Tips on how to prepare yourself for your next photo shoot.



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A few months ago, Brent and I did a wedding shoot with Leah and other talented vendors (see details below) in Summerfield. It was one of the most fun sessions I have done, especially because I had a chance to do it with my husband. Being in front of the camera can sometimes be overwhelming, even more so if you are not used to it. I’m not a professional model, but I do have experience in front of and behind the camera. So I thought I’d share a few of the things I like to do and what I’ve learned from my past experiences. These are not complete guides as I’m pretty sure there are tons of things to do besides what I list. However, these are just some guidelines that you might want to know for your bridal shoot, wedding shoot or any other kind of photo session you are planning to do.


CLEAN NAILS – I liked to make sure my nails are always clean before I go for a shoot. I clean and color my nails on my own, and I love to use OPI nail polish in a light cotton candy color. Colored nail polish that is more of a natural finish to match your skin tone will be perfect. That is of course, unless you and photographer will be taking some creative shots or something. summerfield_romance_bridal_shoot_tips_for_model_shoot_2

AVOID BRA STRAP MARKS – If you’ll be wearing an off-shoulder, V-Neck, backless or any kind of style that will show your shoulders or back, avoid wearing a tight bra strap that might leave marks. You’ll also help save the photographer’s time from editing your skin.


DIRTY HAIR – Not all women will agree with this, but really, don’t shampoo your hair the day before your shoot. This will help your hairstylist style easily work with your hair. I’m not a hairstylist either, but this is always what I was told by professional hairstylists that I have worked with.



ARRIVE WITH NO MAKEUP – Oh please do this. It saves the makeup artist a lot of time if the model/client arrives with no makeup on. I know some women don’t want to leave the house without makeup on, but you can try to wear sunglasses if you’d like (to make you look cool too right?). Eyebrow or lip makeup is fine, but for the eyes and the rest of your face? No. No.

EXFOLIATE YOUR FACE/ LIPS – Photographers will take a variety of pictures of you: whole shots, half shots, and close-ups (more of these), so be ready to show off your skin and lips, flake-free. I know there is Photoshop, but natural looks are still always best option. 🙂

GLOWING SKIN – I like to put lotion all over my shoulders, arms and even on my ankles and feet just in case the photographer takes picture of gorgeous shoes. From what I mentioned on my blog with tips for spring and HERE, I also like to use baby oil for my shoulders to give off a glow in the picture or use a highlighter powder. However, don’t do this if you want a matte look for your in the image.

MIRROR MIRROR – This might sound vain, as my husband says to me (Haha!), but I learned to pose by practicing in the mirror. By doing this you’ll know what your expressions look like when you move your chin up, open your lips, smile, etc. I also like to use the mirror to check my posture. In my opinion, looking at yourself in the mirror to practice poses adds to your self confidence. Although, the photographer Leah directed me on how to pose, which is great if a photographer knows how to direct. However, it is also great if you can contribute your own natural looking poses.

BROWSE IMAGES – Try to ask for images to inspire you for poses, or for the look and feel of the shoot from your photographer. Pinterest is also a great way to browse bridal/wedding poses. Try to do a pose that you feel comfortable with and looks natural.



BRING DRINKS AND HAVE SNACKS- If you know the timeline of your shoot and will be staying longer, better bring some snacks and drinks. Waiting is a part of the photo shoot, especially if it’s a collaboration with a big production team. For this particular shoot, Jenn and Leah were kind enough to bring snacks and drinks for everyone, which is totally professional for a collaboration shoot like this.

BE FRIENDLY – Try to introduce yourself and talk with the crew who are part of the shoot (makeup artist, hairstylist, photographer). Not only will you be friendly and approachable, but this is also a great way to make yourself feel comfortable with everyone around the shoot. Most of the bridal and portrait shoots are only with a photographer, but in this case, there was a big production team with people from floral design, furniture, and location staff. The great part of this was that they were all very friendly! 🙂

PLAY MUSIC – You can request to play music during your makeup/hair session to help you relax. If I’m in a photo shoot like this, I prefer not to use earphones since I like to talk to the artist/s doing my hair and makeup. I just think it is better to converse with the people around me instead of being in my own world.

STRETCH and WARM UP – I like to stretch my arms, neck, feet, and back to warm up my body. It helps me to not look stiff and keeps me from slouching. Since I have mild scoliosis, this also helps to make my posture look good in the photos.

TALK TO YOUR PARTNER – Yes, this is VERY important, especially if you have a husband who is camera-shy and not a fan of having photos of him taken; like my husband. I actually spoke to my husband Brent before the shoot, to discuss what would be happening or what could happen during the session. I asked him to bring a laptop, and of course his phone, so that he had something to do while waiting. Again, waiting is part of modeling for a bridal/wedding shoot. I also gave him information on the timeline of the shoot, and who the people there would be. Even though my husband is not into posing in front of the camera, I’m proud of him because he did this photo shoot together with me.


ASK THE PHOTOGRAPHER – Feel free to communicate and talk to your photographer on how you are doing in front of the camera. In my opinion, after a 5-10 minute of session, I like to ask the photographer if I can view a couple of images. I do this to get a better idea of what is going on, which helps a lot. But please don’t ask the photographer every minute! Haha!

EYEBALLS – If you do the “Look-away” make sure your eyeballs aren’t too far to one side because it will just make your eyes look all white and unbalanced in the picture. Always be aware of where the lens of the camera is.


GRACEFUL HANDS- Always try to move your hands gracefully. I mean, if your photographer tells you to hold your hair, try to do so in a smooth and graceful manner. Avoid being stiff.


COMPLIMENT YOUR PARTNER –  Try to encourage your partner about how he is doing great with the camera. Compliment him on how he looks great in what he’s wearing. These are just a few of the things you can do to help your partner feel more comfortable and relaxed.


LAUGH – Have fun during the shoot! This is probably the most important tip here. Everything will come out nicely if your happy faces and laughter are natural. If you don’t know what you are doing, just laugh or smile about it, and *CLICK* Your photographer will snap that gorgeous face!



I hope you found these guidelines and tips helpful for your next photo session! By the way, these images were featured in Wedding Chicks. Please visit their website and share it! 🙂 And don’t forget to follow these amazing vendors on Instagram who made this shoot possible!

Venue: Summerfield at Tate Farms (@summerfieldtatefarms)

Photography: Leah Golter Photography  (@leahgolter)

Design & Styling: Harper Hadley Events (@harperhadleyevents)

Floral Design:The Backyard Bouquet  (@thebackyardbouquet)

Rentals: Rent my Dust (@rentdust)

Paper/Calligraphy: Paper & Posies (@paperandposies)

Gown: Truvelle (@truvellebridal)

Hair/Makeup: Brittany Jones Weddings (@brittany_a_jones_hamu)

Jewelry: Shapiro Diamonds  (@shapirodiamonds)

Cake:  Sugar Bee Sweets (@sugarbeesweets)

Models: Em and Brent Smith (That us! 🙂 )



Are there other tips or experiences you want to share from your shoot?

“Consider it pure, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance” James 1:2




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Welcome to Hello Island Mama! I love to share about motherhood, makeup, DIYs, home styling and faith. Based in Houston, Texas. Originally from Philippines. Thank you for your time to read and don't forget to subscribe above! - Em

"I can do all things through him who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13

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