Many of our clients ask how they should ‘prepare’ for a Hotshots photoshoot. We are always here to help and will happily guide you from the booking stage right through to choosing your favourite images. Each photo shoot is unique so there are no set rules but here are a few hints and tips that may help:
For most group shots, clothing that does not attract attention to itself is the ultimate goal. The focus of the photograph should be on the people not the outfits. Logo’s, prints and patterns are probably best avoided. Family shoots work well when everyone is wearing co- ordinating but not necessarily ‘matching’ clothes and a colour theme is a great idea. Shades of blue and grey work well for a beach shoot whilst natural tones fit well for a park shoot.
Keeping a group in similar colours focuses the attention of the photograph on the faces and individuals that make up the portrait whilst dissimilar colours in groups tend to be more distracting. Jeans are a timeless choice and they’re great for fun, active pictures because they are flattering and don’t show any wrinkles or creases. Lighter shirts on top give the pictures a brighter, more casual look but be warned, if anyone in your family is particularly pale-skinned, white can make them look even paler and a little washed out. Pastels are a good alternative because they enhance natural skin tones and black tops can give photos a more edgy feel with the added advantage of black being sneakily slimming! White may be less slenderizing but can look beautifully simple and fresh.
Make sure that all clothes fit well, clothes that are too loose can be as unflattering as clothes that are too tight.
A good tip is to lay out all the clothing for the whole group. Everything should be included, even shoes and socks! Then take a careful look at the collection. If your eye is drawn to one item in particular, you can be certain that the same thing will happen in a photograph, so that item should be changed!
Headshots are usually used for business purposes so they should reflect the nature of your business. Start-up companies may adopt a more “relaxed” style where jeans and t-shirts might be acceptable but usually clients are looking for a more formal look. White shirts or blouses under a dark jacket work well for a classic look and bold patterns and colours are best avoided. Short sleeves tend to look less professional and any jewellery worn should be subtle not flashy. We don’t want everyone to notice your ‘bling’ before your face!
The photoshoots that tend to lead to the most concerned questions are the Hotshots boudoir shoots, but please rest assured that we are on hand to help you every step of the way with lots of advice and helpful tips. Although it might be nice to treat yourself to one new piece of lingerie, please don’t feel that you have to spend lots of money or buy several lingerie sets. We can create stunning images with items you already have and some of the best shots need no clothes at all! Simply draping your body in a white sheet, fluffy towel or faux fur wrap can be saucily suggestive and we also have several stylish props to protect your modesty whilst striking steamy poses.
If you are nervous about being too revealing, boudoir shots work just as well with off the shoulder tops, camisoles, unbuttoned shirts, high slit dresses, sheer tops, jeans and jackets paired with cute underwear for a peek-a-boo tease. If this is a gift for your partner then bring something from their wardrobe. This can be a favourite top, scarf or tie: just about anything that makes the images more personal adds to the provocativeness. Accessories are a must; hats, bold jewellery, scarves, garters, stockings, fishnets and gorgeous high heels to extend the length of your legs.
Bodysuits, vintage slips, silky robes, corsets, high waisted skirts and matching lace bra and brief sets always photograph well. Try to stick to classic colours, no neons or busy patterns and make sure your underwear fits well so that nothing is digging in to your skin creating marks or muffin tops! Feel free to treat yourself to a pre shoot facial or waxing but always allow 1-2 days for any redness or blotchiness to subside.
For some people it might help to bring a little white wine or champagne to the session to help you loosen up and relax. Don't be afraid to have fun but don’t overdo the alcohol as photoshop can’t fix droopy eyelids and bloodshot eyes!
On Maternity shoots the goal is to show off your adorable baby bump, but rest assured that you will never be asked to leave your comfort zone. Our aim is always to create graceful and tasteful images so flowing outfits in solid black or white work well. A button downtop where the bottom area can be unbuttoned easily to expose your bump works best.
Photographs of new-borns and babies work well in their natural element i.e. their birthday suits! If you want them to be photographed with clothes, solid colours again work best. If you have an amazing outfit that you would love a photograph of, we will obviously include that too. We have a great selection of props but please feel free to bring along anything that holds special meaning for you and your baby. We prefer parents to dress in solid black or white from head to toe so that we can get the creative shots you are probably looking for.
A casual approach works best when photographing toddlers and children. They need to feel comfortable in their clothes to be able to capture the best images Kids wearing brand new clothes or their ‘Sunday Best’ tend to look stiff and unnatural through the lens and as always, solid colours work best. Please ensure that clothes are well fitting without too much “growing room”. Bright, fun and funky clothes bring out kids’ cheekier side whilst a ‘jeans and white shirt’ combo or pretty dress for little girls create a more classic look. Don’t forget hats, sunglasses, boots, blankets, jackets, etc. can be great to spotlight their individual personality and have some fun and feel free to also bring along any other prop or comfort item that you wish to include.
Teens have their OWN sense of style and at Hotshots we love to embrace this and let them express themselves however they wish!
Unless you are a teen or looking for character shots, we suggest that hair styles are kept simple and preferably off the face. Hair falling down onto the sides of the face can create distracting shadows whilst fringes/bangs that come down too low will prevent light from illuminating eyes – the most important part of the face! You don’t need to have your make-up and hair professionally styled for your photo shoot but if doing so makes a huge difference to how you look and feel and gives you confidence in front of the camera then just make sure that you allow enough time to have your hair and make- up completely finished before your scheduled session. We are always happy to help you with bookings for experienced stylists and have several that we use on a regular basis. Last but not least, your nails should be neatly manicured because they are captured on camera more than you’d think!
When it comes to accessories, simple and minimal works best every time.
Overbearing or heavily noticeable accessories can be a major distraction.
Wearing or not wearing glasses is a personal decision but non reflective lenses are, of course, a big help. Even better, it’s sometimes possible to obtain a matching set of frames without any lenses. This is particularly helpful, if your lenses sometimes distort the outline of your face.
Your Hotshots New Zealand photographs should be enjoyed for generations to come so high-fashion, fad-type clothing should be avoided, unless of course you are planning to have new portraits annually. It may sound like a long list of dos and don’ts but all of your efforts will pay off when you view your professionally stylish photographs.
Should you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to help.
For a beach shoot try a collection of blues and white to make a fresh looking collection of images
Denim ad white is smart and casual as is denim and black, giving a neat contemporary look
Keeping the color theme of your clothing simple allows the photographer to bring in some pops of color
All images subject to copyright and are the ownership of Charlotte Simpson
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