What NOT to Do Before a Photoshoot

What NOT to do Before a Photoshoot. Click to learn from my mistakes! Tips, hacks and DIYs, life lessons, Live your best life, self care, photography tips, modeling tips, eye candy, entertainment, Instagram, Posing for photos, photo tips #tipsforphotoshoots #photoshoot #photoshoottips #headshots #instagrammers

Last fall I traveled to Los Angeles and had an impromptu meetup with a professional photographer. Good thing I have no shame and overshare so you’ll know what not to do before your next photoshoot.

Photoshoot mistakes were made

This all started when visiting my son, Kelly, and his girlfriend, Leksy, in Los Angeles, California. One night, we drove to a restaurant while Leksy, who is a stylist, sat in back. I perused their Instagram feeds, amazed by their photos after a shoot with Zachary Dripps.

“Whoa. These turned out so cool. I should hire him,” I said, totally off the cuff.

“I can set something up,” said Leksy.

I laughed. I had no intention of getting my pictures taken. It was the first of September. I planned to get my hair cut and colored when I returned home. It was quiet in the backseat as I continued to study the photos on my phone.

“He can meet you on Monday,” said Leksy.

I swung my head around. “I didn’t know you were asking him.” I internally groaned as excitement and nervousness slipped into my gut. I took a peek in the mirror. No. I wasn’t ready for prime time.

From that moment on, I tried to downplay it, think it was no big deal, a lark. In other words, I did nothing to prepare.

See this professional Instagram model? We passed her and the photoshoot posse as we made our way into the restaurant. She posed fluidly around the pole, giving the photographer her best side. Meaning she didn’t have a bad side.

A real Instagram model. Click for what not to do before a photoshoot from someone who is not a professional model but learned an important life lesson! Live your best life, self care, modeling, photoshoots, Instagram, eye candy, photography tips #instagrammer #photoshoot #professionalmodel #proshoot #photos

I have lots of bad sides.

I usually have A Wild Hair too, but the kind that sits upon my head has always been a problem.

Photoshoots of yore

I attended grade school before irons, that could curl or straighten hair safely. Some of my friends used real irons. I never had the nerve, instead, my mom set my hair on rags, Victorian style. I could sleep with rags in my hair. In the morning, they would be perfect ringlets like this girl’s curls.

Victorian ringlets, better than what my hair looked like the day of the shoot! Click for what not to do before a photoshoot!

We didn’t have conditioner either. Try brushing long fine curly hair after soaping it up with strong stringent shampoo. When the first conditioner came out, I was super excited. Of course, I didn’t read the directions. I went to bed that night thinking my hair would dry overnight. When I woke up the next day, I was horrified but didn’t have time to rinse it out. I went to high school with a full head of greasy conditioner.

I was in Los Angeles. Salons located on every corner. Would I book an appointment? Treat myself to a blow out? Engage in a little self care?


My nerves set in so I tried to forget about it. As we filled our days with sightseeing, the vague thought to get my hair professionally styled crossed my mind many times, along with shopping for appropriate clothes, and getting a pedicure. BUT, they flew past like a dry leaf in a tornado.

A look inside my brain before the photoshoot:

Dorothy is the important thought, kicking me to do something, ANYTHING, before the photoshoot.

dorothy in cyclone

At least Dorothy wore her hair in braids. Even with a tornado in sight, she was better prepared than I was. Her clothes are pressed, they’re layered in a very chic way, and she carries a unique accessory to make the look complete!

The day of the shoot, I panicked.

My conditioned hair flew in every direction. At first I thought, I’d go with the flow and let it be curly, but it was inconsistently curly. Looking back I should have started over and blown my hair dry to get rid of the wiry curls in weird places. Instead, I used EVERYTHING I had to tame what could not be tamed. I smoothed my hair the best I could and decided to wear my hat, throwing a rubber band in my purse for good measure.

As the minutes tick by, I pulled a few outfits together, regretting I hadn’t gone shopping. If I had known I was going to be photographed, I would have packed differently. I decided to layer like Dorothy.

Another mistake. It was very hot.

As I sipped coffee with Zach and Kelly, I wiped the sweat from my brow and hoped we’d find some shady locations.

My hair behaved for my first shot.

What not to do to prepare for a photoshoot. My hair is already pulling from the helmet head hairspray. Click for a giggle and some real tips about getting head shots or professional photographs taken. Photography tips and tricks, Instagram tips, tips, hacks and diys, #photography #photographytips #modelingtips #headshots #photoshoottips

As the sun rose so did the humidity. My helmet head hairspray soon broke apart and my mane became frizzy.

What not to do when having a photoshoot. Click for tips to make your shots ready for Instagram! Modeling for Photos, Instagram shoot, Social media shoot, photography tips, photos #instagram #photos #modeling #headshots

I have lots of fun photos but my hair. So disappointing.

You have to remember that I chose my “best” shots to be developed, so you have to believe me when I say my hair started to go crazy wild and strange. I edited this shot and added saturation and contrast which helped.

Bad hair day for Susie

I stopped back inside the coffee shop to freshen up. When I told the lady ahead of me that I was in the middle of a photoshoot, she said, “Well, I really like your jewelry.” Gotcha.

I’ve never modeled. Back when I was younger, I was photogenic. At one point, my son suggested, “Don’t smile.” The corners of my mouth droop downward. It has never been a good look for me. I’m better with my mouth open, which it is, most the time. Ask anyone!

Climbing the walls with horrid hair during a photoshoot. Click for what not to do if you decide to have photos taken for Instagram! #photographytips #photoshoot #lifelessons #modeling

Me in high school concentrating on my shot and biting my bottom lip. Notice my wild and crazy hair? I’m jonesing after my legs though. LOL! I still have a ways to go this spring. Anyway…

tennis serve

Zach and Kelly were good sports and encouraged me throughout the shoot. Kelly would make a great director! Maybe a few of the other photos will end up on my Instagram.

After the photoshoot. Click for photoshoot tips and what not to do when you schedule a photographer! #photoshootideas #photoshoot #photoshootsummer #photoshootLA #photoshootposes

Zachery Dripps, Kelly Lindau, and moi, Susie Lindau

If you’re ever in the Los Angeles area and want to schedule a photoshoot, hit Zack up! Do you notice how tidy his hair looks? Maybe I should cut mine short.

Zachary Dripps, professional photographer and cinematographer. Click for photoshoot tips and what not to do! #photographers #photographytips #models #photoshoottips #

I linked up Zach’s portrait page, where you’ll see my son, Kelly! So photogenic. Click home to see what else Zach is up to.

And Leksy too!

I should probably take a lesson from Leksy and have my hair done next time.

Make sure to press play!!!

As a part of my learning curve, I’m scheduling a blowout before my birthday this Thursday. Lesson learned.

When was the last time you had a professional photograph taken?

Click for more adventure on the Wild Ride!

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57 thoughts on “What NOT to Do Before a Photoshoot

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  1. Hilarious post – the pics look great, but you capture so well your feelings about the process, and the internal debate that was ongoing as you turned yourself over to a pro to capture you – get writing as always and terrific photos!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. All of my Executive jobs came with headshot being done for me so I have used those! This one I have on my blog was taken recently and seemed to work for me!


  2. I sat for a Walmart shoot before a pageant because I didn’t realize the organizer was taking headshots. (I don’t know what happened to those pictures…I think they lost them.) Other than that, I think the last time was senior pictures fifteen years ago.

    I think you’ll really appreciate this one: https://imgur.com/P9pv2gT 😉

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Back when Glamour Shots were popular, my mom and some of her Mary Kay colleagues would get together and their clients could get their hair and makeup done and have pictures taken. I was there one night (as I’m sure you can tell–that’s not a “mom hairdo”!) and my mom had a headshot done of me for my first pageant. (A local festival type…nothing big.) I linked you to the fun version, where the photographer handed me his sunglasses and told me to give him attitude. 😅

        A decade or so later, we called him up for my senior pictures…there was never any question who we’d use. (Plus, I think he specifically ASKED, even all the way back then!) 💙


    1. Curls are great, but mine lay underneath stick straight hair! It’s super weird. I updated the post with an edited bad hair photo which made the “cut,” and a comment from an observer. LOL!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You look great even on a bad hair day! I’m so envious. I am absolutely NOT photogenic at all, but I got a really good headshot from a photographer at a conference a couple of years ago. He was a master with that air brush…lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Kassandra!
      See, that’s what I need; an airbrush! I updated the post with a shot that barely made the cut along with a conversation with a stranger in line. That was it. I put my hair in a ponytail! I’ll take my next photoshoot seriously next time and will book some appointments! LOL!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, thanks, Linda! I posted the best ones, but just updated this post with one of the not-so-great which shows my hair starting to frizz in the California humidity. I had it developed anyway.


    1. Oh, my God, YES! No electric curling anything until the 70’s. Then Big Hair came into style and everyone curled their hair!
      Thanks, Lydia! I just updated it with another picture where my hair begins to frizz out. I didn’t have a lot of them developed. Next time, I’ll schedule an appointment at the “Dry Bar!” LOL!


    1. Thanks, Darlene! My natural kinky curls escaped to the Wild Side by the end of the shoot. Some straight, some curly… Yikes! Next up? Working on smiling naturally. All of a sudden, I started smiling by squeezing my cheeks in a most unnatural way. Hahaha! I need professional help.


  4. What do you mean”used to be” photogenic? You look wonderful, Suzie.

    For some reason I haven’t gotten notices for your blogs in a while, but maybe they’re starting to appear again. I’ve always enjoyed them. Say hi to Danny.


    1. Thanks so much, David! I only chose photos that were decent. Believe me, there were some that weren’t so great! 😂
      I’m glad you got the notice today! I found the same problem with some bloggers so I unfollowed and immediately followed them again. It worked!!!
      Say hi to Sharon too!!


  5. Respectably saying I do believe my new favorite colors are hot tangerine and blonde. You Susie you do definitely rock your own style. My mom use to rock over one inch spaded nails, the real deal and hurt me red in color. She typed a very fast wpm and accurately so, but although she hated to cook, in the kitchen with those styling flesh spades she could murder an Orange.

    Every woman has her style. The first time I met my wife it truly was a stunning moment, as was the 38th and 743rd time. When we had been dating I hired a photographer to capture her timeless beauty, that picture hangs here upon the wall and when I awaken every morning I see her beautiful image either way I turn upon my pillow. It’s that glow, that glow that women possess and their gentle touch which makes the world a better place and life much worth living for us Men and for our little children.

    And as well to say, ‘style matters’. And we are never too busy in our daily lives to go shopping and try out new looks and styles, a new complimenting pair of shades, a new hat, or boots, or casual attire wear. Adults should attend theater or period events and dress in the period. I would like to rock a top hat and suit, black with a white dress shirt and black boots. Victorian era, in fact I think I shall find a Photography studio to accompany my quest, something to be framed to leave with my loved ones to watch over my family when I am away on that final pleasant journey. Everyone is photogenic Susie, you just need a find a brandy and a Photo studio – after all look there at Miss Lesky


    1. Right? Leksy knows what’s what!
      I love your idea of a Victorian photoshoot like that chic with the rag curled hair. Not one strand out of place. Me? I’m usually hard to pin down along with my untamable hair.
      Your mom sounds like she was a hoot! I rarely get my nails done since they inevitably get stuck in something that scratches them.
      Thanks for stopping by, Brock!


  6. I agree with David. I don’t think you ever lost your photogenicness (word?) Funny story, Susie.

    I once sent a picture to apply to model for the magazine “Geriatric’s Today” but they said they would get back to me. That was five years ago. Hmmm….


    1. Hahahaha! A happenin’ magazine, I’m sure.

      Thanks, Al! I didn’t have the bad ones developed. Yes, these were shot on film! Most of us are blessed with smart phones that take a load of pictures to choose from. Even then, they might not make the cut!


  7. What a FUN Experience! I would have to say the last professional photo shoot I have been in was a family photo and before that on my Wedding Day. I am usually the one behind the camera. Mr. Craves is Mr. Photogenic. You can ROCK a hat though (I look like a boy – ha!). Happy Day – Enjoy 🙂


    1. Thanks, Renee! I can wear hats. It’s my forté! LOL! I take lots of photos too. I need some practice on the other side of the lens and a few appointments next time. 🙂


  8. I suppose your hair thought that their good side was their wild side, but in the pictures you had selected they look pretty tame. Although, I spent a couple of decades with a full head of really wild and frizzy hair, so my standard of “tame” when it comes to hair is a little skewed.


    1. Oh dear me, Susie I like loose as in one of those well loved or not, FM tuner stereo radios where the tuning knob um’ drifts, ‘sure that’s it I am a knob’ a drifter. Sometimes I am spot on and other everything fly right over my head, to include cast Iron frying skillets, books, everything flies right over my head, but for my size 13 (47 European sized) boot / foot. The foot seems to never miss my mouth regardless of how well in tuned my mind is for the moment. (How am I doing, have dug myself out of this self made abyss yet) Hugs, lots of hugs and chocolate. I thought perhaps you wore subliminally asking for a new style and color dos for a casual portrait. Which of course if so you would have said so. But my mind, well it’s a lose tuner indeed. (Lips in many well meant and heartfelt: I’m Sorry’s Miming heartfelt well meant sorry from the other side of the pane of glass as I slide lower. Still digging, oh lord, I am so used to digging out that my right bicep is immensely huger than my Left bicep and people always stop me and ask me if I am Norse, a Viking Rower. My wife she is the queen of pace palming. And I once asked a lady when she was doo’? My wife and her shopping trolley were long gone and the store had to call security as they though some hostile woman was killing me, I still have the shredded trousers and scratch scars upon my face to prove that one. They could make a crazy insurance company commercial on me. ‘We seen him insert up to 97 inch foot in his mouth and has had to have shopping trolleys, Cast Iron Skillets, paint Easels along with acrylic painting and toaster ovens . We see a thing or too because well just look at the poor fecer down there in the abyss and all the thousands of ‘well intended tuner slipping helpful suggestions he has dug over fourteen hundred and 92 acres spanning six decades of his pathetic life. Hugs. I am writing all this well intended heartfelt I am soooooo sorry with my eyes closed so I cannot see all the ladies grinning as they line up with Louie villa Sluggers and their favorite 8 pound garden rocks for the public stoning of ‘Him!!’ (Monty Python – The Life of Brian). Please don’t kill me of send a pack of ladies to stone me into a state of stupid. For I am already there. This going to go out on Instagram or face book or something isn’t it’? Oh God please how do I delete me images’? XXXXXXXXXXXXX :


  9. Really good photos Susie, look great to me. You’re obviously over-critical because we always are about photos of ourselves aren’t we? Sounds like a fun experience though. Not sure either of us would have a professional session like that though, very brave of you.


  10. 1) You look GREAT, Susie! And the credit for that doesn’t go to the photographer!

    2) My recent film shoot was overflowing with missed opportunities; I got nervous instead of just letting loose and having fun. I should’ve embraced my mistakes like they do on Mrs. Brown’s Boys. And afterwards I thought of all kinds of gags and ad libbed lines I should’ve employed.

    Live and learn, babe.


    1. Thanks so much, Hook. It’s my birthday today, so guess what? I’m getting my hair blown out! LOL!
      Hopefully there will be next times for both of us. Don’t they say that fear is in our heads? Since it doesn’t really exist, why do we give it so much power?


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