So, you’ve decided it’s time to invest in quality content for your social media and web channels or perhaps you’re still in the research phase. You want to know what you can expect of your photo shoot session, but more importantly, how do YOU prepare for your next personal brand photoshoot?
Photoshoots can make anyone nervous; I know! Especially as women, we become self-aware and insecure but being prepared will give you peace of mind and ease the process. The smoother the process goes, the quicker it’s over, and in the case of a personal photoshoot your smile don’t wear out over time.
Create a Mood Board
Together with your brand photographer, create a mood board that shows what the idea is in your head. This will give your photographer a good understanding of your needs and helps to bring both of you on the same page and prepare you for your next brand photoshoot,
You can use Canva or create a Pinterest board where you both share your ideas. Search ‘brand photography’ on Pinterest, Google, and Instagram.
Look Up Modelling Tutorials
I know it sounds silly but there is always something we can learn from the professionals. YouTube has tons of tutorials on how to look candid on pictures, what position is best, what movements to take, etc. There are posses that always work and tricks to make your poses be more flattering.
Not only that but the tutorials often answer common questions or struggles we have with photoshoots. I love this video from Sorelle Amore that shows different poses with examples for any type of body. This video is not only handy when you start to prepare for your next personal brand photoshoot, but it also has good information for when you’re snapping pictures of yourself in general.
Choose Your Clothing Carefully
They say that clothing says a lot about you and that is especially true in photography. Pictures aren’t 3D where you can isolate elements. Every element becomes whole when someone looks at 1 picture, which is your everything in the frame needs to marry each other.
Patterned clothes may look nice on you but may clash with that colorful mural you chose as location. On the other end, a patterned dress may work wonder when matched in a solid neutral scenery. It’s important to be aware of the location you chose and what effect your choice of clothing has on the result.
In general, I recommend patterned clothing when shooting in a location with solid or neutral colors. If it’s a colorful, artistic, location then choose a solid colored outfit. The best option is to go with a color that is the opposite of your environment. For example, if you’re shooting in a garden or a place that has lots of green then go with something that a red-ish tone. Or if you’re in a very earthy tone environment, for example, a rustic coffee shop, choose a bright yellow jacket that will make you—as the subject—pop.
For people of color, I recommend wearing white. Although most photographer will disagree, as a POC myself and a photographer, I know that white really complements my skin tone but at the same time bounces light onto my body and softens the shadows. Shadows on my body are often my biggest struggle when doing a photo shoot. On that note, avoid black! Black absorbs light, removing the light from you as the subject. Since light attracts the eye, removing this light will draw people away from you as the subject.
Also, try to avoid really loose clothes. As I said previous, pictures aren’t 3D, they are in fact flat. Loose clothes will make you look wide since you can’t see the dept, but do note that there is a difference in loose and flowy.
Put Some Makeup On
You don’t want your pictures to illustrate something that you’re not, but not putting some makeup on will do exactly that. In photography, we sometimes have to exaggerate our expressions and our looks or they will otherwise all blend into each other. Even if you’re not someone who wears makeup every day, powder your face, put a bit of eye shadow on, and slap some color on your lips. Your makeup will make you radiate and evoke emotion. In the end, that is the exact feeling you evoke in real life.
Pamper Yourself 2-3 Days Prior
Please, don’t go to the spa the day before your shoot so you’re all red. Instead, go a few days earlier. Let them pamper you from head to toe. Have your hair done, your nails, painted, eyebrows plucked, and your face moisturized. Feeling pretty from outside will give a confidence boost. Confidence is the key to good pictures.