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Make-up guide for photo session

Make up conturing ideas for different face shapes advice for maternity photoshoot and family portrait
generation portrait of grandmother mother and a baby girl. Maternity photoshoot and family session.

The make-up guide for your maternity or family photoshoot is here!

When the date of your maternity or family photoshoot nears, you begin to think of all the preparations. To make sure you get the most out of the day, these are important factors to consider your make-up and hair, and your outfit.


But overall, one of the most important things to consider is your make-up.


Before we start on the different types of make-up suitable for the session, I want to stress this most important bit:

Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise!

Moisturise your skin well, the night before the session to give it the best chance to glow the next day.

Whether or not you wear make-up every day,

it is a good idea to wear it for the session and I’ll explain why.

I understand if the natural look is your everyday, what I’ll say is this: my camera is extremely good at capturing all the fine details, which most of the time is a huge bonus, but when it comes to our skin, it doesn’t do it any favors. if we have any wrinkles or imperfections (even the tiniest!!) – it will get exaggerated. Quite often raw skin looks more “tired” in a high-definition image. This is the very reason why I would always recommend using make-up when getting your portraits taken.

For the make-up to work well, there are a few things to keep in mind.

One of the most commonly asked question’s is how strong should my make up be?

The answer to that is dictated by technology. Camera and studio lights “eat up” 25 – 30% of the make-up strength. It will always look less intense in photographs taken with studio lights than in real life.   

For those who like the natural look

If you want to achieve a natural look, I would recommend starting with a good overall foundation that is color-matched but does not make your skin completely matt, as it would look very flat in photos. Put some blush along the cheekbones, and some highlighter (a tiny bit of high-definition powder) on the highest spot on your cheekbones. You’ll want to give some definition to your eyes; mascara and neutral shades of eye shadow will do the trick. You can put some color on the eyebrows as well, and then finish it all off with some lipstick and you are done here!

This part of your maternity or family photoshoot preparation is done.

For those of you who are more experienced with make-up

Do you want to go the extra step further?  A good contouring of the face is always a winner. The rule of 3 is to contour on the side of your face for dark contouring: hairline, cheekbones, and jawline. Remember, you can make it more intense than you would for wearing it during the day for the daylight.

Highlight the highest part of your cheekbones, a tiny bit over your upper lip; the cupid’s bow. Then a t-shaped space between your eyebrows. Below, I have included an internet-sourced example of counting for different face shapes. I also have created a Pinterest board on that topic HERE.

Make up conturing ideas for different face shapes advice for maternity photoshoot and family portrait

I would advise putting on a matt powder, but not on all parts of the face. Leave it off the area where you’ll have a natural healthy shine occurring, as it adds a nice depth to the face.

Your eyelashes are a must. Whichever you prefer, a good mascara if you are blessed with natural, stunning lashes or false lashes will make a huge difference in the final look.

Then the eyebrows frame your eyes. Take time to fill in and shape the eyebrows to compliment your face shape.

Put your blush on the way you prefer to wear it. Make your lips nice and full with a highlighter to the middle and make sure you wear moisturising lipstick so your lips won’t look dry in the portraits.

Now you are ready for the main event.


I am looking forward to hearing if this advice was helpful. If you have any other tips that would work for preparing for a maternity or family photoshoot.

Maternity photoshoot lady wearing pearl earring and white dress