Makeup & Hairstyling Tips For Photo Sessions

by Anny Chow

Our friend Becca Jean, a Portland-based adventure photographer for families & couples, asked us to share some makeup and hairstyling tips with her clients.

If you have to do your own makeup and style your own hair for your photo sessions, here are some pointers on how to get ready

How to Do Your Makeup for Your Photo Session

Asian woman looking at mirror applying lipstick

Photo Credits: Mylyn Wood Photography


I am a firm believer that you have to feel good to look good, therefore, it’s important for my clients to feel like themselves when being photographed. Getting makeup done for family or couples photos is not about transformation in my opinion. Makeup is there to enhance the features to help my client to look the best version of themselves.


While dewy skin with a lot of highlights is trendy these days, I personally think semi-matte complexion photographs are the best. Using too many highlights could make the skin look oily or greasy and potentially create flashbacks. Also, highlights could make the skin texture look more visible. By Terry Hyaluronic Hydra-Powder (image below) is one of my powders to use to set the makeup to give a semi-matte look. This is micro-fine powder that plumps skin and sets makeup.

By Terry Makeup Setting Power


Powder is usually used at the end of makeup application to set the makeup. It’s an important step to make sure the makeup is set, however, using too much powder could make skin texture, such as fine lines and wrinkles, more visible. Too much powder makes the makeup looks cakey. It’s also important to understand the difference between setting powder and finishing powder. Setting powder is used to set the makeup so the makeup can last longer. Finishing powder is used to blur and smooth out imperfections. 

Applying powder using a fluffy brush instead of a puff could prevent using too much product. 

Also, choosing a foundation that’s self-setting and using makeup setting spray are other great ways to set the makeup without using too much powder. 

How to Style Your Hair for Photoshoot


Blow drying the hair is the first step to good hair styling. Professional hair stylists who specialize in styling have mastered the skill to create volume and effortless texture. If you plan to style your hair yourself, try flipping your hair and drying it from the back with a bristle brush. This is the easiest DIY way to get the most height and volume when you do it at home yourself.


Choosing the right hair product for your hair type is an important step to ensure long-lasting style. Understand the difference between working spray and setting spray. Never use the strong hold setting spray to style your hair because it will look stiff and curls will look hard and crunchy. Choose a working spray instead that works best for your hair type. Always smooth out the hair with a brush before curling or flat ironing. Oribe Free Styler Working Hairspray (image below) is a great choice when styling. This hairspray creates an ultra-fine, ultra-dry mist that can be layered, styled, and reworked to perfection. It creates a brushable hold with a touchable, satin finish.

Oribe hairspray


Use shine spray or serum to eliminate flyaways. This is especially important in the colder PNW months when there can be more moisture in the air.

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