Preparing Yourself For a Photo Shoot

There are things you can prepare for yourself before the photo shoot in order to get the best result.

There are don’ts: 

1) Do not tan yourself 3 days before the shoot, your skin will be red. Any redness or even slightly sunburn will affect the photo quality. If you don’t have time to get sun tan, I can make you look tanned in the post editing easily.

2) Do not scrub your face the day before the shoot to avoid skin look red and irritating.

3) Do nothing about the pimples or blemish, they are easy to clean out in the digital editing post process.

4) Do not try a new hairstyle, you can never sure about the result, go safe is the best.

5) Do not stay up late the night before the shoot, come to the studio sober.

6) Do not drink alcohol the night before the shoot because you can drink during the shoot. (Just kidding, but a glass of wine won’t hurt. 🙂 )

7) (Not for pregnancy photo session) Avoid drinking too much water the night before the photo shoot. Retaining too much water in the body can cause puffiness. So drink plenty of water during the day. If you get really thirsty during the evening, drink a small amount of water.

There are Do’s:

1) Two or three days before the shoot, apply facial scrub to massage and wash your face to exfoliate your skin. (Guys: Please do the same)

2) Remember to shave where is appropriate. Girls: Legs, under arms, forearms and bikini lines for bikini or boudoir shoots.  Guys: Be shaved nicely if you are not growing a particular beard style..

3) Clean your nails and toe nails.

4) Go to bed early the night before the shoot, at least get 3 hours more sleep than usual.

5) Remove unwanted hair on your eyebrows, guys please do the same. If you are not sure what to do, please go to a specialist or “Google” more information.

6) Packing your clothing and accessories the night before, so you will be more relaxed for next day’s shoot.

Tutorial: Using ISSUU to make and publish your photography magazine

I use ISSUU to make a collection of my work to become a photo magazine. ISSUU is very simple to use, just sign up and upload your file, the website will convert your pdf file to have the magazine flipping effect, it’s really cool!

At first, I don’t know how to design a magazine cover or edit the magazine content. I searched on google see if there is tutorial about making an online magazine or a free template to use. But the source is not much, although there are good softwares that you can purchase for making an professional looking online magazine. But if you are like me, just want to try out this new cool thing then purchasing an $400 software is no a good idea.

Guess what is my solution?! I have a few magazine lay on my shelf, I had a glance of them. I thought it wouldn’t be difficult to “manual” making one. I’m good at Photoshop, so why not do in photoshop? There is an function to convert the images to a PDF file, so I make every page of the magazine in Photoshop and then convert them to PDF files. You can use illustrator or any other software you feel easy and comfortable with to edit your magazine content. There are also some professional software like Adobe Indesign for this purpose.

Then I use a very cool free and open source “pdfSam” (For MacOS, Linus and Windows) to merge all the pages of pdf to one single pdf file. After that, you’re ready to upload the pdf file to ISSUU.

It’s just a simple way to make a photography magazine, as you see my sample, I’m very “new” to the magazine layout. And I’m sure you can do it better than me. 🙂

Note:If you can’t open my online magazine APHRODITE, you can download the pdf file here.

Classic Portrait shoot set in outdoor – easy and simple set up!

This is a simple outdoor shoot set up for a classic black and white portrait shoot with a black background.

How simple?
You only need 3 things for the studio set up.
1 light stand
1 flash
1 softbox

Location: Anywhere without strong wind. (So the softbox will stay put!) I set the studio by a small fishing port. The street lamp can help with the camera focusing.

[singlepic id=15 float=none]

Behind the scene with the classic look B&W portrait set up


Lighting by the flash, no ambient light.

When the day is getting dark, in the late afternoon, choose a place where is in the shade.
Set your camera at the highest shutter speed sync with the flash, adjust you aperture until the exposure goes right down, lower than Ev -2. So you won’t pull any street light into the shot.

My camera setting:

[singlepic id=16 float=none]

With this shot, I added another flash to lit up the back of her hair.


Any thought or question you can leave it in the comment. 🙂

Portrait Session with Pam

[singlepic id=13 h=800 float=none]

The portrait session with Pam was very nice. She’s lovely, beautiful and in perfect good shape. She told me that she goes to the gym often. Pam is in her 60s, it’s amazing how she keeps her body in good shape.
Here is some questions I asked her during the shoot, a short interview with Pam.

Amanda:Why do you want to have your portrait done?

Pam:It’s for my family.

A:What is your experience of the portrait with Amanda?

P: Brilliant, very relaxing.

A:How do your feel when you see the photos?


A:Do you like the photos?
P:Very much.

A:How do you look after yourself so well?

P:I use serum by L’oreal and boots No7.

A:What pass time activity make you fee relaxing?
P:Go to the gym and sailing.

A:You look very fit, do you go on special diet?
P:Not really, just no smoking, moderate alcohol  and an a health diet.

More photo of Pam.

[singlepic id=14 h=800 float=none]