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6 Tips to Keep Calm at Your Photo Session

Bye-bye photoshoot jitters!

More and more, clients are understanding the benefits of a branded personal or professional photography shoot. And often, they’re excited and eager to get a collection of their very own photos to use. 

After all, they’ve searched far and wide, and reviewed countless portfolios to find the right photographer that will capture their special moment and their personality. They’ve set a date for the shoot, they’ve picked their best outfits and determined how to style their hair. They are ready to show their best to the world! 

Sometimes, though, the excitement takes a pause when the big day finally arrives. 

Instead of thinking about the possibilities of the shoot, the dreaded photoshoot jitters kick-in and they’re worried about striking the right pose, a poorly timed blemish  — or worse — an unexpected bystander who will awkwardly watch their photoshoot. 

Sounds familiar? Know that you’re not alone.   

Getting in front of the camera with a professional photographer isn’t something you do every day, and it’s common to feel nervous, stiff or uncomfortable.

To help calm your nerves and say bye-bye to those dreaded jitters, I’ve put my top six tips together that help clients relax into the moment and melt away tension.

Tip 1: Be prepared
It’s a good idea to consider why you’re getting the photos taken. Are they for your business? For a special event? For fun? From there, take time ahead of the shoot to consider the right details to match your goal: your outfit, hairstyle, make up, location, timing, etc. 

Being prepared means you’ll have less to worry about the day of the shoot. It will also help the photographer capture your vision. 

Tip 2: Don’t forget to breathe
Believe it or not, it’s common to see clients get so anxious about remaining still during their session that they forget to breathe. Breathing deeply and rhythmically is an effective, natural relaxation technique and helps keep you calm and your posture looking natural. 

Continue to loosen up by rolling your shoulders up and back, move your head side to side, and then…shake it all out! 

Tip 3: Don’t think of it as a photoshoot
If you start feeling awkward, convince yourself that you’re not having professional photos taken at all. Think of  the photographer as just a friend snapping a few pics for fun. Or maybe you’re recalling a happy moment that made you laugh. Or the silly trick your dog played the other day. You might have to listen to a few awkward jokes I make :))

Tip 4: Don’t worry about onlookers
On a recent shoot, I had a client mention she wasn’t excited about outdoor photos. I knew from experience that outdoor photos are amazing and that by the time we got to that portion of the shoot, she wouldn’t even notice. 

“I didn’t love the idea of onlookers when we did our poses outside,” recalls Maggie. “But funny enough, once we snapped a few shots and got outside, I completely forgot about anyone watching. Svetlana totally got me in the zone. And the photos turned out great!”    

Like Maggie, you’ll be so focused on direction from the photographer or on looking at the camera, you likely won’t notice anyone watching. 

Tip 5: Communicate with the photographer
It’s okay to have a conversation with the photographer. In fact,  you should! I love talking to my clients and getting to know them during the shoot. Make jokes. Ask questions. Share stories. Connecting with each other can be a great distraction and helps keep the mood light. 

Tip 6: It’s your shoot and your photos
The most common cause of anxiety during a photo shoot is self-consciousness. People are constantly worrying about how they look and how others will see them when their shots are ready.

Remember: we will take A LOT of photos during the shoot and you will get to choose exactly which ones you want. Will some unflattering ones end up in the mix? Probably. But no one will ever see them! If you remember that the final decision of which photos to keep and which to discard rests with you, it will take some stress out of the shoot.

Not only is my goal to create amazing photos, it’s also to create an enjoyable experience that captures who you are. Keep these tips in mind when  and you’ll see that getting your personal or professional branding photography is not only important, but it can also be fun! 

If you’re ready to get started, I’d love to help. Contact me today.

Check out recent headshots for Hossein and Hengameh done in my new downtown studio, and we even sneaked in a few couple’s photos for them!