How to Prepare for Your Photoshoot

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Written by Guy Walsh

It’s all about feeling relaxed

The key to capturing truly great photos is your comfort. My job as your photographer is to ensure that you are as relaxed as possible and you feel confident and comfortable, so here is a short guide on how to prepare for a photoshoot.

I have another business where I help people to become more confident using acting skills and established theories from the world of psychology, and one of the things that I preach the most is preparation.

Being prepared will help you feel confident, and this will come across in your finished images.

With that in mind, here are five things you can do to get the most from your shoot. Some are practical, some are mindset-oriented. If you need help or advice with any of them, get in touch and I’ll happily talk you through it.

But most importantly, don’t stress if everything doesn’t go entirely to plan. Remember – relaxation is the key!

Pick the right date and time

Make your shoot the focus of your day. Don’t book meetings before, as there’s more chance that you’ll be rushing and you’ll feel stressed if anything runs late. Don’t book anything for after the shoot, as there’s a good chance your mind will start thinking about where you need to be, and you might feel rushed towards the end of the shoot.

Let your photographer get to know you

Part of the reason that I offer a pre-shoot consultation phone or Zoom call is that we have a better chance of getting the shots we want if we have good chemistry. It’s always good to work with someone that you know, like and trust. Within the boundaries of the professional relationship, it’s good to get to know one another as this enables the conversation to flow naturally and reduces the chance of inauthentic forced images.

An alternative to this, however, is:

Bring a friend

I completely understand that even with the best will in the world, sometimes it’s genuinely difficult to let your guard down in a one-on-one situation with someone that you don’t know. This is why I introduced my Branding Duo package. Not only does it offer great value for money for both participants, but if there is someone there whom you can bounce ideas off, exchange cheeky comments, and will provide supportive feedback, you’re more likely to relax. This will show in the photos we create.

Do some pre-shoot research

Have a look at the websites of brands or freelancers that you are familiar with and identify what you like and don’t like about their imagery. Once we have this information we can come up with some ideas for clothing colours, backgrounds and props that will work for your brand. We can even do this on a pre-shoot Zoom call with the help of the screen share function!

Come as yourself

If you are planning to have your hair restyled for your shoot, it’s best to do it a couple of days beforehand to give it time to settle. Remember to make sure that it’s reflective of you – there’s no point getting a Marge Simpson look if you normally wear it short. Your clients want to be able to identify you from your website imagery.

Similarly for make-up – keep it simple, natural and reflective of your normal look.

A good way of thinking about styling is to create a look that reflects you on your best work day rather than your wedding day or a night out.

Psst… I offer a £35 headshot service at certain events. Why not use these tips to get yourself prepared and then dip your toe in the water? Simply pop along on the day, or if you want to be certain of your slot drop me an email and I’ll book you in. I’ll even throw in a free pre-shoot consultation!

And finally…

In case I haven’t mentioned it enough- the short answer to “how to prepare for a photoshoot” is: be calm and confident. Any techniques that you use in your everyday life – meditation, breathing exercises, yoga, mindfulness etc. will also help you to be calm. Here’s a short video where I explain a simple breathing exercise that you might find useful in your day-to-day life:

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