1. Drink lots of water
I recommend staying hydrated at all times, but before a photo shoot is key. Your skin looks healthier, you don't look drained, and if you live in Texas like I do the days can be HOT.
2. Get lots of Sleep.
The last thing anyone wants is bags under their eyes, an aching body, or just the feeling of being rushed or overwhelmed. I am always much better after having enough sleep, I feel like I can conquer the world and I can take on the day.
3. Try on clothing for photo shoot a week in advance.
The worst thing that happens to me is I have an outfit idea in my head then I try it on and it is too tight in some places and then it is too late for me to find something else. I recommend trying on everything you plan on wearing, taking a picture in it and making sure you look great and feel great in those outfits.
4. Prepare for unforseen circumstances - weather, illness, etc.
In the event that something were to happen on the day of your shoot make sure that you are well aware of any charges for your make up artist, location fee, etc. Most of the time the photographers are well aware that things can and do happen so they are flexible. Just don't think an illness is going to go away overnight if it is really bad and make sure all parties are aware of it. If you are doing an outdoor shoot make sure your photographer has disclosed to you what will happen in the case of bad weather. Indoor locations you should be fine, but natural disaster do happen and electricity can go out, etc.
5. Pack a Touch Up bag if your make up artist won't be on sight.
Have a small cosmetic bag with a few items like bobby pins, make up products, tissues, tide to go, etc. The travel section of Target has lots of things that would be perfect in this bag.
6. Make sure everyone is fed or have snacks.
I am one of those that gets very cranky if I don't have food. It is bad I know. So make sure you pack a snacks or prepare to have a meal before getting ready. Nothing that will make you bloat or feel full because it will show in your pictures, eat early the night before, have a light breakfast and pack snacks for in between.
7. Have a helper/encourager for your day.
Your photographer may have an assistant with them from time to time or at all times. Be sure to ask if you will need to bring someone to make you feel comfortable, give you encouragement, etc. Do not bring someone who is going to tell the photographer how to do their job or make the process longer than it should be. Bring a cheerleader not a debbie downer.
Photo shoots are a big deal, they can be pricey so make sure you are relaxed, and that you know that this is for you. Take time to get your nails done if needed, don't do anything crazy the night before like binge drink. You want to be your best possible you for these photos, so take time for you.
9. Gather your clothing items
I have a horrible habit of running around last minute looking for clothing items. Be sure you have all your clothing together the two nights before your shoot. And then put them in the car or by the door so all you have to do is pick it up and walk out. Being prepared makes everything else so much easier.
10. Give yourself time to prepare for your day of shoot.
I am a work-o-holic so sometimes I think I can fit a half day of work in before a day of shooting. Nope. Don't do it. Take the time off and make it all about you for once. You work hard, and you deserve this!