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11 Tips For Your Next Photoshoot

Photographs aim to capture special moments in time, and it’s been said that “a picture is worth a thousand words.” So while photo shoots are exciting, they can also bring about some anxiety, especially if you aren’t fully prepared. Whether you are having family pictures taken or you are modeling in your own photo shoot, preparation is the key to success. And while, I’m still learning, here are a few helpful tricks I’ve learned along the way to help make photo shoot day as stress free as possible.


Tip 1: Conduct research in advance. If you are modeling for a company, take time to learn about their mission and goals for the shoot. Visit their websites as well as social media platforms. This will help you see their vision so you can promote them as much as possible. If you are modeling for a photographer, you can see what styles he or she is most comfortable with, which will help you choose the best look for your portraits. Tip 2: Plan your wardrobe, look, and style. Whether you are modeling for a company, or you having special occasion pictures taken, it’s important to have an idea of what you want the pictures to look like. Some photographers and companies will provide you with guidance as to what they expect in terms of what you should wear, but in most instances, you are expected to create your own look that fits the style they have outlined. Personally, fashion is not my strong suit. I’m a legging and tank top kind of girl, so I rely on looking online to find poses and looks that I want to replicate. Essentially, I create a story board with outfits, poses, make-up, and hair choices that I think will fit. Whenever possible, I send sample pictures to the client as well to make sure I am representing their brand appropriately. Tip 3: Practice. A great teacher friend of mine always tells our students, “no one was born smart.” I love this statement because it can be applied to any facet of our lives. We couldn’t even walk when we were born; we had to develop the muscles and practice and even then we fell down…a lot. And we still fall down sometimes. Becoming a solid model is no exception to this rule. Experience doing photo shoots is ideal to help you improve, but you have to start somewhere. For me, this is the bathroom mirror. You turn into the light and out of it. You see what angles make your body look best. I’m not the tallest model, so I look for ways to make my legs look longer. So, even though it sounds silly, practice posing and facial expressions in the mirror, in your phone camera, or for your friends and family. Tip 4: Pack early. Do not wait until the day of the shoot to pack! At least begin packing the night before. I am notorious for forgetting things. If I begin packing early, I have more time to realize that I have forgotten something, which gives me time to remember that I forgot it….does that make sense? At any rate, I find that packing early makes me feel less stressed and I’m less likely to miss something important. I have also created a modeling checklist of items to bring. Tip 5: Keep outfits organized. Photo shoots, especially group ones get crazy. I mean, there are literally clothes and make-up everywhere. In my world, I like everything to be together in its own place. I have tried many different ways to store my belongings at photo shoots, but have found that I prefer putting most of my clothes in a large laundry basket. I put outfits together. Then I put shoes, make-up, and hair tools in a separate bag on top of the non-hanging clothes. Next, I drape hanging clothes over the basket. This makes it so much easier to carry and everything is essentially in one place. Tip 6: Take care of yourself. I know…I include this in every article, but really, make sure your body is prepared for the shoot. Eat healthy, get plenty of sleep, exercise, and drink lots of water beforehand. On the other hand, don’t put off a photo shoot because your body isn’t perfect. Keep in mind, none of us are perfect. Work on choosing outfits that accentuate your qualities and minimize areas that you aren’t as fond of. If you wait for perfection, you will miss out on the opportunity. Tip 7: Prepare the “canvas.” Pictures are an artistic venture with YOU as the focal point, so get your body ready. Ladies, shave your legs and pamper yourselves! Make sure your fingernails and toenails are painted a neutral color. Moisturize your face. Put lotion on the rest of your body. If you have someone else doing your hair and make-up, contact them to learn if they want your hair clean or dirty. If you are serving as your own hair and make-up artist, practice applying your make-up and doing your hair. Then add these skills to your resume! Tip 8: Be on time. Okay, so if you know me, you know that I am habitually late or right on time. It’s so bad. I always think that I can check one more item off my to-do-list before I leave for a place when in reality, it puts me behind. A good photographer friend has actually lied to me about a call time to ensure that I make it on time. Especially if you are working for a new client or photographer, respect their time and make sure to arrive at or before the call time. Tip 9: Be intentional about what you wear to your shoot. It’s cliché, but first impressions are so important. So, as comfortable as they are, pajama pants aren’t going to cut it for this. I try to wear dressier leggings with a shirt that buttons or zips. This way I don’t have to struggle to get the shirt over my head without messing up my hair and make-up. For this reason, I have one go-to outfit that I wear to most photo shoots. But wear comfortable shoes for sure. You can always change, but you need something comfortable for the long days. Tip 10: Be humble, polite, and thankful. Whenever I work with anyone, I appreciate the time that they have taken to spend their time and energy with me. And if your goal is to book more photo shoots as a model, it is important to meet new people and network with them. It’s the best way to get additional jobs. So make sure to show your thankfulness before you leave. Then, the best thanks you can give, is to tag people in your photos and give them some credit for their amazing talents. Tip 11: Be you and realize that your beauty will shine through. Photo shoots can be stressful. Sometimes it’s you in front of a camera with lots of people watching your every move and capturing it with the click of a button. It can be downright intimidating sometimes. My best advice is to do your best. Take deep, relaxing breaths to relax your mouth. Keep your body as loose as possible and move naturally. Listen to the photographer and work hard at doing your best. Hopefully these tips will help you rock your next photo session, and I hope you share your pictures on Instagram and Facebook so I can see your shine!

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