1. Bring at least one timeless outfit
When you look back at your photos in 20 years will you say “what was I thinking?” Something that is trendy and cutting edge today will probably make us laugh (or cringe) years from now. Definitely bring at least one outfit that is simple and timeless.
For girls, a solid color dress or shirt and blue jeans usually photograph very well. Guys, a suit or solid color t-shirt or polo with blue jeans or khakis are nice. Avoid wild patterns or stripes as they can be distracting and do funny things in camera.
2. Be “yourself” with hair and makeup
Prepare your hair and makeup the same way as if you were getting dressed up. This is probably not a good time to try something radical… remember this is a memory of who you were and your hairstyle and makeup should reflect that.
A trial run before the shoot is a great idea and will have you much more comfortable with everything the day of the session. Getting professional hair and makeup is a great idea, but just remember to make it your best YOU and not something that you’ll look back at and think “that was totally not me”.
Makeup will even out your skin tones, but don't over do it. Minor blemishes can be removed later digitally, and be careful that your face and the rest of your skin tones are not different because of your makeup.
Funky shoes, trendy glasses, jewelry… Accessories can be “too much” or they can compliment your outfit. Feel free to bring different varieties that you can change up and get different types of shots… some more trendy, some more timeless.
4. Guys... groom your facial hair
Make sure you are clean shaven to avoid a 5 o'clock shadow... or if you naturally have facial hair, make sure it is nicely shaped and groomed.
Props really say something about who you are, and capturing photos of yourself interacting with them really tell a story about who you are, and what’s important to you.
Girls, definitely bring at least on pair of high heels! Pumps, casual, boots… heels make you look more glamorous, and alter your stance and calves for totally different look.
7. It's all in the details...
Make sure you bring jewelry that compliments your outfits. Simple and non-distracting jewelry work great.
Be aware of the color contrast between your undergarments, and make sure the colors will coordinate with what you are wearing and that cannot be seen through your clothing.
If you normally have your fingers and toe nails painted, make sure they are nicely done for the shoot. Also, try to avoid bright or distracting colors that will take away from the overall image and that will match with all of your outfits.
Be careful with tanning. Watch out for tan lines that will show up in the photos and getting a painful sunburn that will show in your photos (from you wincing from the pain). Just be yourself and not someone you are not. Whatever your natural skin color will work great.
Sleep well the night before and be on time. Having a good night's sleep the night before will keep you from looking tired and less stressed for your session. Being on time makes it much easier to have fun and be relaxed during your shoot. The mood you’re in will show in your photos, so try and have all your clothes and accessories laid out the night before, and plan your day lightly and stress free. Getting there planning to be there 10 minutes early will really help.