How To Make The Most Out Of A Professional Photoshoot

If you’re in the biz of influencing it’s pretty likely that you’ve either had a profesh blogger photoshoot, or you’re considering it. It’s a fab way to get in your style shoots if you’re a blogger & about the fash-awn (and without a 7 day IG boyfriend or bestie to snap away to get *that* candid shot), or even as a little pick-me-up for an instant confidence boost. Whether you’re starting out with blogging (or influencing, I think the terms have become pretty interchangeable tbh) or you’re a seasoned blogging qween, booking a professional photoshoot specifically for you can be a real game changer.

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IMO there’s nothing more empowering than being in front of the camera even though it may be scary at first. Honestly, the majority of people I’ve spoken to in the influencer industry have admitted that doing your first shoot is the most daunting and it can be a source of anxiety for some. Obvz if you’re like me the first thoughts through your head will probably be something along the lines of…

“Does the camera really add 10 lbs?”

“Why are my hands are so awkward?”

“This was a mistake, I look like a potato”

Yup, when I first started blogging and doing photoshoots I really had no idea about what I was doing. A lot of it was trial and error and luckily I was at uni with a bunch of very, very talented people who knew much more about photography than me and tbh, they saved my bacon. I don’t want you lovely lot to think I never get stage fright (or the photography equivalent) but there are times when I’m feeling particularly fragile, with low body confidence, and I already feel defeated before I’ve had any photos taken. It’s a real mind block, but the best trick is to clear your mind and say a few positive things to yourself to reinforce how fucking fab you are. A simple ~ my hair looks so sassy today ~ to yourself can do wonders for your self esteem.

Even those who look so confident and are werk werk werking it on the regular didn’t start out as queen of the shoot, it takes time and patience to build up your knowledge of your own body, how to move for the camera and which angles are your best buds. Working it in front of the camera is a gr8 way to get to know your body in a different way, and weirdly enough you begin to appreciate yourself and become more body positive.

Needless to say, there are some simple tips and tricks to really get the most out of your photoshoot. These are just little tid bids that I find to be either time savers (because you probably will only have an hour or two with your photographer) or simply points to consider and have a ponder about pre-shoot.

PRACTICE ON YOUR OWN BEFOREHAND

Grab a cheap tripod from Amazon and stick your phone or camera on top. If you’re using a camera then I’d suggest downloading your camera manufacturers remote control app, and if you’re using a phone I would suggest getting a bluetooth camera shutter so you can snap away without using the self timer. Either way, you have a lot of control of when and how your photos will be taken. 

Not saying that these photos will mimic those of a professional shoot (they really wont) but it’s a really good way to try different poses and varying angles. Example: I know I look better straight on as opposed to a side shot, as I have an hourglass body that you can’t see from the side.

Try moving your body around in natural, lifestyle poses like simply standing or sitting and then adjust small things like pushing your hips forwards and backwards, crossing your legs, putting one leg infront of the other, etc. Then sit in a generic, normal position and move your face around to catch the light in different angles (best to do this in front of a window). Try with the light dead on your face, and then turn so the light hits the side of your face, and vary the angle of your head slightly with every shot. I know that I personally don’t like my face straight on, and a slight side tilt or a full profile shot are my faves. You’ll soon find which poses are more flattering in your personal opinion, simply store them in your mind for later.

SAVE INSPIRATION ON IG

I always, always, always, “SAVE” posts that give me that *wow* reaction on IG and use them for inspo. Obviously, it goes without saying but do not exactly copy people’s content because that’s straight up plagiarism and it’s wrong. However, if you’re enjoying the angle of the shot or perhaps the lighting, it’s worth saving for later so you can show the style to your photographer and see if you can come up with a unique spin on it. 

You have to remember that a lot of images are changed in the edit, and some shots you just can’t get without manipulating the images afterwards (like a lot of bigger instagrammers have been accused of recently). Basically, what I’m saying is be realistic with your expectations!

TELL YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER WHAT YOU WANT

This is probably the most simple point here, and it’s the most important. Your photos tell a story, no matter if you’re using them for a blog post or for personal use. When you (or anyone else) looks at the image and whether they’re aware or not, they’re getting a subtle story told through the image.

Example: You’re shooting a pastel floral dress. Do you want to shoot in the bright airy streets of Notting Hill for romantic, feminine vibes? Or perhaps your backdrop is an edgy, urban graffiti backdrop in the East End? The first is an obvious choice for the dress, but the second creates more of a contrast and will be more immediately eye catching. What’s the story?

Whenever I go to shoot with Sarah Ellen Photography I always have a rough idea of the location (I rarely ever know exactly where I want to shoot) and the colours I want in the shot due to what I’m wearing. Sometimes I’ll go with complimentary colours (like purples, pinks, and reds) and other times I’ll opt for clashing opposites (like yellow and blue). 

Even if you haven’t thought of much in terms of the technical aspects like colours etc, it’s best to let your photographer know what ideally you want in terms of shot. Let them know if you’re focusing on one product, if you want to be standing or seated, if you have an idea of the “vibe” for the shoot, and the list goes on… Anything you can be specific about saves you and the photographer time which you can spend getting *that shot*.

THE MORE VARIATION, THE BETTER

Nothing is worse than getting 20 of the same shot that’s only ~ slightly ~ different. I personally like to move around a lot during a shoot, and change up positions hard n’ fast. This gives me a lot of shot variation and therefore give me more to choose from when it comes to popping photos on IG or in a blog post. I would say that surprisingly enough some of the more candid or random shots end up being the best as they’re less obviously posed. Definitely get a good idea of the look you want and keep moving in the shot, you’ll hit gold!

DON’T BE AFRAID TO TRY NEW THINGS

A lot of the time when I shoot with Sarah Ellen Photography, I’m like “gal, do your thing” and she’ll direct me a little to get shots she feels would work well for the outfit and/or location. Even though I’ve practiced with my phone and camera at home for years now, I still don’t have her expertise and I can’t see what she’s seeing through the camera. I’ve shot with Sare so often now that she just instantly knows what I’m looking for and what shots to get, the girl always slays our shoot.

Even saying “tell me what to do with my ~ insert body part here ~” can change the image completely. Like if you’re lost for ideas when it comes to getting rid of awkward hands (you guys know what I mean right?) your photographer can really help with making the image look more natural, or more stylised, dependant on what you want the end result to be. A simple slight movement of your face can catch the light in a completely different way, so be open to changing up your regular “go-to” positions to find a new gem!

If you’re paying your professional photographer, you need to trust them and trust in the fact that they know what they’re doing and they’re going to create some killer content with you.

Have you got any photoshoots planned?

How to you prep for them & get the best shots?

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5 Comments

  1. Tajinder Sandhu
    March 20, 2018 / 9:58 PM

    Love this post, the tips are helpful and so accurate! I need to figure out my angles, using a tripod and camera sounds like a good idea. Thank you for sharing dear and keep slaying, you're definitely an inspiration. Tx. // http://www.musicgeekonline.co.uk

  2. sopharsogood
    March 21, 2018 / 4:48 PM

    I've got my first pro shoot this weekend and frankly I'm terrified, so this came at a good time! Think I'm going to have to spend the next couple of days practising…xxx Sophie | Sophar So Good

  3. Lucy Cole
    March 21, 2018 / 6:32 PM

    Loved this post! Getting a professional shoot done is definitely something I want to do soon – I'm just a bit nervy!!xxLucy | http://www.lucy-cole.co.uk

  4. Lucy Jane
    March 21, 2018 / 6:40 PM

    My Mum is fortunately my personal photographer and I really couldn't imagine having a professional shoot done, I like to be in control too much! Nevertheless you look incredible, obsessed with this printed shirt!Lucy Jane | Infinity of Fashion

  5. Melina
    March 28, 2018 / 3:42 PM

    This post was super helpful. Even though I haven't ever paid for a professional shoot as my friends/family/siblings are my photographers at the moment, you gave amazing tips for just learning to be more comfortable in front of the camera. Great post Holly xxMelina | melinaelisa.com

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