Hair, Skin, & Nails | How To Prepare For Your Photoshoot


Want to look your best for your Portrait photoshoot?

You’ve come to the right place - It’s essential to spend some extra time taking great care of your body during the days & weeks leading up to your photoshoot! During a Portrait, Branding, or Headshot session, the focus is all on you - so let’s talk about a few simple ways that you can begin prepping your hair, skin, & nails for your upcoming photoshoot.

As your photoshoot date approaches, try to set aside a little additional time for daily self-care: drink plenty of water, get some extra sleep, & treat yourself to those spa, salon, or beauty treatments that you can’t always fit into your schedule - or just do the DIY versions at home! Below is a photoshoot prep timeline & a bonus selection of Skincare & Makeup tips to help you as you’re preparing for your portrait session - these tips are a selection of best practices & beauty basics that apply regardless of your age, gender, skin/hair/body type, etc.

Be sure to take a moment to read through all of these resources as the information below will truly help your photoshoot to go as smoothly as possible - we want you to feel & look your absolute best for your session!

Photoshoot Prep Timeline | Hair, Skin, & Nails


Make Appointments: When booking your salon, barber, or spa appointments, be sure to schedule well in advance. Many treatments are time-sensitive! (Example: botox or waxing appointments shouldn’t be booked too close to your shoot in order to avoid skin redness or bruising.)

Drink More Water: We all know water is important, yet we still forget to drink enough. Hydration is absolutely essential in order to look achieve that fresh & glowy look!

Refresh Your Skincare Regimen: If you don’t normally have a skincare routine, there’s no time like the present to start! Do some online research & ask for product recommendations for your specific skin type from your dermatologist or at your local Ulta or Sephora if you aren’t sure what products to use or where to begin. Simplicity is the key: There is no need to go out & buy lots of expensive skincare to prep for your shoot unless you personally want to! For most people, a gentle daily cleanser & moisturizer are all you really need to keep your skin clean & fresh.

One - Two Weeks Before

Avoid the Sun & Fake Tanning: Sunburns, tan lines, & peeling skin are definitely a distraction in portraits! Always use sunscreen, & do your best to stay in the shade. If you usually spray tan or use fake tanning products, take a hiatus from now until after your shoot. A fresh tan can sometimes look blotchy or extra-orange on camera!

Eat Healthy: It goes without saying that alcohol, fried foods, & heavy meals can make anyone feel & look bloated & sluggish! Try to eat nutritious foods & continue to drink lots of water in the days leading up to your shoot. Stay home from the bars, get a good night’s rest, & plan a healthy dinner for the evening before your shoot, as well as a good breakfast day-of. Make sure to get some protein in your system to keep you feeling energized all day!

Get a Trim & Deep Condition: Healthy-looking hair is the goal! If it’s been a while since your last haircut, go for a subtle trim. Your salon can do a conditioning treatment, or you can use your favorite deep conditioner at home.

Three - Five Days Before

Wax Body Hair (Optional): If you normally wax your eyebrows, upper lip, legs, etc., now is the time to do so! Get your brows waxed or threaded by a pro. Try to stay close to your natural shape, & don’t go too thin. Depending on how revealing your outfit choices are, you may also need to wax your bikini area.

Get an Eyelash Fill (Optional): If you usually have eyelash extensions, have them refreshed a few days before your session. (Do not get lash extensions if they aren’t in your regular routine! You can always request false lashes be added to your makeup look on the day of your shoot.)

Refresh Your Hair Color: If you dye your hair, touching up your regrowth three to five days before your photoshoot is ideal. Keep in mind that this is not the time for drastic changes - an experimental haircut can wait!

The Day Before

Have a Manicure: Soft, neutral colors usually work best, as bright nail colors can often be distracting in photos. If you don’t normally paint your nails, that’s totally fine - just be sure that your nails are trimmed & clean.

Shave & Tweeze (Optional): If you shave, touch up your body hair, your beard, etc. directly before your shoot. If you tweeze your eyebrows, double-check for any strays.

Wash & Dry Hair: The evening before (or the morning of, depending on your hair type) wash & dry your hair so that it is ready to be styled by the hairstylist at your shoot. Use minimal product, avoid using hot tools (such as curling or straightening irons), & skip hairspray.

The Day Of

Sleep: Be sure to get all eight hours the night before your photoshoot!

Eat a Meal: Think protein & complex carbs - try to stay away from anything too sugary or heavy so that you don’t lose energy or feel bloated during your shoot.

How to Arrive: Wash your face & apply your usual moisturizer - do not put any other product on your face. Clean, bare skin is the best canvas! Also, be sure to come with clean, dry hair: you can either blow it out or let it air dry completely.

Skincare, Hair, & Makeup | Bonus Tips

SkincarE TIPS

1. Stay away from drying face masks during the days leading up to your shoot! Pick hydrating formulas, & always exfoliate gently so as not to irritate your skin.

2. Simplicity is the key: There is no need to go out & buy lots of expensive skincare to prep for your shoot unless you personally want to! For most people, a gentle daily cleanser & moisturizer are all you really need to keep your skin clean & fresh.

3. If you have troubled skin or are prone to breakouts, don’t worry! Not only do I have professional makeup artists to style you on the day of your shoot, but I also work with professional retouchers to be sure that your final images don’t highlight any skin issues that you may have.

4. Pro tip - eye drops are a life saver! If you have red eyes the morning of your session, a couple of eye drops will do just the trick. I keep them on hand at the studio, & my makeup artist always has some in her kit as well. I personally really like this brand & I use it every time I’m in front of the camera: LUMIFY Eye Drops


1. I recommend to all clients that they bring along a photo or two of themselves wearing a hairstyle & makeup look that made them feel confident & beautiful! Bringing along example photos of a look that you loved will really help my hair & makeup artist get a sense of the type of styles you like, & it will make it really easy for us to recreate your favorite look for your session.

2. If you have a signature lipstick color you absolutely love, custom match foundation, medicated skincare, a special hair product, etc., please feel free to bring these along to the shoot with you. If you have a product you know works well for you, let’s incorporate it into your look! Please let me know ahead of time if you have any known allergies or sensitivities to certain products/scents/foods/etc.

3. If you have temporary hair extensions that you would like to bring & wear for your photoshoot, please let me know ahead of time. Often times we will have to budget some extra time for your styling session before your shoot when hair extensions are involved - they can take a little extra time to style!

2. If you’re nervous about having someone else do your hair & makeup, don’t worry - my stylists always begin by asking how you normally wear your hair & makeup & from there we all communicate together to ensure that you feel completely confident & comfortable with how you look. Check out my blog post all about Hair & Makeup here: 5 Reasons To Hire A Hair Stylist & Makeup Artist For Your Photoshoot

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Bend Oregon Portrait Photographer Miranda Kelton Photography

Meet miranda

Hello! I’m a Portrait, Headshot, & Personal Branding Photographer based in Bend, Oregon.