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Getting Ready For Your Photo Shoot | Ithaca Binghamton Cortland Photos
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Getting Ready Guide

Nellie Hari | / Getting Ready Guide


Taking the time to prepare for your shoot will ensure you get the best results and everything goes smoothly. I’ve curated a list of tips to help you get ready to minimize the anxiousness surrounding such a different and new experience. We also want to make sure every detail is taken care of in advance so you don’t regret a small detail that cannot be fixed in editing on the day of your shoot.

Feeling good in your skin

Happy skin photographs beautifully. Avoid excessive tanning or spray tans 3-4 days before your photography appointment to minimize redness, peeling or uneven tone. Moisturizing  the morning before it will ensure your skin looks soft and supple. For an extra touch exfoliate a day or two before and apply lotion religiously. Load up on chap stick too, especially in winter. This step makes a big difference during your shoot.

Preparing and pampering

Taking care of small details before your shoot will really pay off with beautiful results, think of it like a bit of pampering before a big event. If you dye your hair, schedule a refresh service. If you paint your nails, make sure you get a fresh mani and pedi, or remove any chipped polish. Perfectly fine if you don’t do either of those things, I would just hate it if you get your images back and notice your chipped polish or a bit of roots poking through. Similarly, if you normally remove any of your body hair, ensure it’s done right before your shoot for best results. Any body hair there during your shoot will not be edited out. Take the time to try on your outfits a week or two before the shoot to make sure they still fit how you want them and you have an idea of what you want to pack. This will give you time to go shopping in case you decide you need to change something.

Eeek, I got a random pimple/bruise/giant mosquito bite right before my shoot!

We are humans and this happens! It will be taken care of in editing. If there is something covering a large portion of your skin, like if you were in a car accident recently, have major sun burn or extensive bruising, please get in touch so we can discuss and decide if it’s best to reschedule while you heal.


Tell me about the outfits – what, how many, how?

I don’t limit the number of outfits, but we do normally work with a set amount of time for each shoot based on the package you picked, so it will vary. I always recommend bringing extra outfits, we’ll pair them down together based on what will photograph best and we start working from your favorite one down the line to fit as many as we comfortably can without rushing the process.

Make sure anything that can wrinkle is ironed, lint is removed and it’s hung on hangers so it looks neat and clean in your shots. Wrinkles will not be edited out.

How about the shoes?

Shoes will depend on your shoot type, but they’re an important part of your styling. You want to make sure they match the style of the photo session – a dressier outfit should have dressy shoes rather than flip-flops; are we going for a casual, fun-in-the-sun shoot – bring the flip flops! If any part of your shoot will be in studio, make sure the soles are wiped clean with a damp paper towel so we don’t have dirt marks in your beautiful pictures. And peel off any stickers on the bottoms!

The dreaded bracelet look

Are you one of the many people who often find themselves with a hair elastic on their wrist? A Fitbit or Apple Watch? You’re not alone! Please leave it at home if you don’t intend to have it in the shots so we don’t have a pesky distraction or a red mark left behind it.

Hair and makeup

If you have booked a hair and makeup package with me, you do not need to arrive early – we will start at your selected time, and the shoot clock will start after we are ready. Please make sure you have clean, dry hair and makeup-free, moisturized face.

If you did not book a package and intend to have hair or makeup styling, please ensure it’s completed before the shoot. It’s totally normal if you want to take a minute to touch up your lipstick, but we won’t have time factored in before the shoot for longer procedures.

Digital makeup is not applied during editing so please make sure you’re happy with your final look before we start.

Give yourself extra time

If you have to arrange for childcare or simply have a busy day ahead, plan to have some extra time before and after your shoot so you’re not rushing. Sometimes we end up running longer for one reason or another and it will help tremendously, and make you more comfortable.

I’m a little (or A LOT) nervous about this!

Please don’t worry, there is nothing to be nervous about! I know it’s easier said than done, but it’s natural to be coming into this unexperienced, and I’ll be there to support and guide every step. We will have a lot of fun, a bit of a work out with all the poses, and you’ll be surprised at the end you were ever worried.


Nellie did my engagement session at Ithaca Falls and I am very impressed. I’ve had people tell me it was the most beautiful engagement session they’ve ever seen so I know I’m not being biased when I say she is absolutely amazing. Not only is Nellie creative and talented, but she is also very professional and sweet.



I got my senior pictures done by Nellie and I couldn't be happier! She's professional yet made me feel so comfortable that I was just able to have a blast at the shoot. The pictures turned out beautiful, and her editing is IMPECCABLE. I swear they looked like modeling shots. I highly recommend!



I've done a couple photo shoots with Nellie. She is highly energetic and always excited to work with you. She helps you with poses and outfit ideas and is always ready to answer questions and work with you on things. She blows me away every time time!



Nellie made me feel so comfortable during the entire shoot. She has an amazing eye, and the photos are gorgeous! It was a wonderful experience and I highly recommend her!

Miss L


This is the correct way boudoir shots should be taken - classy and sexy at the same time. A dream of mine has come true!

Miss J


I can't thank you enough for today. You made something that I thought was going to be super awkward, not awkward at all! You seriously killed it with these shots. I did this for my husband, but honestly I'm really excited to have taken them for myself too.

Miss K

Have any questions? Ready to jump in and make gorgeous images together? Get in touch with me!