Image of four different women in various poses.

As part of my pre-session prep, I have a questionnaire that each client completes. One question in particular often gets a similar answer. The question is a two-part question. First, “Do you like to have your photo taken?” and then “Why or Why not?”

Very often, I’ll get the answer that my client is nervous about the session because she doesn’t know what to do with her hands – like where to put them or pose them during the session. Of course, I will tell her and more importantly, show her, what to do with her hands during the session.

But this brings up a very good question: How important is it that you prep your hands or do your nails for your photo session?

In two words: VERY IMPORTANT!

There is no way to avoid the fact that your hands will be in your photos.

So how do you prepare your hands and nails to be in their best shape for your photos? Follow these tips for photo-worthy hands and nails:


  1. Keep in neutral. Getting trendy with nail color can date your senior pictures, family photos or your headshots. It’s best to remain classic and timeless with beautifully polished neutral nails.
  2. Keep your hands moisturized. Moisturize for the entire week before your session. Use a heavy moisturizer on your hands, cuticles and nails to help heal any cracked skin or broken nail beds.
  3. Chipped nails. Eww. There’s nothing worse in senior portraits or headshots than chipped nail paint. If I decide to place your hands next to your face, unsightly nails could draw attention away from your gorgeous face.
  4. Don’t forget your toenails. Especially if you’re going to show off your toes in sandals. Remember to keep your toenails perfectly pampered with a professional pedicure. Don’t worry – you feet won’t be in your headshot!! Haha!
  5. When in doubt, hire a professional. The best thing you can do at least two days before your session is to get a professional manicure.


I hope these tips help you prepare for your photo session – whether it be a Chicago high senior photo session, Chicago family photo session or even a Chicago headshot session! Please follow this blog for more tips on how to prepare for your photo session or reach out to me for more information.




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