Transformational Photography

The Before & After shots are a big part of what I do. They encapsulate perfectly what I strive for - they show not only that every woman is beautiful, but that her confidence and inner light are what draws us in.

Women who step into my studio are nervous. They are unsure of what they will look like, they don't know how to pose, most live with the belief that they are not photogenic. (I'll let you in on a little secret: with the small exception of women who get paid to look good on camera (aka models), being photogenic is not something you are born with. It is not your job to look good in your photos - it is *my* job to tell you exactly what to do and show you how to pose in order to make you look amazing.)

Our "after" photos are a combination of great hair and makeup styling (which you will not have to worry about as they come with your shoot!), posing (which I will coach you through - I will be with you every step of the way, making sure that you are comfortable and look your best) - and confidence. 

I call what I do "transformational photography". Even though the physical transformation is the easier one to explain, it is really a woman's confidence and her inner light which is now allowed to shine that make the process magical. When I look into my clients' eyes in their photos, I see LIGHT, LOVE, BEAUTY. It is why I love what I do.

Preparing for Your Portrait Shoot, Part 4: What to Wear?

Every client who books a session with us gets a magazine-look Style Guide to preparing for their photoshoot. To make the information accessible to everyone (who doesn't like knowing how to look their best?),  we will be featuring this guide on our blog in a four-part series. If you would like to receive the whole Style Guide for free, sign up for our newsletter (in the right sidebar) and you will be emailed a copy as a gift! 

Below are some of our favorite tips to looking amazing in your photos. Feel free to follow - or skip - any and all that apply to you! 

Clothes are the most asked and discussed question in my studio and it makes perfect sense as they will determine the mood of your photos. What does one wear to a glamorous portrait session, anyway? The question is not a simple one to answer, but it is a very fun one to chat about! 

The general guidelines for what outfits to bring are basically the same for everyone, but the execution will vary based on your own style and personality. 

What we are looking for is clothes that represent you - but a very polished version of you. This is a great time to wear outfits that you perhaps do not get the chance to wear too often because they are either impractical (clothes which require dry cleaning or wrinkle easily), dressy (how about that glamorous dress you wore to a gala or a cocktail party once and it now hangs in your closet), or just too fussy for everyday wear. It is also a great time to wear the outfit of your dreams - whether you buy it, rent it, or borrow it from a friend.

During our session, we will end up choosing between four and six outfits. However, most women bring in a wide variety of outfits and we choose together based on what I believe will photograph best. I have yet to meet someone who does not bring at least ten outfits and most bring more, so if you are on the fence, pack it!  You will also get the chance to discuss the details and ask for suggestions during your consultation session so start planning as soon as you can. The more involved and invested you are in choosing your wardrobe, the better your photos will be!

 

COLORS AND STYLES

The basic outfit colors and styles that you should bring are:

- something dark (such as black, navy, charcoal, or very dark burgundy) - usually, this will be your elegant, sexy, or fashion-forward style

- something light (white, blush, cream, or nude) - this might be an outfit which is soft, airy, whimsical

- something disctinctly “you” which shows your personality - whether that be funky, dramatic, sweet, or formal

- something sexy - whatever your version of sexy is (anything from a dress to lingerie) 

 

THINGS THAT WORK:

- texture: lace and sequins are my favorite, but anything with beautiful or soft texture photographs very well

- muted colors: you can bring a brighter color - just look at the gorgeous front cover of this guide - but soft, muted, and neutral colors are univerally more flattering and photograph better

- beautiful, diverse necklines: I am a huge fan of off-shoulder, deep-v, and boat necklines but so long as they are flattering to your body, go nuts! - fitted clothes: despite our instincts about looser clothes hiding imperfections better, fitted clothes actually give you a fitter shape which in turn looks more slimming

in photographs

 

THINGS TO AVOID: 

- bad texture: rough, wool sweaters do not photograph well, and pilling or worn fabric is the absolute worst

- busy patterns: can work, but will take the focus away from you and I would generally suggest sticking to solids, if you can

- all sleeveless outfits: unless you absolutely love your arms,  find sleeves that flatter your body or bring in a few shawls or cover-ups

- loose, bulky outfits: flowy skirts are great, but bulky tops end up getting pinned back to reveal your shape anyway; outfits that show off the shape of your upper body look much better!

 

OTHER ITEMS TO BRING

- jewelry, such as necklaces or earrings

- undergarments (don’t forget nude underwear and bra, strapless if you are bringing a strapless dress) 

- accessories, like shawls or hats

- forget the shoes! (we won’t see them) 

 

TIPS AND TRICKS

1. Start planning well ahead of your shoot so you have plenty of time to find your dream outfits. You might want to look online, scope out consignment and antique shops, and even bridal boutiques. 

2. You don’t have to buy all your outfits, consider borrowing them from a fashionable friend or renting them (try RentTheRunway.com).

3.  Steam or iron your clothes well the night before your shoot, then hang them afterwards.

4. If there’s an outfit on our website you love, ask about it! It might be in our studio wardrobe, or we might know where our client got it from. 

5. Come dressed in loose, comfortable clothes that will not leave marks in your skin.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Preparing for Your Portrait Shoot, Part 3: Skin and Nails

Every client who books a session with us gets a magazine-look Style Guide to preparing for their photoshoot. To make the information accessible to everyone (who doesn't like knowing how to look their best?),  we will be featuring this guide on our blog in a four-part series. If you would like to receive the whole Style Guide for free, sign up for our newsletter (in the right sidebar) and you will be emailed a copy as a gift! 

Below are some of our favorite tips to looking amazing in your photos. Feel free to follow - or skip - any and all that apply to you! 

WAX/SHAVE

Wax or shave your legs and underarms, particularly if you are bringing dresses to wear. Get your wax no less than two or three days before your shoot so your skin has enough time to heal and your legs are not a bumpy mess. You can shave up to the night before or morning of but do not forget to properly moisturize afterwards! If you are planning on wearing lingerie, do not forget to take care of your bikini area.  

GET A SPRAY TAN

This tip comes with a disclaimer: only get a spray tan (this includes at home tanning) if you normally do and if you have gotten a tan from your current salon or provider before. There is nothing worse to retouch than orange, streaky skin! Your natural skin color, no matter how fair it can get in the wintertime in Maine, will look great in photos - trust me! If you are particularly concerned, let me know, and I can do a few lighting and editing tricks to give you a more glowy complexion. 

AVOID THE SUN

StyleGuide_Skin_Nails

If you just came back from a tropical vacation, you might have tanlines or even a sunburn and there is not much you can do about it. However, if you have a choice on the matter, avoid getting a sunburn before your shoot! Also, keep an eye out on those pesky tanlines, especially if you are planning on wearing lingerie or dresses with open shoulders.  

GET A MANICURE

Make an appointment at the nail salon to get a manicure - and perhaps throw in a pedicure while you’re at it! While a pedicure is not essential, it will make you feel more polished and put together. Do not get your nails done more than a few days ahead of your photoshoot as they will either grow out (if they are acrylics), or chip. You can get any color nailpolish you wish but keeping it simple is usually best. Pink, nude, or clear nailpolish makes your hands look clean and polished, as do french tips. A simple, at-home version of a salon manicure includes removing old polish and shaping your nails. 

HYDRATION 

Your skin will thank you for some extra attention in the days leading up to your shoot. We recommend moisturizing your arms and legs after every shower or bath - you can also throw a good scrub in while you’re in the shower! (Tip: Sugar mixed with a bit of olive oil makes a great homemade scrub. Just be careful using it, as it can make the shower slippery.)

HANDS OFF

Try to leave your skin alone (no spot picking) if you can - sometimes a “gentle” squeeze can turn a small inflamed pore into a big, angry zit. I know that if you get a spot staring you in the face it is difficult to ignore it, but trust me, it is much easier to remove it in editing (it literally takes about two seconds) than try to smooth out and remove redness from one that you spent ten minutes picking. And trust me, we have all been there and nobody in our studio will judge you for the condition of your skin. It is easy to fix skin in a photograph but it is impossible to capture a genuine expression when a spot is all the client can think about. Relax, we have got you covered! 

MARKS & SCARS

Unlike acne or spots, scars and birthmarks canbe very personal. We try never to assume whether you want your scar or birthmark retouched completely, softened, or left alone so if we didn’t ask you about it and you have strong opinions, please speak up! Similarly, if you miss it after it’s been retouched or if you would like to soften it or remove it, let us know at your viewing. Open communication is key, and we want you to love your photos.

Preparing for Your Portrait Shoot, Part 2: Face

Every client who books a session with us gets a magazine-look Style Guide to preparing for their photoshoot. To make the information accessible to everyone (who doesn't like knowing how to look their best?),  we will be featuring this guide on our blog in a four-part series. If you would like to receive the whole Style Guide for free, sign up for our newsletter (in the right sidebar) and you will be emailed a copy as a gift! 

Below are some of our favorite tips to looking amazing in your photos. Feel free to follow - or skip - any and all that apply to you! 

 

GET A FACIAL

Whether you go to a salon or follow an at-home beauty routine, get a facial about a week before your photoshoot. If you have sensitive skin, do not try any aggressive treatments and stick to what you already know. Even after a salon facial, you can still do a mini refresh about two days before the shoot. Stick to a tried exfoliator and mask, you can even do a simple facial massage (YouTube has some great videos on this topic). 

WASH, EXFOLIATE, MOISTURIZE

Try to stick to a simple routine of cleansing, exfoliating (no more than twice a week), and moisturizing every day. Nothing looks better than clean, moisturized skin, and your foundation will go on much smoother if you get rid of dead skin cells and replenish moisture often. 

EAT WELL

If you can, stay away from greasy foods, foods high in simple carbohydrates, and foods with lots of sugar or salt three days before your photoshoot. Not only will you kick the bloat, your skin will love you! Lots of vitamins and water will give your skin a natural glow. (Do not skip a good breakfast and coffee - if you drink it - the morning of your photoshoot. You will need lots of energy and a caffeine withdrawal headache is not your friend). 

WHITEN YOUR TEETH

You can do an at-home whitening treatment to give your smile a little extra help. Coffee and tea, red wine, and cigarettes are some of the biggest offenders so if you do whiten your teeth, keep them in tip top shape by avoiding these before your shoot. You can also bring a toothbrush to our studio and freshen up before we start shooting if you like to keep your breath fresh (or wear braces). 

WAX OR TWEEZE BROWS

About a week before if you wax, or about three days if you tweeze, get your eyebrows shaped. Just as with getting a new haircut, try to avoid any major changes to your brow style. Do touch them up the night before the shoot (never the morning of, as you might get some redness from tweezing). 

SPECIAL NEEDS SKIN

If you have been blessed with sensitive skin or if you suffer from allergies to cosmetics, be gentle when getting any treatments done. You are also welcome to bring your own makeup to our studio if you are worried about an allergic reaction. While our artists keep all their tools and products clean and many makeup items are hypoallergenic, not all makeup is suited for hyper-sensitive skin. Please do let us know of any allergies, special needs, or requests before getting styled. Our artists are trained to ask you about your makeup preferences but feel free to speak up before, during, and after your makup application!