Beauty Basics: Preparing For Your Family Photo Shoot

April 1, 2024

Maybe you’ve booked your first photo session and you have no idea how to style your hair or do your own make-up. Maybe by now you’re multiple sessions in and a pro at the whole “photo session prep”! Either way, I’ve got some helpful tips, pointers, and recommendations to help you feel confident and lovely for your upcoming session!

Hair: Cut/Color/Styling

Cut and/ or Color: If you’re wanting a fresh look for your photos, schedule a cut and/or color the week or two before your session. This ensures no obvious grow-out if you’re a frequent colorer and always provides that touch of confidence boost.

Styling: I’m always going to say “simpler is better” when it comes to styling your hair for family photos. Keeping it down with a blow-out for volume, perhaps some soft curls, always photographs beautifully. It allows movement which is desirable, so also keep in mind what product you use to set it (we don’t want crunchy and rigid!), but something to tame flyaways and provide soft hold is helpful. With that said, if you have a style you love or frequently have, I want you to feel like you! Having it professionally done is always an options too. This likely ensures good volume, a look you love, and less worry about getting it “just right” yourself.

Skin: Tanning/Make-up

Tanning: You by no means need to get a tan or apply self-tanner before your session. 100% personal preference and want you encourage you to come however you’re most comfortable! If you want to get a spray tan, it is recommended you do this 2-3 days beforehand. This allows time for your color to settle and look natural on camera. Again, a tan is by no means necessary, but some people choose to get a spray tan or use gradual self-tanner to make their skin look golden and glowy in photos. If you do choose to tan, be super careful that it is even (especially being cautious on your face, hands, and joints!) as to avoid splotching or uneven areas.

Make-up: Make-up might not be your expertise, and that’s ok! It’s perfectly fine to apply it just as you would for everyday wear or a date out. If that’s how you feel your best and most yourself, I encourage it! If you’re more comfortable/confident to go a bit beyond that, don’t shy away from going a *little* bolder than usual! Just a shade darker on your liner and lips can really highlight your features. Eyebrows also frame your face, so tinting/gel can really make a difference. And my favorite: FAUX LASHES. I’m telling you, such a simple way to really define your eyes and add a finishing touch ! Ultimately, I want you to feel your best, so your makeup shouldn’t Overpower but Enhance your natural beauty. Maybe that means getting it professionally done instead! It can feel like such a treat and something you won’t regret!


Nails are by far the least fuss of your styling prep, but that doesn’t mean you should forget about them! Ultimately you’ve got a few options, so let’s lay them out. 1. Leave them natural! Polish truly isn’t necessary. If you prefer them unpainted, just make sure they’re clean and free of old/chipped polish! 2. Fake-nails! Hear me out, they can get a bad rap. But if you’re wanting an affordable, pretty effortless glow-up for your nails, you can select any style you like and even apply the day of your session for a perfect mani. 3. Get them done professionally at a salon within a few days before your session (by far the most fun option, lol). Gel, dip, or acrylics are great options, as you shouldn’t have to worry about chipping.

I know prepping yourself for your session can be overwhelming, but it truly doesn’t have to be! I hope that some of these beauty tips were helpful to think through and make these decisions quick and easy for you. No matter what you land on, I can’t wait to capture you beautifully at your next session 🙂