Session Guide for Women

I'm so glad that you've booked a portrait session with me.  This is going to be an amazing experience, and together we are going to create some beautiful portraits!
Proper preparation will help me to capture you looking and feeling your best, so here are a few tips I hope will help you get ready for your session.



  • I will be trying to capture at least three different looks during your session, so give some thought to the styles you prefer.  Look through my portfolios to get some ideas. Clothing style and color both work together to create different looks.  Do you want your portraits to be classic, glamorous, casual, sexy or maybe even something couture?  I generally recommend bringing a variety of styles to reflect your personality and give you different looks.  For example, bring a classic  cocktail dress, a glamorous evening gown, a soft feminine casual blouse with jeans.  If you want to try something couture, like a boho look with flowers and tulle just let me know and we can plan something special. 

  • Take some time to go through your wardrobe and/or go shopping for outfits for your portrait session.  Bring at least 4 - 6 outfits so that we have plenty of choice.  Here's some ideas and guidelines to help you choose.

  • Bring something light and ethereal in a light shade of nude, blush, light pink, white, cream, etc.  Try to bring something that is sheer, gauzy, or soft.  For example, a lacy dress or top, a sheer blouse, a chiffon dress.


  • Bring something dark, such as black, navy, or charcoal.  For example, a black cocktail dress, or a black top with leggings, pants, or jeans.


  • Bring something sparkly.   Gold, silver, black, grey, champagne colors are lovely.  For example a sequin top and leggings, or a beaded evening gown.


  • Bring something with color. Colors can be bright and bold, or soft and subdued.  Choose something that you love and that expresses your personality. For example, jeans and a colored top, or a colored dress. 


  • Here is my number one rule.  Please bring only solid color clothing.  This is very important!! Patterns and prints are too distracting. They take attention away from your face and your eyes in the portrait.  Instead, choose clothing with texture, such as beading, lace, or embroidery.  This adds visual interest to your portrait without taking attention away from your face.

  • My number two most important rule is...choose fitted clothing.  Fitted clothing is more flattering in photographs than loose, flowing clothing.  This is true for everyone, but even more so if you are a bit more curvy.

  • Avoid t-shirts, bulky sweaters, and cardigans.  Instead, bring dressier blouses and tops, or dresses.

  • Try to vary your necklines, and bring at least one outfit that has an off the shoulder or strapless neckline.  V-necks are flattering for everyone, especially if you are curvy.

  • If you are curvy, or self conscious about your arms, bring clothing with sleeves.  A 3/4 length sleeve is best.  

  • Bring a few basics like jeans, black leggings, and black & white or nude camisoles so we can mix and match items.  

  • Bring well fitting undergarments that are appropriate for each outfit that you bring.  Please bring a nude, strapless bra if you have one. This is especially important if we will be creating a couture look for you.  If you are curvy you might want to wear or bring shapewear.

  • Bring accessories to match each outfit, such as  jewelery, scarves, etc.   Choose accesories that compliment your outfit but do not distract from your face.  Avoid wearing watches.  If you are curvy, long necklaces are flattering.

  • For indoor portraits you will not be wearing shoes so don't worry about bringing them.  For outdoor portraits, bring comfortable walking shoes along with shoes to match your outfits.

  • The day before your session make sure you try on your outfits to make sure everything fits and looks great. Make sure that your clothing is cleaned, ironed, de-linted, etc. 

  • For other clothing ideas  and tips, please see my pinterest page.

  • Don't have any clothing that would work?  I have a small studio wardrobe that you are welcome to use.  You could also consider renting something from this Canadian clothing rental shop: Rent frock Repeat

Body Preparation

  • Hydrate!  Make sure you drink plenty of water in the week before your session.  Use moisturizer your skin daily, even your hands and feet.  Also  use lip balm regularly the week before your session.  This will make you look healthy and glowing for your photographs.
  • Exfoliate!  It will smooth your skin if you exfoliate a few times the week before your session, but  DO NOT exfoliate on the day of your session!
  • Don't worry about any pimples or skin flare ups.  These things happen!  Having a great makeup application will hide any imperfections, plus your images will be fully retouched, so your skin will look beautiful in your finished portraits!
  • Tweeze your brows the day before your session.
  • Do not apply self-tanner.  It will make your skin look orange in your portraits.  If you normally get a spray tan book it a couple of days before your session.
  • Don't shave on the day of your session.  If you want smooth legs and arm pits, shave 2-3 days before your session to give your skin time to recover before your session.
  • Get your hair trimmed, but don't make any major changes.  
  • If you color your hair, touch up your roots a few days before your session.
  • Don't forget about your nails.  Get, or give yourself a mani-pedi.  Choose natural or neutral colors that will go with all of your clothing and not be distracting.
  • If you have chosen to use my professional hair and makeup artist, please arrive to your session with a clean,  lightly moisturized, but make-up free face, ready for the make-up artist to work her magic.  
  • If you have chosen to do your hair and makeup yourself, please refer to my hair and makeup tips page. 


I hope this session guide has helped you!  If you want a second opinion on your clothing choices just give me a call, or  feel free to take a quick photo of the clothing you are planning to wear and email it to me, or text it to me at 403-680-8039.  If you have questions about what to bring, or anything else, just let me know.  I can't wait to photograph you!