6 Tips To Help You Prepare for a Photoshoot

Planning for your photoshoot takes a lot of time and effort. Between organizing a shot list and coordinating your hair, makeup, and clothes, it can be stressful. That’s where our photography experts at Dani Weiss come in handy. Learn how to properly prepare for your photoshoot and make the day go as smoothly as possible.

1. Develop Your Shot List Early

Coming up with a shot list to feature the most important combinations is critical to think about. What are the must-have shots you need to get? Remember these take time and energy to make happen. Kids are not able to focus for very long. Consider, when the event is all over, what the most important images are to have or if it is more important to take candid, less formal images. Putting together a shot list is essential to be certain you will get the most important combinations necessary.

Photoshoot Shot List Example:

Here is an example of a wedding portrait shot list to use for guidance. You can customize this for family portraits too.

You, With Your Wedding Party

  • With honor attendant
  • With attendant
  • With flower girl
  • With ring bearer
  • With attendant, flower girl, ring bearer

You, With Your Family

  • Mother
  • Father
  • Parents
  • Sibling(s)
  • Immediate family
  • Grandparents

You, With Partner and Your Family

  • Mother
  • Father
  • Parents
  • Sibling(s)
  • Immediate family
  • Grandparents

Partner, With His/Her Wedding Party

  • With honor attendant
  • With attendant
  • With flower girl
  • With ring bearer
  • With attendant, flower girl, ring bearer

Partner, with his/her family

  • Mother
  • Father
  • Parents
  • Sibling(s)
  • Immediate family
  • Grandparents

Partner With You and His/Her Family

  • Mother
  • Father
  • Parents
  • Sibling(s)
  • Immediate family
  • Grandparents


  • With officiant
  • With entire wedding party
  • Immediate family, including spouses and children
  • With both sets of parents

2. Research Locations For Your Photoshoot

It’s important to find the right location to fit your photoshoot theme or ideas. Finding a place that you love will allow you to relax and have the background reflect something personal. While images are mostly about the people in them, being at a place that is near to your heart will show.

Photoshoot Location Considerations:

When considering locations:

  • How bright is the location? Will it allow for some adequate shade? Being in full sunshine isn’t a good option for all of your images.
  • Are there a lot of different spots within one location to shoot in?
  • How is the parking and do you have to pay?
  • Is it easy to walk to, considering everyone’s limitations?
  • Are there too many people who are going to be there? It is always important to think about the background and who may be in it.
  • Do you want to bring your dog with you? Are they allowed?
  • How long will it take to drive there?
  • Is the location on private property?
  • How safe is the location for everyone involved, especially children? It is important to not have any accidents.

These are always helpful to think about when planning.

3. Plan What To Wear for Your Photoshoot

Whether it’s a corporate, family, or special occasion photoshoot, it’s important to always choose clothing that makes you feel great. Believe it or not, how you feel in your clothes always shows in the photograph. Consult with your photographer before the photoshoot to get their opinions on what colors, materials, and styles will be best for your photoshoot. At Dani Weiss, we are always available to help you understand what may or may not look good.

Photoshoot Outfit Tips

  • Avoid wearing all white or black shirts.
  • Red clothing by itself becomes very vibrant and can also make you look bigger. If you want to wear the color red, pair it with your favorite jacket or for celebratory occasions like the below images.
  • Bold patterns are very distracting.
  • Avoid wearing anything too cute or too tight.
  • If you have longer darker hair, avoid wearing a dark jacket or anything that doesn’t allow some separation of colors. Having some contrast is good.
  • Make sure you are wrinkle-free.
  • Avoid any logos on your clothing.

4. How to Do Makeup for Your Photoshoot

While most of us have forgotten what it is like to wear makeup this last year, it’s a good idea to put some on. For photoshoots, we recommend going a tiny bit heavier than usual on your makeup application. All makeup becomes more transparent when flash is used.

Photoshoot Makeup Tips:

  • Eyes – Add more shadow and liner. Mascara is a good thing.
  • Eyebrows – Coloring them a little darker than usual will add definition to your face. Don’t go crazy with this one.
  • Lips – Wear some lip color even if you don’t usually put any on — it doesn’t have to be a dark color. Full coverage, even in a natural color, looks polished on camera. Lip gloss photographs softer than lipstick.
  • Blush – Add a little more to the apples of your cheeks.

Always bring your makeup with you to the photoshoot. There may be instances where a touch-up is needed.

5. Choose the Right Hairstyle for Your Photoshoot

Be sure to not try anything new. Men should always have their haircut just before their shoot. Women should plan to have their hair cut a week or two before to allow it to grow out ever so slightly. If you need to color your hair, be sure to do that before too. Retouching is easy enough to do, but does come with an additional cost.

Photoshoot Hairstyle Tips:

  • Be sure to bring a comb or brush.
  • Come prepared with hairspray if necessary.
  • Ladies bring a hair tie in case you want to change your look.
  • Be sure to color your hair if needed.

6. Prep Yourself the Night Before

The night before your photo shoot be sure to get a good nights sleep. Avoiding alcohol or greasy foods helps keep your skin clear. Drink plenty of water to allow your skin to glow. Taking good care of yourself both inside and out will show in your photos.

Consider the Following Tips:

  • Be sure to keep to your normal schedule before your photo shoot.
  • Working out allows your energy to be elevated and allows your mind to be present.
  • Pick out your clothes and jewelry to be ready to go on time.
  • Have directions ready to arrive at your location on time.
  • Be sure to eat or pack some ready to eat snacks in case of delay. Nobody wants to have grumpy kids or adults.

Following these guidelines will allow your day to go seamlessly.

Get Started With Dani Weiss Photography

All I ask is for you to be yourselves, have a good time and relax. I will do the best job I can to make this a fun and painless process.

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