It's no secret that standing in front of a decent sized camera can be a little intimidating at times, especially if you're not used to it. A good photographer will help you feel at ease, but there are a few things that you can do to help yourself prepare for the moment you are ready to be photograhed as well.
1) Drink water: Make sure you drink plenty of water the day prior, and get a good night's sleep. The water will help make your skin & lips look plump and at it's best. It might sound superficial, but if you want to look the healthiest in your images, this is a simple and effective way to do it. Also, apply a good moisturiser prior to the session. Coconut oil is great for the body!
2) Branding: If you are planning on using your images to represent a brand, take some time to think about what colours, clothing and locations compliment your branding. If you are not sure, write down some words about how you see your brand, and that will help the photographer accurately create the vision. When it comes to clothing, I tend to advise clients to avoid loud patterns and logos (unless brand-specific). That way it ensures the images don't date in a hurry. Props can also play a part in helping to tell a story. For example, musical instruments etc.
3) Authenticity is beautiful! A portrait does not have to depict you in your happiest state to be beautiful. Having your photo taken at a point in your life where you feel broken can be a profoundly healing experience. Allowing yourself to be seen and held within that state can serve as a testament to your strength and resilience. I personally believe that it is best to photograph a person as they are feeling when they show up. This feeling can move as the session progresses, but authenticity shines through when feelings and emotions are honoured.
4) Fitness: If you are arriving for the purpose of documenting your fitness. Allow a little extra time pre-shoot to warm up your muscles. Bring some warm clothes and a towel with you. If you are wanting to represent particular poses, arrive with visual references to help the photographer ensure you get the shot. BUT, also place some trust in the flow of the session. As a photographer, I personally work best when I am able to let the creativity flow organically. The poses (and your truest expression of yourself) will be revealed as the session progresses.
5) Make up; to do or not to do? Well, this is a tricky one... I used to only shoot with professional make up done (usually by the amazing Nicole Peterson). But these days I prefer raw, authentic representations of people. I understand it plays a role in Branding and also for self confidence, though. If I could offer any advice it would be that if you are choosing to wear make up, unless you are a professional make up artist yourself, employ someone else to do it for you. Make up can make or break an image, and if you are investing in photography that lasts a lifetime, its worth making sure that you are happy with the results.
6) Don't wait until everything is perfect! Here's a truth bomb, you'll never be perfect. You are human, and you have flaws, and it is perfectly ok to have flaws. Be proud of your wrinkles as you've earned them, be grateful for stretch marks as other women would long to have had the opportunity to have children. Be proud of your self in this moment beyond your physical form.
7) Choosing the right photographer. There are many photographers for you to choose to represent you, but it is incredibly important that you connect with the work that the photographer has produced. You will get a feeling from their work and also any communication that you have with them. My brother (also a photographer) didn't let me photograph him until he felt that I was moving into the highest version of myself, and that decision worked in his favour. So, I would advise to make a decision based on your gut, what you feel when looking at the photographers work, and whether you connect to that feeling.
8) The most important tip of all; Arrive on time! Light is of utmost importance to a photographer. What it means for you is potentially the difference between a standout shot and an ok shot. From many experiences I can tell you that getting out of bed early is always worth the effort!
*all images shot by me.