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A Blog by Michael Cannon Photography

Lens & Lather

How to Prepare for a Men's Portrait Session in Los Angeles

Don’t know what to expect during your first photoshoot? Explore these essential tips to confidently prepare for your session.

Men in studio portrait session

Walking into the studio can feel like stepping into the unknown. Remember the first time you had to give a presentation in front of a crowd? Nerve-racking, right? A photoshoot can bring up similar feelings. At Michael Cannon Photography, I’ve seen countless men walk into the Los Angeles studio with those same nerves, unsure of how to pose or what to wear. The good news is, that with a bit of preparation and guidance, that anxiety morphs into confidence.



In this article, I'm going to discuss:


How to Achieve Picture-Perfect Skin


  1. Daily Skincare Routine

  2. Hydrate for Healthy Skin

  3. Importance of a Good Night's Sleep

1. Daily Skincare Routine


To prep your skin effectively, establish a daily routine of cleansing and moisturizing to keep your skin clear and hydrated. This will ensure that your skin looks and feels its best.


If you’re new to skincare routines, start simple. Use a gentle cleanser and a good moisturizer suited to your skin type. Avoid trying new products right before your shoot to prevent any unexpected reactions. With consistent care, your skin will look its best, giving you one less thing to worry about on the day of your shoot.


2. Hydrate for Healthy Skin


Hydration is another key aspect of healthy skin. Drink plenty of water in the days leading up to your photoshoot. Well-hydrated skin appears more vibrant and smooth, which can make a big difference in your final images.


3. Importance of a Good Night’s Sleep


Make sure you're getting enough sleep. A good night's rest can reduce the appearance of dark circles and puffiness, helping you look fresh and alert.


A clay mask can remove dirt, oil, and dead skin cells that clog pores.

Essential Grooming Tips


  1. Take Care of Your Teeth

  2. Perfecting Your Facial Hair

  3. General Grooming Must-Dos

1. Take Care of Your Teeth


Grooming goes beyond just skincare and includes a few additional areas that can significantly impact your appearance. Your teeth are one of the first things people notice, so consider a professional cleaning for a bright, confident smile. Avoid foods and drinks that can stain your teeth, such as coffee, red wine, and dark sodas, in the days leading up to your shoot.


2. Perfecting Your Facial Hair


Facial hair is another important aspect of grooming. Whether you prefer a clean-shaven look or a well-groomed beard, make sure you get things tidied up. Regular grooming and trimming can prevent your beard from looking frizzy or unkempt, ensuring you look polished in your photos.


3. General Grooming Must-Dos


Don't overlook the importance of general grooming. Keep your nails trimmed and clean, and consider applying a light hand lotion to keep them looking healthy. Pay attention to your eyebrows as well; a quick tidy-up can make a big difference in your overall appearance.


Need some grooming product recommendations? Check out my Top 5 Self-Care Items Every Man Should Have


Man trimming beard with scissors

Trim your beard to avoid flyaways and maintain its shape.

Hair Styling and Maintenance


  1. Timing Your Trim

  2. Maintaining Locs, Braids, and Twists

1. Timing Your Trim


A fresh haircut can significantly improve your portrait. Timing is crucial so schedule a cut about a week before your session to give your hair time to settle. This allows any potential issues from the haircut to be addressed and ensures your hair looks natural and well-groomed.


2. Maintaining Locs, Braids, and Twists


For those with hairstyles such as locs, braids, or twists, maintenance is key. Make sure your locs are freshly retwisted and your braids or twists are neat. If you need a touch-up, schedule it a few days before your shoot to ensure your style looks its best without appearing too tight or uncomfortable.


While trying out a completely new look might be tempting, a photoshoot is not the best time for experimenting in case you don’t like the results. Stick to what you know and love.


Loc maintenance or a fresh haircut makes you feel like you can take on the world.

Choosing the Right Outfits


  1. Keep the Purpose in Mind

  2. The More Options, the Better

  3. Preparing Your Clothes

  4. Accessorize Thoughtfully

1. Keep the Purpose in Mind


Your wardrobe plays a vital role in the overall look of your portraits. The right outfit can enhance your appearance, reflect your personality, and suit the purpose of the photoshoot—whether it's for business, personal, or both.


2. The More Options, the Better


Bring multiple options to the shoot to provide flexibility. Having a variety of outfits allows us to experiment with different looks and styles, ensuring you get the best possible results.


3. Preparing Your Clothes


Ensure your clothes are clean, ironed, and well-fitted. Wrinkled or ill-fitting clothes can detract from your overall look and make you feel less confident. For those with four-legged family members, don’t forget to remove pet hair with a lint roller.


I always recommend a traveling outfit—something comfortable that you don't mind getting wrinkled or accidentally spilling your morning coffee on. Keep your clothes for the actual shoot protected in a garment bag.


4. Accessorize Thoughtfully


Accessories add a touch of personality. Choose a sleek or bold watch, rings, and necklaces to compliment your style. Keep accessories balanced to enhance your look without stealing the show, and make sure you feel comfortable and confident with your choices.


Man ironing a blue shirt

Iron your clothes the night before a shoot for a stress free morning.


You Got This

Preparing for your first Los Angeles photoshoot can be daunting, especially when you’re unsure of what to expect. With proper planning, you can calm your nerves and enter the studio confidently knowing that you took the necessary steps for a great session.


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