How can you make sure you get wonderful pictures from professional photoshoot?

I’m thrilled to share a guest post today from Emeka Ikechi who will detail how you can make sure you get wonderful pictures from professional photoshoot.

Emeka Ikechi of Vanity Studios

How can you make sure you get wonderful pictures from professional photoshoot?
By Emeka Ikechi, Director, Vanity Studios

Have you been thinking of having a photoshoot with your family? It is a great way to create some lovely images capturing a particular time in your life. You can have group shots taken or individual family portraits. You may also want to have cute shots of your baby or toddler. And perhaps your soon to be adult teen.

Let’s look at how you can work with the photographic studio to get some excellent shots.

Before you go to the studio

You are probably paying a lot of money for your photoshoot, so make sure that in advance of your appointment, you think about what you want the resulting shots to look like.

When having a family shoot done how do you want your pictures to look when you have them on the wall of your living room? What do you have in mind to give to your parents as a special present? Do you want a formal shot or one where you are all having a good time together? Or you may just want a really great picture of yourself looking your absolute best or perhaps something a little risqué to share with your partner.

These days, at the studio, we see a lot of potential influencers and bloggers. The selfie has its place in these occupations, but a well-thought-out professional picture can definitely give them an edge.

If you have a particular look or looks in mind, bring a photo from a magazine to illustrate it so the studio can get it right.

What we don’t recommend is practising! The point of going to a professional studio is that they have the experience to help you get the look you want and if you are too stiff with a

practised pose, you are unlikely to get the best from the process.

Take a range of looks

Now you have in mind the kind of shots you want, pick a selection of clothes and some accessories that will help you achieve that look. We recommend bringing several changes of clothes and ones you can mix and match to create different looks. Four “looks” is a good number to work towards.

On a very practical level, particularly if you’ll want to include headshots, try not to wear anything that is too similar to your skin tone, as you are in danger of blending into your outfit and, conversely, don’t wear anything too patterned as it’s distracting.

For family shots co-ordinate to make sure your outfits work together. I don’t mean you all wear the same things – unless you really want to. And avoid wearing the same colours. But if you are planning a dressy shot, make sure you all have smart clothes and similarly-styled outfits. You don’t want to have the whole family formal, apart from the one person who only brought jeans!

Remember if everyone is comfortable and confident in the clothes you’ve chosen you’ll all be much more likely to enjoy the experience.

Props can be great with kids

Props work really well with family shoots, particularly if you share a common interest; rugby shirts and a ball, for example. Or if you’re a family of bookworms, perhaps you could all bring your favourite book for a casually-styled photo.

In fact, with smaller children, props are a really great idea. It’s always good to bring things they can play with and if they have a particular favourite toy, perhaps their favourite cuddly toy or a doll or train that they can’t leave the house without, you – and they – won’t regret having them included in shots as a reminder of just how much they loved that toy. If your

toddler is cake-obsessed, a delicious-looking cupcake could be fun (if not too messy) or if your older child would happily spend their entire life on the X Box or PlayStation, perhaps bring a controller along.

Also really cute are adult props for smaller children. Think your little daughter in Mummy’s favourite heels or Granny’s signature necklace, or your little boy wearing Daddy’s hat or his one of his favourite ties or even his glasses.

It’s okay to wear your glasses

Speaking of glasses, these are far less of an issue than people tend to assume so, if you are a wearer of glasses, do bring them along. Glare is seldom an issue – remember these are professional photographers who know how to get the angle and lighting right.

For some people, glasses are very much part of their identity and others may need them but prefer how they look without, so it’s very much a personal choice. What we tend to do is take poses both with and without glasses and when the shoot is over you can choose which pictures you prefer.

What about hair and makeup?

So, now you have thought about what you want and got your outfits together, what should you do about hair and makeup? Firstly, make sure you check with the studio whether or not hair and makeup is part of the package. I would highly recommend that you choose a studio that includes this, but a lot of family and corporate photographers don’t, so make sure you check. And if they don’t include hair and makeup, ask them for guidance as to how you should prepare before you arrive.

If you come to a studio where these are part of the package, we advise arriving with clean hair that has no styling products in and no makeup. That way the stylists can start with a blank canvas and create the look you want. If you have a particular look you want to create, again, bring along a picture or magazine cutting to illustrate what you want – your idea of “smoky eyes”, for example, may not be what the makeup artist has in mind so it’s best to be clear. If you’re not 100% sure what you want, the artists can advise you and work with you to get you looking just perfect!

Men should also arrive with clean, non-styled hair and, for the shoot, we do suggest at least having some powder applied because of the lighting and to mask blemishes. Some men will want more than others, again depending on who you are and what you want to achieve, but it is completely optional and the makeup artists will work with you to ensure you get the look you want.

Making your selection of photographs

The photographer will take a lot – and I mean a lot – of pictures. So, at the end of the shoot, there will be an enormous number of images to choose from. Generally, studios will have a “viewer”; someone specifically assigned to go through the shots with you and help you choose the right ones. Remember what it is was you wanted in the first place and be sure you have those shots ordered – it’s crucial you leave with what you wanted in the first place. You may also find there are other shots that you really love – which is a bonus!

Having a photoshoot should be fun for all the family. We have a lot of clients who are very nervous when they arrive, often they hate having their photo taken. For example, the parent who is always behind the camera and never in front of it. The preconception is often that you will feel awkward and that it’s a bit scary or a chore but if you choose the right studio, it will be far from that.

We make the whole process very comfortable and will help you relax so you get the best shots. Good studios will have great makeup artists and hair stylists so you can relax while they get to work. The photographers are highly experienced and give a lot of direction; they will advise you on where to stand, how to sit, which angle to put your head at, where to look, etc. There’s lots of chat and direction and we find that even those who are not used to taking instruction enjoy being guided by the professionals.

Find the studio you feel comfortable with. When you have

that feeling of trust you and your family members will relax and have a great shoot. Perhaps now is the time to get one organised!

Vanity Studios - Family Portrait


Emeka Ikechi is Director of Vanity Studios, a contemporary studio for photoshoots in the centre of Shoreditch in London. Since 2009, Vanity Studios has been providing clients with high quality professional photos and an excellent photoshoot experience. The team of photographers and make-up artists ensure each client receives bespoke photography that meets their requirements.

Leave a Reply