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Why You Should Absolutely Indulge In A Mani Pedi Before Your Shoot!

A portrait session is a form of pampering that is all about you. I don’t mean that in an egotistical, entitled way. I mean it in a self-loving way. You are investing your time and money in beautiful keepsake images of yourself, so you should feel at your best the day you arrive on set for your shoot. And a mani pedi can help get you in that self-confident mindset.

Indulging in being pampered is a way of giving oneself love and telling oneself “I deserve this love,” which in turn feels good. And when we feel good, we look good. It’s as simple as that.

Self-love and self-confidence will make you take more chances, be more daring, more outgoing, more playful, act sexier and freer and thus make for a more successful shoot.

Of course there are many other self-love rituals you can indulge in prior to your photo shoot: getting a massage, touching up your highlights, buying a new dress to be photographed in, new lingerie…whatever it is that makes you feel like a million bucks, do it! For me it starts with a flashy daring nail color.

All In The Details….

If the above wasn’t reason enough to convince you to indulge in a mani/pedi, perhaps the following visual will egg you on.

Imagine sitting for 2 hours in hair and makeup creating a stunning glamorous look, then slipping into a gorgeous Oscar-worthy gown and stepping into your sexiest pair of heels; and as the camera pans down it catches sight of gnarly unkempt toes protruding from your open pumps, as bare rugged fingernails reach down to adjust the dainty shoe straps. Yikes! That diva image you just spent two hours creating with a team of professionals wouldn’t be able to withstand this visual topsy-turvy. The illusion would shatter.

If you want to create a polished look, you need to get your polish on!

Now if you’re reading this and you’re an au-naturel type who abhors the idea of fake anything, you can get a barely-there manicure with a clear polish that will neither draw attention nor distract. And there are several nail polish companies out there that use only all-natural ingredients that are non-toxic and eco friendly, so you can indulge with a clear conscious.

Side note, this also applies to my gentlemen readers out there. Splurge $20 and get ‘err done!!!

Remember the camera captures the details and even the smallest of details can be distracting, taking the focus away from your beauty, or from the concept that you and your photographer were trying to visually create. Which brings me to my next point on this subject: nail color.

It is scientifically proven that colors have a direct affect on our brain and our emotions.

Instinctively I’ve always chosen nail polish colors based on what mood I’m already in, or on the energy I want to emanate. For example, when I want to feel more vulnerable and playful, I usually pick a bright turquoise or coral that plays into my more Cali boho girlie-ness. When I want to feel more Jackie O than Marilyn, I go with a ballet pink or nude color. And on those days I want to reveal my inner sophisticate, I go for a deep plum or burgundy.

Yes, something as minimal as the color of my nail polish can bring out all these many facets of my personality and help me embody whatever attitude I want to exude. It’s like wearing a costume piece.

This can be particularly useful for all you actors out there who are getting headshots that showcase a specific “character” or “type”. Don’t underestimate what your nail polish says about the character you are portraying, and start to think how the color might help you get even more into character on the day of your headshot session. Or how it might detract from the character you are trying to be.

So the next time you get your nails done, pay close attention to the color you choose and how it makes you feel when you wear it. What nail color makes you feel sexy? What color makes you giddy every time you catch a glance of your fingers? Which color makes you feel vulnerable and girly or more aggressive and edgy? In planning your shoot, start to think about which of your qualities you might want to bring out, and which nail polish color can help you achieve that.

Pia is our in-house fashion styling guru. She works closely with our clients to create photoshoot-worthy outfits out of every-day closets. To contact Pia directly, you can email her at

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