The 5 most important things to remember during your photoshoot
I love photographing first-timers. That transition from “I don’t think I’m very good at this.” to “This was so much fun! I can’t believe it’s really me in those photos”, this is why I do what I do. It is why I love being a personal branding photographer and it’s why I love photographing people in general.
I believe people are brilliant in their own unique way.
And often it only takes a little help and encouragement for anyone to relax and let their magic shine in front of the camera.
As for that little help, things, like explaining what to expect during the shoot and giving tips on how to prepare and look your best, are really effective and I see my clients instantly getting more relaxed as we talk everything through.
And I admit, just like anyone really passionate about their profession, sometimes I get a little carried away. A little too many tips, too many examples, too much explanation. Add that to the already high adrenaline level of the client and no surprise that a good chunk of that information is gone the moment I lift my camera.
So, these days I try to talk less (with varying levels of success) and I also came up with a kind of “if you forget everything else, just remember these 5 things” list. Because I know there are a lot of things — emotional and physical — going on during the shoot.
Whether you are going to your first ever professional photoshoot or you have a few sessions under your belt already, the following tips will help you have a fun and successful photoshoot.
1 | String attached
Good posture is everything. It makes you look radiant by instantly boosting your mood and confidence. It’s the foundation of all posing. And it supports your health by making you use your muscles more efficiently.
The easiest way to adjust your body into a good posture is to imagine that you are being pulled up towards the sky by a string attached to the top of your head. This pull makes you stand tall, lift your chest and engage your core muscles as your neck, shoulders and lower back align.
Chances are that at this point you are a little too stiff so the next thing to do is take a big breath in, then relax and pull your shoulders down as you breathe out. And now that you have it, try to maintain this posture in every pose.
2 | Communicate
A photoshoot is teamwork between you and your photographer. And just like with any teams, good communication is vital to success. I’m not saying spend valuable shoot time on lengthy conversations. What I mean here is don’t be shy to let your photographer know if you like or don’t like certain elements of a photo, or if suddenly you have an idea you’d like to try etc.
Ideally, there’s already a good connection between you and your photographer which you established during pre-shoot calls or meetings. So tap into that connection.
During the photoshoot, your photographer will lead with ideas and direction to create the photos you agreed on in the pre-shoot discussions but while half of the session is about going with the plan, the other half is left for improvisation — or at least that’s my approach to photoshoots.
If you give even just a little feedback, it’ll start an exchange of creative energy which will then take the photos and the photoshoot experience to a whole new level.
3 | Shake it out
There will come a point during your photoshoot when you get too much into your head trying to look perfect and it’s all starting to look and feel a little stiff.
That’s when you stop and shake it out.
Do some little jumps, shake your body, puff up your cheeks, do exaggerated movements with your mouth. You’ll feel the stiffness gone, you’ll be filled with new energy and you’ll be looking fresh and natural as you go back into your pose.
4 | Happy thoughts
My clients always get amazed when I explain how much their thoughts affect their look, especially when they can see the difference for themselves.
As a photographer, there’s a variety of tricks I can use to make you feel more relaxed in front of the camera but if the whole time you are thinking “sh*t there’s a camera being pointed at me”, that will show on your face.
Often, thinking happy thoughts is the easy fix for the “deer in the headlight” look. But at branding photoshoots, for example, you can explore this power of thoughts even more and convey different messages. Are we shooting a confident “you can do it” image or the inspired moment when you are coming up with new ideas?
“Easier said than done!” you might say. And I agree. For some of us, it takes a little longer to think about anything with a camera pointed at us but keep pushing your mind because the results will be worth it.
5 | Have fun!
A professional photoshoot is a great experience that — to most people — doesn’t happen every day. So make sure you don’t miss the fun!
Even if you are shooting serious looks a little laughter in between takes won’t hurt. During most of my photoshoots, there’s always a moment where we have to stop shooting for a few minutes because we are laughing so hard.
Yes, it’s partly because I like to make my clients laugh and capture those authentic emotions. But it’s also because be it work or personal life, I believe it’s all about enjoying the moment and having fun.
If you have any questions regarding photoshoots, personal brand photography or branding, feel free to contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org