If you’re like most people, then the word that comes to mind when you think of having a photoshoot is not fun. We’re entrepreneurs – that is, we know how to work hard behind the scenes. Looking great for the camera (and more importantly feeling comfortable in the face of a camera lens) is not something we typically excel at. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t be thrilled when you get your photos back after your shoot. You can. Below are ten tips to improve the chances that your photoshoot will go well, you’ll be happy with the results, and that you will have more than gotten your money’s worth from this highly worthwhile investment.
On a side note, before we dive in, I wanted to mention that investing some money to have a professional photographer take your picture is an excellent idea and one that I recommend to all business owners. In my experience as a web designer, photographs make the website every time. The difference that comes between having someone who’s “pretty good with a camera” and having a true top-notch professional is very noticeable and will have far-reaching effects on your web presence and all of your promotional materials. Take my advice: invest in quality photos now and reap the benefits for years to come.
And without further ado, your tips for a successful photo shoot…
1) Get a recommendation.
If you find a photographer after becoming smitten with their website via a Google search, you might have great luck – or you might not. The truth is, the best way to find any service provider is by way of a recommendation from someone you trust. So ask your friends what photographers they’ve worked with that they loved (both the experience of working with them and the results). It’s the safest bet.
2) Do your homework
Beyond getting a recommendation, you want to make absolutely sure that you love their past work. Check out their portfolio on their website to get a general feel for their style and aesthetic. Although each of their client will have different photographs, most photographers have an overarching style and you want to make sure you love theirs.
3) Make sure you and your photographer are on the same page.
One of the most common errors that will result in you being unhappy with your photos is simply not communicating to the photographer what you’re looking for. Tell your photographer in your own words what you’re imagining for your photos. Do you want them to be dark and edgy? Bright and clear? Classy? Modern? Photographers are accustomed to talking with clients about expectations, and they will understand what you’re trying to get across. Another idea is to email your photographer some examples of photos in the vein of what you like.
4) Ask about a location and a weather plan.
Most photographers will bring this up, but if you don’t you should. The location needs to be agreed on. Are you doing indoors or outdoors? If you’re going with an outdoor location, will the shoot be rescheduled in the event of rain or a too sunny day – or is there an alternate location? Make sure these details are ironed out beforehand.
5) Pamper yourself a little.
Although you need not obsess over your appearance, it might be worth doing a few small things to make sure you’re feeling reasonably chipper on the day of your shoot. First, definitely get enough sleep (whatever that means for you). Additionally, consider going easy on the salt the day beforehand so that you don’t end up looking puffy. Leave plenty of time beforehand to pick out your outfit, do your makeup and hair if necessary, and leave the house feeling like a million bucks!
6) Dress simply.
As a general rule, dark solids are great. Try wearing black and other bold colors such as a deep red or blue. Busy or intricate patterns in clothing should be avoided. Think about what styles will be “timeless” and still look good in five years, or until whenever you get around to getting your picture taken again. Also, it can be good to bring some options so that if one outfit isn’t working, you have some other choices.
7) Don’t be shy.
It might help to pretend that instead of posing for a camera, you’re hanging out with a friend (if your photographer is really good, you might just feel this way anyway). The more loose and comfortable you are, the better you’re going to look. Heck – even have a drink beforehand if it’s going to help you relax!
8) Smile – at least some of the time.
When you get your photos back you’re going to want to have options. Some serious, some smiling, some funny, some unusual, and a lot of in-between. Hopefully, your photographer will have some tricks up their sleeve to get you to smile. If not, this might sound cheesy, but try to think of things that make you smile or laugh. Something hilarious that happened recently, or simply someone you really love. Whatever works to get that stoic expression off your face for at least part of the shoot.
9) Stand up straight and hold your chin out.
The slouch and the unintended double chin are two things you definitely are not going to want to see when you get your photos back. Stand confidently, and as for the double chin, an old trick of the trade is to stick your head out somewhat when posing for photos. It might feel weird, but it will get rid of any potential double chin and make your face appear thinner in the photos.
10) When in doubt – ask!
Don’t be afraid to pick your photographer’s brain, both before and during your shoot. They are there to help. Whether it’s “what should I wear?” or “does my hair look ok?” or “where should I put my hands?” – don’t be afraid to ask questions.
I hope these tips will help you to reach the day when you get your photos back from your photographer and look at them with total delight thinking: I look GOOD!