When someone says you’ll be doing a photo shoot, what is your first reaction? Stress? Anxiety? Fear? For most of us, myself included, being in front of the camera can be nerve-wracking. We want to be natural, but the focus of the lens can often turn us into stiff robots. What is the trick to being yourself and showing your spark? After doing hundreds of brand photo shoots and capturing all types of personalities, I’ve put together six tips to boost your confidence so you shine in front of the camera in your upcoming branding photo session.
1. Give yourself permission.
Sometimes we let our inner doubts and criticism sabotage our efforts. Well, it’s time to be bold and own it! You deserve this photo moment and special attention. Your audience needs to hear and be inspired by your story. Be it for yourself, your family or your business – you are worthy of this experience. Think about your bigger mission and the people you serve. Think of photography as a tool to boost your business. Your work is so important and needs to be shared.
2. Invest in beauty experts.
There are moments where you need to hire professionals. A photo shoot is one of those moments! Say yes to getting your hair blown out and to getting your makeup professionally applied. You already have so much to worry about on shoot day – applying your best cat eye shouldn’t be one of them. Bring images to the stylists to give them an idea of the look you desire. Put yourself into the expert’s hands and enjoy the process. This beauty experience will boost your confidence at your shoot and even beyond. You will not only look but FEEL beautiful. And, by the way, you deserve it!
3. Find your killer outfit.
Wear something that makes you feel confident and comfortable. Choose clothing that expresses your personality, either through the color or pattern, and find styles that complement your brand story. For example, if you are an organic health coach who is more natural/bohemian, then a tight fitted leopard print dress may not be the best match. Make sure the fit is good and not too baggy or too tight, and do your best to try on everything before your shoot day. Don’t pick something that is fussy or that makes you self-conscious. Practice moving, dancing and twirling to make sure that the clothing feels comfortable. I love necklines that are open to elongate the neck. I also love vibrant color that adds character. Accessories like a statement necklace or a bright scarf can add that perfect pop. And if you are still struggling to find the perfect outfit, hire a stylist or ask for help at a local boutique or department store.
4. Work with someone you trust.
There are a ton of photographers out there, and it is sometimes tricky to find your perfect match. What works for someone else may not work for you. Do the work and review portfolios, read testimonials and then pick up the phone to have a live conversation. Ask questions about the session. Get a sense of the photographer’s personality and work-style, and see if it fits with yours. Study the photos to see if the subjects look natural and at easy. You want to work with someone that you like and trust. You also want to work with someone who is not only creative but also business-minded and strategic. They must understand branding and the message that you are trying to communicate. The photography experience is a relationship. It’s a COMBINED vision. You want to make sure that your story AND spark are fully captured!
5. Come prepared!
Do the strategic and logistical work before the photoshoot. Give your photographer an overview of your business so they understand your brand. Share your mission, your values, your personality, your process, upcoming launches, colors, keywords, etc. They need to really understand your business, your ideal client and your process for this to be a successful brand photo shoot. Brainstorm with your photographer on the locations, the props, the outfits and the stories that you want to capture. Call up your locations and get permission in advance. This is not a show up and snap kind of a session. Brand photo shoots take time and preparation. When the work is not done properly, that is when the anxiety and nerves show up.
6. Have fun!
Sure, it is nerve-wracking to be in front of the camera. But remember, your story can only be best told by YOU. Ditch any perfectionism or imposter issues at the door and be yourself. Remember – you are an expert and a leader in your industry. You are a passionate, purpose-driven lady boss. Let go, live in the moment and laugh a LOT. Trust your photographer. Move, dance, twirl – express your story. And don’t forget to breathe. It’s your time to shine.
I hope these tips help boost your confidence and prepare you for your time in front of the camera. It’s never easy to be photographed, but just remember – your story is too good not to share. Book those brand photo shoots! Tap into your inner Tyra Banks and strut your stuff. Get out there, tell your story bravely and be unforgettable.