are thinking about hiring The Short Creative, a professional who has vast experience in creating stunning visuals. You've seen our work, read stellar reviews about us, and are confident in our skills. So, the hard part is over! The key here is to trust our expertise. We have your best interest at heart, and our business thrives on your satisfaction.


Overthinking and stress can hinder the natural expressions that make a photograph truly personal and unique. Try to keep your mind calm and be yourself during the session. Remember, a photoshoot is a fun and exciting experience, not an exam!



The clothing you choose for your photoshoot plays a significant role in the overall success of the session. Not just because it should look good, but if your outfit makes you feel good, it’s going to radiate in the resulting photograph. This sounds obvious, but nothing makes you appear more uncomfortable in photos than clothing that you are actually uncomfortable wearing. Here are a few tips:

  • Go for outfits that complement your personality and the theme of the shoot.

  • Layer Layer Layer! During your photo shoot, you don’t want to waste time making constant outfit changes. Location can also limit what you’d be able to change into as well, but layering items of clothes can help resolve this problem. By adding on some simple pieces you can completely change your look in a matter of seconds with no fuss. Layering not only enhances the aesthetic appeal of your photos by adding depth, but also flatters your figure. Incorporating textured elements like bulky knitwear, or balancing hues with a cream or navy pullover, can also enrich your overall look.

  • For family sessions and engagement shoots, aim for a coordinated look. It doesn't mean everyone should wear matching outfits; instead, choose a color palette and let each family member pick outfits within that range.

  • Remember, comfort is key. Choose outfits that allow you to move freely without discomfort.


Knowing what not to wear is as important as knowing what to wear. Here are a few pointers:

  • Don't do anything neon. Apologies, folks, but you'll need to abandon the bold hunter orange. Equally, neon pink, green, or excessively vibrant red are unsuitable. These shades bounce off light, resulting in unusual color casts on your skin.

  • Stay away from clothing with large logos or text, as they can be distracting.

  • Don't wear tight patterns. They have a moire affect, meaning that on a screen, they will jump around and have a life of their own. Avoid tight pinstripes, tiny dot patterns or tight patterns of any kind.

  • Be cautious about undergarments. Visible bra straps or underwear lines can detract from the image.

  • Adults shouldn't wear all white (unless you're getting married). If you really want all white or cream, add a sweater. Small kids are the exception here; little girls can totally get away with white or cream sundresses for a timeless, classic look.

  • Nothing shiny! Avoid rayon, silk and shiny polyester. Shiny fabrics cling to problem areas and add folds in places where you just don't want them. They also draw the eye to those places because they catch light. Matte fabrics are much more flattering.


Pay attention to the little details that you will be picking over when it comes time to review your images.

  • Ensure your clothes are clean and wrinkle-free.

  • Remove that apple watch! As much as I love mine, no one wants to look like a spy kid in their professional photos.

  • Empty your pockets to avoid bulges that can distort your shape in the photographs. Cell phones, wallets, and your kids toys are not a flattering look on the front of your pants.

  • For women, medium or long dresses are recommended as they add movement and elegance to the photos.



Good grooming goes a long way in enhancing your appearance in a photograph. Here are a few tips for hair and makeup:

  • If you’re planning to get your hair colored, cut, or treated, do it a few days before the photoshoot, so it looks natural and settled. Aim for a hairstyle that suits your face and matches your outfit. If you're planning on getting your hair done professionally, consider doing a trial run to ensure the look is what you want.

  • Makeup should enhance your features, not overpower them. Opt for a natural look unless the theme of the shoot demands otherwise. Consider getting your makeup done professionally to ensure a flawless finish.

  • For men, a clean shave or neatly trimmed beard can make a big difference. Try to shave the night before to reduce red marks!


Taking care of your skin and nails is equally important:

  • Hydrate your skin by drinking plenty of water.

  • Avoid sunbathing or tanning sessions close to the shoot to prevent sunburns or tan lines.

  • Get a manicure. Clean, well-shaped nails add a neat touch to your overall look.


Posing can seem intimidating, especially if it's your first photoshoot. But with a few tips and a little practice, you can master it:

  • Practice posing in the mirror. Understand your angles and what looks good on you.

  • Follow your photographer’s guidance. We know what works best for the camera.

  • Be natural. Authentic expressions and candid moments often make the best photographs. Remember, the key to great posing is to feel natural and relaxed. Don't worry about striking a perfect pose; instead, focus on expressing your personality and emotions. Try smiling with your eyes or even opening your mouth slightly. These little changes can make a big impact on the end result!

If being yourself isn't an option for you, here are some posing tips to practice in front of the mirror:

  • Stand up nice and tall with a straight back and relaxed shoulders. This will create a look of confidence

  • Pretend you are holding a peach underneath your chin, bring your chin forward and down on an arc. This will help remove any double chin.

  • Shift your weight onto one foot, and lean your upper body towards the camera to produce a slimming effect.

  • Try to make angles with your arms and legs, this creates separation between your body and makes you look slimmer

  • Avoid facing the camera straight on. Turn slightly to the side, this can make the photo more dynamic while also slimming down your body.

  • Make eye contact: If this is for a business or acting portrait make sure you stare right through the lens of the camera all the way to the photographer. This will create a more engaging photograph.

  • Laughing will produce the most authentic smiles, so try and think of some of your funniest life experiences

  • Change it up! Strike a pose, move, strike a pose, move. No one wants 50 of the same photos when they are going through their gallery. Try to have fun with it, you never know what you might like until you see the final result.

For more posing tips visit our Pinterest pages

Womens Headshot Poses

Mens Headshot Poses


Bringing the right props and essentials can make your photoshoot smooth and hassle-free. Here are a few things you might want to pack:

  • Touch-up kit: This could include makeup for quick touch-ups, a comb or brush, and maybe a compact mirror.

  • Snacks and water: Photoshoots can sometimes take longer than expected, so it's a good idea to bring some snacks and water.

  • Comfortable shoes: If the photoshoot involves walking or standing for extended periods, comfortable shoes are a must.

  • Change of clothes: Especially for outdoor shoots, you might need a change of clothes.

  • Outdoor Session? Bring a textured blanket to sit on!

  • Hate your hair? Bring a sun hat!

  • Feeling like a cowboy? Come riding up on your horse

Props can really change the whole aesthetic of a shoot and give it the storytelling vibe everyone is looking for! While we love fun props, we are also conscious of how they affect the environment. That being said, we don't allow items that end up being littered after the shoot - glitter, confetti, etc. They are too difficult to clean up and give a bad rep to photographers causing locations to not be usable.


Once your photo shoot is over, the anticipation begins. While we edit your photos, consider how you want to use them. Whether you want to create a canvas photo gallery on your wall, order metal photo prints for your office, or use them for holiday cards, the possibilities are endless.

Final Words

If you have specific questions, let us know. We love to chat about what you should expect during your photoshoot. Hope to see you soon! If you want to see more examples, we have two Pinterest boards with ideas: my Photoshoot Clothing Choices and my Everything Engagement Shoots.

By following these steps, you'll be well-prepared for your upcoming photo shoot. Remember, the key is to feel comfortable, confident, and enjoy the experience. After all, the best photographs are the ones that capture your authentic self. So, get ready and let your personality shine through the lens!


The Short Creative is your go-to photography service nestled in the lively heart of Metro Detroit, Michigan. We take pride in encapsulating timeless and offbeat photography, crafting a distinctive blend of traditional portraiture and candid moments that authentically portray our clients. We believe in celebrating the uniqueness of our clients because no two stories are the same, so your photos should not be either. Our style is a vibrant celebration of life's bold colors, turning each photograph into a memory that will last a lifetime.

While we primarily serve MI, our love for capturing photos knows no bounds and we're always ready to travel! Click here to view our portrait portfolio or reach out here to check our availability. Your extraordinary story deserves nothing less than extraordinary memories!