I'm pulling back the curtain, and taking you behind the scenes of my latest photoshoot in sunny California. Normally, there's a lot of thought and planning that goes into a great photoshoot, but we pulled this one off spontaneously. We decided to add it to the back end of our family vacation and it worked out.
If you've ever thought about creating a personal brand, or maybe you have an online business, you’re a course creator, entrepreneur, influencer, expert, coach or consultant, you know it’s only a matter of time before you’ll need to take some photos.
I thought I’d share some helpful tips that will make a big difference in your next photoshoot.
Hit 2 birds with one stone.
If you're already taking family photos, make sure to get individual shots taken as well. You've gone through the effort of getting ready, this will maximize your time and money. You can use individual shots for biography headshots, media photos, website, social media profiles, guest post photos, and more.
Bring at least one other change of outfit.
When I packed for this trip, I only had casual jeans, shorts and t-shirts. I wasn’t planning on a branding shoot, so I gathered what I could from my suitcase. I pulled a couple of solid color tops and made a quick trip to Nordstrom Rack, to find 2 pairs of dressy pants to mix in with what I already had. I had a dark outfit and a light outfit. I was able to adjust based on the background color I was standing in front of.
Bring in something that will dress it up, or dress it down. (like a jacket, a nice pair of pants, or a great top, a dress etc). Ideally bring at least 2-3 outfit options, so you can have multiple styles of photos while you’re at it. Your photographer can help with ideas too.
Consider The 3 Piece Rule.
When I worked at a luxury fashion store, we had a concept called the “3 piece rule.” It meant wearing 3 pieces, that created a complete outfit.
You have a top (shirt), a bottom (pants, skirt, etc) and a third piece that pulls it all together. This could be a scarf, a necklace, jewelry accent piece, a jacket, vest, something that makes the outfit look interesting. It can be simple. I chose a necklace, since that’s all I packed.
Most people don’t think about this, but photoshoots can take longer than expected. They can be fun, but also draining. The last thing you want to be is hangry (hungry+angry), especially when someone is telling you to smile.
Make sure to bring an energy booster, to hold you over. I suggest bringing snacks that don’t crumble, get stuck in your teeth, stain your clothes or ruin your makeup.
Don't bring colored candy or suckers. They’ll stain your lips and tongue. A banana, some trail mix, small mandarin oranges, cut up apples, almonds are some of my favorites.
Stay well-hydrated before, during and after the shoot. You don’t want to look and feel fatigued. Bring a water bottle. You’ll notice a difference in your skin, eyes and avoid cracked lips if you’re getting enough water.
Play some fun music in the background.
This helps you to relax and set the mood. Most photographers don’t mind, in fact some prefer this, and have bluetooth speakers and music available. If not, use your own mobile device and turn on a playlist from youtube or pandora to help calm the nerves.
Request photos in several sizes.
Have you ever tried using a great photo as a social media profile, website or cover photo, only to find it doesn’t fit? I have.
Makes sure to tell your photographer to shoot in a variety of dimensions. You want zoomed out, zoomed in, cropped, not cropped, horizontal and vertical, so you have a variety of options to choose from and aren't left with a great photo that doesn't fit. You can always go in a crop it smaller, but you can’t zoom out.
Bring specific photo examples.
Take screenshots on your phone, make a list of websites or images you like so you can nail the look and feel you’re going for.
Strike a pose.
Posing for pictures doesn’t usually come naturally to most people. That’s ok. It takes practice. To avoid feeling awkward, take a few minutes beforehand, google and screenshot several poses you like.
You can search for things like “photoshoot poses, model poses, photoshoot ideas etc.” You’ll have some fresh ideas of ways to move your body into flattering poses and angles.
Focus on the feeling
You could be wearing a paper bag, but as long as you feel amazing, you will rock that look. Focus on how you want to feel in your photos, more than anything, and it will shine through in the images. You don’t need the fanciest outfit or the latest look to have a great shoot.
What was the photoshoot like?
Well, my kids were running around and playing in the background. There was fun chill music and the energy was great. My husband Jake and I took some “couple shots,” we took a few family photos, I did some of my personal brand shots, Jake did some of his for his business.
We took individual shots of our two daughters. My son was nowhere to be found...he kept running away from the camera. We had lots of snacks, drinks and fun, by following my tips from above.
This shoot was generously put together by our good friend, Justin Lin and the talented Lin & Jirsa team. Shoutout to them, thank you!
I'm curious. Have you feel about branding photoshoots? What is one helpful tip you liked from this blog post? I'd love to hear from you. Let me know.
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