Photographer: Events, Weddings, Portraits – Austin, Texas

How To Look Your Best On Photo Day (Hints & Tips)

So you’ve set up your appointment to get your photo taken at a lovely spot you picked weeks ago and now the day is here. But are you ready to look and feel your best on photo day? Here are some recommendations on what to do to prepare for the big day to not only look and feel your best, but to also have a successful and fun photo session with your photographer. I’ve used past experiences in photographing brides, couples and individuals in the Austin area to develop these tips…

1. Scheduling. Be sure to schedule your photo session early on, which will allow editing/processing time on the part of your photographer. Many people have to reschedule later anyway and you’ll want to allow yourself some wiggle room. You’ll also need time to get the prints completed and find a frame for your beautiful photo.

2. Locations. Is your session indoor, in studio, at work or outside? Don’t be afraid of trying a new location. Your photographer should have a list of many popular outdoor locations in the Austin area that to share with clients (I do!). If you need some ideas just ask! J

3. Attire. What do you wear to a photo session? I recommend wearing solid colors (no large logos). The rules in attire are wide open and you can wear just about anything. Just try to consider what statement you want your photo to make and what part your clothing will play – “This is my relaxed family at the lake”, or “I’m a professional at at my job”, etc.

Also, keep in mind that if you choose a location that requires walking you probably will want to bring comfortable shoes.

4. R&R. (Most Important!) Make sure you get plenty of rest the night before (i.e., no late night partying!). If you stay up late the night before it will definitely show up in the photos, so just rest and relax beforehand and you’ll look great!

5. Styles. Make sure your style matches that of anyone else in your photos. If one person is dressed up then make sure the other person follows suit and doesn’t dress casually. You don’t have to wear the same thing; just try to be on the same page, so to speak.

6. Makeup & Hair. Try to stick to the normal hair and makeup routine. You definitely don’t want to come off like you’re doing a Glamour Shots commercial with over done hair and makeup. Also, bring lipstick and lip balm.

7. Fun. Have fun on during your photo session! It’s your time to spend with your partner – so just sit back, relax and let your photographer do the work behind the camera – making you and/or your family look great!

Other suggestions:

–         In your spare time take a look at portrait photos online (just Google “portrait photos”) to get some ideas of what you like. There are a million poses and ideas out there. If you don’t really care then you can leave it to your photographer. But if you want to get creative and have more involvement then share your ideas with your photographer and your creativity will likely pay off.

–         Is there a fee or admission for taking photos at the location you are going? You’ll want to consider this before arriving.

–         What time does the facility close where you’ll be photographed? If you arrive just before closing time you and your photographer will feel rushed, which does not cultivate the relaxed environment needed for portraiture.


Couple Posing Near Downtown Austin For Engagement Photo



Individual Portrait Session/Headshot - Austin, TX



4 responses

  1. Rachelle

    I would love some ideas on locations, if you’re willing to share. I just took my first photography class at ACC this semester and am having fun with it. I think I might be interested in commercial (not portraiture), but I still would like to find some cool places (which could maybe be used in some commercial shots). Or, do you more create your own scenes/settings? I know all the usual places: mt. bonnell, lake Travis, lady bird lake, Capitol grounds, zilker park, etc. I’m hoping for specific tips if you’ve got them (there’s a cool red barn on 290, at X road at the top of the hill on the right, or a wrought iron staircase on the alley next to frank and angies pizzeria, or an ivy covered wall in round rock next to the wash tub on 620, or a funky, artsy loading dock with retro painted doors and potted flowers or trees next to it behind the xyz store. If you don’t know specifics or don’t want to share, do you know if that information exists out there on a website or in a book? Thanks for any help.

    December 11, 2010 at 4:59 am

    • Hi Rachelle! I know of a few spots, but no big secrets. I actually wrote another blog that’s related to this topic some time ago, which you can view here:
      I think for professional photographers the “holy grail” is not in finding some fantastic, unknown location, but instead being able to photograph your subjects in mundane places and bring out something really special from what is simple and ordinary. However, I’ll honor your request; here are a couple of gems that I really love that not everyone knows about (yet): Butler District Park (downtown), Zedler Mill (not in Austin) and Star Hill Ranch. I’ve blogged and posted photos from the shoots I did at these locations, which a quick Google query will turn up for you. Good luck with your photography!

      December 11, 2010 at 8:31 pm

      • Rachelle

        Thanks for the response, and for the ideas. I’ll have to check them out; I do appreciate your willingness to share. Even though you and I could take images at the same place and yield completely different results, seems other photographers like to keep their gems a secret. I get you on photographing your subjects in mundane places and bringing out something really special from what is simple and ordinary. I want to get there. I don’t have that eye yet. I need to work on cropping in camera, and also noticing what’s in the backgrounds of my shots. My framing is a bit casual. Guess that’s why I’m trying to make up for it with great backgrounds. Hmmm…something to think about. One step at a time. Thanks again.

        December 12, 2010 at 9:04 am

  2. This post came at just the right moment. I really needed it! Thank you.

    February 7, 2012 at 9:58 am

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