– Ensure everything is freshly washed, on hangers and WRINKLE-FREE, we do not remove excess wrinkles/stains in Photoshop

– Bring extra clothing/accessories/shoes – we suggest an extra 2-3 outfits, Something that looks great for everyday wear can often look much different when on-camera. Make sure you have extra options!

– Since we shoot outdoors and on-location, we won’t always have access to places for you to change. This is never a problem, just plan on changing in the car. If possible, come to the shoot in an SUV/Van to give yourself extra room.

– Be VERY AWARE of the undergarments you bring – pack the appropriate color and style underwear/bra/cami/etc – we do not remove straps in Photoshop.

- Try on all of your outfits beforehand and stand in front of the mirror with your hand on your hip. Can you see your tank top/bra/cami underneath your armpit? What about the straps? Can you see the color of your bra through your shirt?


- Check out images from our Facebook & Instagram to get an idea of what other girls have brought to their sessions.

– Think outside the box :: solid, plain tops can be boring and lifeless on camera

– Blazers/Denim/Leather Jackets – ensure they fit tightly so they don’t look too bulky. You can take this on and off while shooting to get more variety without changing outfits

– Patterns and textures will liven up your portraits considerably

– Bring a variety of colors to mix up the mood of each outfit. Try to avoid neon colors.

– Skinny jeans – ensure your pants are form-fitting.

– Textured/Lacy/Patterned dresses and rompers

– Colored pants – just avoid solid white or neon pants (see below) Darker colors work really well.


– Overall, your shoes won’t show up too often on-camera unless you specifically want to showcase them – bringing a pair of heels or boots can spruce things up quite a bit. Otherwise don’t stress too much if you don’t have the perfect pair of shoes for each outfit.


Glasses – Anti-glare lenses work perfectly. We can not remove glare in Photoshop

Don’t forget to bring earrings, bracelets, necklaces, etc. The chunkier the better – thin/small pieces won’t always show up very well

Feel free to bring additional accessories to mix things up a bit. Even if just for a few photos, it can be fun to get even more variety without changing outfits. A few examples – hats, sunglasses, headbands, hairpieces and flower crowns



– The key is to KNOW YOUR BODY and what you are comfortable wearing! If you are self-conscious about the size of your arms, don’t wear sleeveless tops for example. The following things are what have caused problems in the past but it all comes down to knowing what works for you and your body type.

– Shorts & Short Skirts :: try to avoid these since they aren’t timeless, they can make your legs look bigger than they actually are and will limit the posing we can do since it will often look like you aren’t wearing any pants.

– Strapless Dresses & Shirts :: in any close-up it will make you look shirtless, they make the area under your armpit stick out

– Tank Tops :: try to limit these as much as possible. Be aware that they can make your armpits stick out, show your bra, be unflattering in some poses – avoid spaghetti straps altogether.

– Solid White – while this is a popular option for many girls, try to keep it to a minimum and incorporate jewelry or a high-waisted belt for a dress if needed. Oftentimes, plain white will look totally lifeless and like a blob on camera.

– White or neon colored pants – due to the variety of posing we will do, they will 100% get dirty/stained at some point. They can also wrinkle in unflattering places. Stick to darker colors for the best results.

– Neon Colors – anything super flashy or loud can look distorted on-camera.

– Anything that shows too much skin – we want the photos to look classy and timeless



– Have some photos on your phone of what your makeup is like on a day-to-day basis so that Dana knows how heavy/light you normally wear it.

– Come in with a few ideas, feel free to share some photos with Dana of hair/makeup styles you have seen online that you like.

– Be VERY vocal with Dana and let her know exactly what you are looking for – if you’d like something changed don’t be afraid to tell her. Dana wants you to be thrilled with the final look!

– Keep in mind that the makeup will look much heavier in-person than it will on-camera. Dana knows how we shoot and wants to ensure your features are highlighted correctly.

– Plan on arriving with a freshly washed face and a light layer of moisturizer if you normally wear one. Don’t wash your hair 1-2 days prior to the shoot.

– If you have a specific lip color, eye liner, mascara, etc that you absolutely love and you know looks amazing on you, bring it with and Dana can apply it for you.

– Bringing lip gloss can also help for quick touch-ups.

– If you know your hair gets frizzy in heat/humidity and their is a certain type of hairspray that works well for your hair, bring it!

– Make sure your nails are clean with a neutral color. We cannot change nail color in Photoshop. Also ensure that your armpits are freshly shaven.

– Try to avoid any heavy tanning at least 1 week prior to the shoot – it can make your skin tone look strange on-camera. We cannot Photoshop sunburned skin or tan lines.



– What is the shoot actually like? Should I be nervous?

First off – do NOT be nervous, the day of the shoot will be really laid-back and fun. You won’t be forced to do anything outside of your comfort zone and you will see everything we shoot in-camera so if you want to try a pose/expression again, we can make the necessary adjustments.

– Who should come to the shoot?

Moms usually come to the shoot but many girls come alone or bring a girlfriend as well. Make sure you talk with whoever is coming about whether or not you want them watching you while you pose – it can make some girls uncomfortable or self-conscious and we want you to be as relaxed as possible! It’s definitely best to leave your dad or boyfriend at home since this can be a lengthy process and they often get impatient and irritated.

– Who will I be working with on the day of the shoot?


– Dana Michele is our primary stylist – she does freelance makeup and modeling work throughout the Fox Cities. You can view her page here: https://www.facebook.com/makeupdanamichele/
– Ryan Kurkowski has been the owner and photographer for Ash & Ember for the past 9 years – absolutely everything you see on our website has been photographed by him! When he is not in Wisconsin shooting seniors he travels worldwide for editorial photoshoots. Feel free to add him as a friend on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/ryan.kurkowski

– What about posing? Serious face? Smiling?

We shoot a TON of images on the day of your shoot to ensure we get a large variety of posing and expressions. We will tell you exactly what to do and how to pose – and if there is anything you want to try, let us know. Practice your serious face in front of the mirror if you are unsure about it – we will also give you tips during the shoot.

– What if I want candid/laughing shots?

Get ready to do a LOT of fake laughing at the shoot – it will seem silly while doing it but the results on-camera can be super fun. This is another good thing to practice in the mirror.

– What about dance/sports uniforms?

We generally don’t shoot a ton of these images unless you want it to count as one of your outfits – if you want to throw on a jersey for a couple quick shots, we can definitely do that without it counting as an outfit change. Feel free to bring balls/rackets/bats/etc!



Approximately 1-2 weeks after the shoot you will receive an e-mail with a private link to an online slideshow with the edited images in both color and black & white. They can be viewed on your phone or computer and you can share the link with anyone you’d like. The images will be web-sized and watermarked. You can look through them and let us know if there any additional fixes you want done. Once we get your approval and payment is made in full (see below) we will send the high-resolution images on a USB/Disc in the mail along with a print release.

We highly recommend using mpix.com for printing – we are not affiliated with them in any way. Our clients have been using them for years and everyone has been incredibly happy with the results! Their prices are low and the quality is fantastic. We will send additional printing tips when you receive your images.

If anything is posted on Instagram – PLEASE tag @ashandember in the actual photo so that it shows up in our tagged photos. This helps us immensely!


– Payment must be made in full before receiving any high-resolution images on a USB/Disc or before yearbook photos are sent to the school.

– There are no refunds after the high-resolution images are received in the mail. Partial payment will not be accepted for a portion of the images – the package price must be paid in full. For instance you can’t pay half the price and choose half of the images that you want – the package prices are all-inclusive and final.

– On the day of the shoot, you will be paying Dana Michele and Ash & Ember separately. Dana Michele accepts cash, credit cards and checks.

– For Ash & Ember – our clients typically pay in cash or check. (Almost everyone just brings a check for the entire amount the day of the shoot to make it nice and easy.) As a small business, we try to avoid credit card payments as much as possible due to excessive processing fees – we charge an extra 2% for credit card transactions.

– If you’d like to split up payments, that is an option as well. At least 50% of the total package price must be paid on the day of the shoot. Once the rest of the payment is received, we will send everything in the mail.