Catherine Murray Photo | Prepping For Your Shoot


What should I wear?

Bring a few outfits with you to your photo shoot. That way, if you decide your shirt is too red or your jacket is too bulky, you’ll have options. Along with the tips listed below, check out these Pinterest boards for examples. Send over photos of your outfits before your shoot and I'll give suggestions! 

  • Choose items you feel like your best self in.

  • Choose outfits that are appropriate for the looks you want to achieve. For headshots, think about how you'd dress for a business meeting in your current or future profession. For senior photos, maybe choose an outfit mom/dad are sure to love, a fun/trendy outfit and a classic outfit.

  • Consider timeless pieces.

  • Bring items that can be easily added or taken away, such as jackets, scarves, shoes, jewelry and other accessories.

  • Bring as many options as you'd like, I'll help you choose the best options throughout the shoot.

  • Avoid overwhelming patterns and clothing with noticeable logos or brands, such as Old Navy sweatshirts or concert t-shirts.

  • Avoid items that wrinkle easily and high necked pieces like turtlenecks or large collars.

  • Pick clothes that are appropriate to your photo shoot location, both in look and in comfort. Is it going to be cold? If you’re in a concert hall, should you be wearing jeans?

  • Iron/Lint Brush your clothing before arriving to the shoot. 

  • Make sure to include appropriate shoes! They may show up in at least a few of the photos.

  • For couple/group sessions, take a tip from What Not To Wear: “Things don’t have to match, they should go.” In other words, you and your fiancé don’t have to both wear purple. Simply wear complimentary outfits like you would if you were going out to a nice restaurant. If you’re wearing a sundress, he can wear khakis and a light shirt. If you’re in a black cocktail dress, he can sport dark jeans and a button down shirt. Or you can both wear jeans and simple tops and go barefoot.

  • For groups, avoid stark blacks and bright whites, especially together. You can choose a theme, like plaid, or solid colored tops and jeans, or even silly socks. You don’t have to dress alike, but a common thread is a nice way to bring the photo together. The sky’s the limit, just keep in mind you want everyone to be comfortable.

What about hair/makeup/grooming?

Ask yourself: What is the purpose of my photo shoot? If it’s a professional portrait, then pretend you’re going on an interview when you’re getting ready. If it’s for a dating profile, go with the best version of your daily self. Or treat yourself to a spa day and get your hair and makeup professionally done at a local salon. Make sure to tell them about your shoot so they’ll style you accordingly. 

Make sure to trim your beard, pluck eyebrows, clip your nails, touch up nail polish, and make your feet presentable (if you want to go barefoot!)

If you're debating on whether or not to go tanning, untanned skin has a better color tone and there are no tan lines to hide.

What about my eyeglasses?

It's true, eyeglasses can be a pain during a photo shoot with glare and such. If you have multiple pairs of glasses, bring them all with you and we'll see which ones look best. If you're comfortable popping the lenses out, that's always an option. Make sure your glasses are well cleaned before arriving and bring a cloth with you for touchups. Lastly, we can photograph you with and without your glasses to see which version you like better!

What should I bring?

Besides payment and clothing options, consider bringing some basic grooming items like lip gloss, chapstick, hairbrush, a hand mirror, eyedrops, powder/concealer, and a bottle of water. 

What about props?

Let’s share prop ideas before your shoot! Maybe you’ll decide to bring your bicycle, guitar or puppy along for the fun.

Can my mom, spouse, sister, best friend come with me to the shoot?

Feel free to bring along a friend or family member for support. Bring someone you’re comfortable with, who can make you laugh and who will tell you when you have something in your teeth. If you’re under the age of 18, an adult must accompany you.

How should I prep my house for a photo shoot?

If having toys strewn around and a few dishes in the sink is normal, then why not leave them there? If you feel more comfortable having your home photographed as though you were hosting a party, that's fine, too. It's truly up to you. A few things that are helpful for photography: Having blinds and curtains open, hiding utilitarian things like cleaning supplies and electrical cords, and preparing as though I might end up in any room of the house.

What's the photo shoot experience like?

The shoot itself will go by in a flash. We'll choose a space with nice lighting, I'll suggest a general direction like "How about sitting on the bench there?" or "Look off towards the water" and then chat with you while taking a bunch of photos. Clients will sometimes ask "What should I be doing?" and I usually say "You're already doing it." 

When is the best time of year for photos?

Anytime! If Christmas is your favorite time of year, let's head out for your annual trip to the Christmas tree farm or set up a shoot at your perfectly decorated home. Maybe spring gardens are your favorite place to be, or summers by the water. There is no wrong time of year for photos.

What if I don't look like a model?

Even models aren't perfect! I promise, you don't have to look like a model to get flattering photos. Professional photographers have ways of making sure everyone looks great.