How to Prepare For A Photoshoot

It's Saturday morning and you've got a coffee and croissant in front of you while you scroll through social media on your phone. You keep seeing all of your friends in new photoshoots - maternity shoots, couples shoots, even  pet photoshoots! You're excited (and hella nervous, let's be honest) about the idea of getting in front of the camera, but you're finally ready to book a photoshoot for yourself! Yaaay! Ok, but now what? You don't know how to pose. Which angles are your best? How important is lighting? Don't even worry - I gotchu! Here are 5 quick tips to get you started!

1. RELAX

Ugh so you hear this all the time, but it's not that easy. And when people say RELAX, you tend to do the opposite. So here's what I do: when clients come in for their first session, I typically offer them a glass of wine to calm the nerves (drinking wine at 10am is totally cool guys, come on). But what if you're not a drinker? My solution is to add aromatherapy and music to the room so that you start getting pumped up and excited. Music creates a mood and we're in this together, so I do my best to find music that will suit your style and allow you to be free. And if you are still nervous, just trust me. After about 15 minutes of shooting I will show you the images on the back of the camera and you will forget all about being nervous! Who dat? ;) 

2. HAVE FUN

Having a photoshoot isn't just about the final product and getting your digital edits, it's about HAVING FUN throughout the process! Whether you have booked an hour session or a three-hour session, make your time memorable. Be yourself. Do what makes you comfortable, make jokes, laugh with me. For example, when I am on a shoot and the couple is being quiet, I try to get them talking by asking tons of questions. For me this means that I'll poke fun at you or your partner to make you both laugh. It's important to enjoy your session. You PAID for it so treat it like any other outing. Be it bungee jumping or going to the movies. Treat it like a date! 

3. PREPARE

Preparation is key. You want to have some sort of a plan going into the shoot to ease your nerves and help you feel as ready as possible with no surprises.

Make sure you have your outfits selected and send them to your photographer for approval! If you're doing a couples session, you definitely want to make sure your outfits look good together. Think about how your colors look side by side. Think about patterns and styles and come up with outfits that make sense together in a scene. 

DON'T wear clothing that is too tight and will give you lines on your skin. This happens more often than you'd think, and it's a lot of work to photoshop them out! It's also an extra charge, so save yourself and the photographer the nuisance of all those editing costs and wear looser fitting clothes to your session. 

Usually I ask my clients to send me a mood board or at least a few inspiration photos they've seen online so that I can have an idea of what type of shots they want. This is IMPORTANT to do. It's important that you all have a similar vision so that you are on the same page when you're creating the photos together. Don't leave your photographer in the dark or surprise them with new concepts in the middle of the shoot. Be clear with your expectations and share everything with your photographer so that they can confirm and agree to the style of the shoot. 

If you've booked a toddler session and it's in the studio, be extra prepared. Bring snacks, toys, diapers. Although some photographers will already have all these things, many don't. So bring the essentials to make the session seamless. 

    4. PRACTICE

It might sound silly to practice for your shoot, but honestly, this is incredibly helpful. If you've never had a shoot before and you don't know how to pose or how to move, take some time to practice in the mirror. Look at your face when you're happy. Is your smile too big when you laugh? Do you need to suck your stomach in and tone your core to get the shape you want? 

To help you out, I typically send my clients a cheat sheet with posing ideas, especially for boudoir and couple sessions. Take a look at the images and practice beforehand in front of the mirror. While some poses might work for other people, it might not work for you. You want to make sure you're comfortable in the poses the photographer tells you to take, but if you don't practice them ahead of time you won't really know. 

Youtube videos are also super helpful. Here are a few for example:

5. HAVE FUN

I had to add this in here twice because some people just take this way too seriously. I mean I totally get that some photographers may have packages that are over a few thousand dollars, but my sessions are reasonably priced so that you shouldn't have to overthink your session. ENJOY your time. The more you enjoy it, laugh, relax, and have fun, the more it will show in the photos.

Remember Pinterest is your FRIEND. From posing to outfit coordination to photo ideas, this is where you'll find it all. If you don't have an account, I highly recommend that you get one now and use it!

At the end of the day it's just you and the photographer, in this case ME :) I have photographed people of all shapes and sizes and I truly believe that everyone is beautiful, so don't ever think that the photographer is judging you! The photographer is there to make you feel SEXY and CONFIDENT so that they can tell your story in a photo. If something doesn't feel right, speak up. I generally take mini breaks between shooting to get to know each other a bit better. 

The photos taken at the end of the session versus at the beginning are ALWAYS much better because you're more relaxed and comfortable at the end of the session. Just remember to have fun and own it!

What are some of your worst concerns when
it comes to shooting for the first time?

Comment below