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Tips for a Memorable At-Home Photo Shoot

Cancelled….postponed...rescheduled. Those words have become all too familiar these past few weeks. And for those of us who like to stay busy, those words are tough to accept. So in an effort to remain healthy, follow social distancing protocol, and continue to do the things I love, I decided to get innovative. Since all of my upcoming photo shoots have been postponed or even cancelled, I felt I had no other option but to practice my modeling skills from home, and luckily for me, I have a couple of amazing photographer friends who even agreed to edit for me. It’s social distancing teamwork at its finest. And even if you’ve never modeled, it’s never too late to start. Plus, right now is an ideal opportunity to capture moments in an unprecedented moment in time. So I’ve compiled a few tips for creating an at-home photo shoot opportunity that is worth your while.


Tip 1 - Make a plan. I say it all the time, but if you don’t have a plan, you’re setting yourself up for failure. That’s not to say that candid, unplanned pictures can’t still be monumentous, but if you want several high-quality shots, you’re going to need some preparation. So, decide on wardrobe, location, lighting, and time of day before you begin. Have a plan of action to ensure your best results.


Tip 2 - Make sure your camera is ready. Since my phone is the best camera I have, I have to make sure that it is charged. This is a task for me because my phone is prehistoric and must be plugged in most of the time just to stay charged. Make sure whomever will be handling the phone or camera knows how to use it. Have you ever missed that perfect Koda moment because you pushed the wrong button? Yeah, I’ve been there a few times. Don’t let that happen to you. Instead, make sure that the photographer is aware of how to operate the camera before you begin.


Tip 3 - Choose your wardrobe carefully. When contemplating your attire, keep in mind the location where you will take pictures. Since I live in a farmhouse, it makes sense for me to have a cowgirl style in my shots. That’s not to say that you can’t switch it up, but if I wanted more of a fitness look, I would try to find a more neutral background. And lifestyle and fashion shoots can take place almost anywhere. Consider your accessories and shoes as well. If you decide to do hair and/or make-up, have that done in advance. Now could also be an appropriate time to experiment with new hair and make-up styles as well.


Tip 4 - Scout out a location. The right spot for a photo shoot can be crucial. I prefer outdoor shoots so you have the benefit of natural light, but I live in Michigan, so being outside this time of year can be sketchy. If you decide to use an indoor location, try to choose a background that is more neutral. Also, try to utilize the natural light provided by windows. Chairs, tables, and lamps can also be used as props, so use them too as you set up your own makeshift studio. Outside, look for colorful areas or unique backgrounds. And don’t forget to look at the sky, which can provide an amazing backdrop for any photo.


Tip 5 - Always remember the light. Light is so crucial when creating the best photos, so use the light. The best times to take photos are the hours while the sun is rising and while the sun is setting. These are considered the “golden” hours of photography. If possible, choose these times to create your magic. And I know I’ve mentioned it before, but play to the light. Keep your face pointing at it to get the best possible lighting to illuminate your natural beauty..


Tip 6 - Be realistic. Even professional photographers take numerous photos to get the right look. So, try lots of poses and angles and realize you are going to have some that look pretty terrible to be honest. And although it might be frustrating to not achieve the look you’re aiming for, if you keep working at it, you’ll get some gems along the way as well. Don’t get discouraged. Keep in mind, this is the perfect time to practice facial expressions and poses.


Tip 7 - Be appreciative. It’s likely that you are going to have a family member photographing you, so be patient and understanding. This is sometimes a struggle for me because I have an idea in mind that under normal circumstances I could simply verbalize to a photographer to replicate. This isn’t generally the case with someone who has volunteered to photograph you. Personally, I choose to pay my children one dollar for their services. In this way they are compensated for their time, get some experience, and can call themselves “professionals.” Then everyone’s a winner!


Tip 8 - Spend time reflecting. Make sure to look at your photos when you are finished, Definitely delete the ones that catch you mid blink. Once you’ve done that, take a moment to critique your photos. What do you like? What do you dislike? How could you improve for next time? Keep your eyes focused on improving, but never forget to give yourself credit for your successes, no matter how small. It isn’t easy to get in front of a camera, so remind yourself of your bravery as well as your assets. Don’t sell yourself short.


Tip 9 - Have fun! Remove all pressure from the situation. Keep in mind that this is not a paid commercial shoot, so enjoy yourself. Let your personality shine through. I find that when I am relaxed, my pictures turn out much better than when I’m trying too hard. So, take a deep breath, shake out your body, smile, don’t say cheese, and create some amazing art.


Models, photographers, parents, grandparents, anyone who wants something to do while you’re stuck at home, get out your phone or camera and start clicking. You don’t have to be a professional. Capturing life’s important moments can have countless benefits. And as always, make sure to share your photos with me on Instagram @fitmodelmom. I’d love to see your results!


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