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The thought of being subjected to a photoshoot can be uncomfortable. And why wouldn’t it? The reality is that most of us are not experienced (nor should we be) in knowing how to react when a camera is shoved in our face!

I’ve written previous blog posts about the importance of pre-shoot planning when it comes to personal branding photography. Having some kind of strategy – and it doesn’t have to be particularly technical – in advance of the session will go a long way to making it a smoother ride.

I’ve also written about giving thought to colours, creating mood boards, and shot lists. A lot of this is done in tandem with (if not entirely by) the photographer. Personally I like to draw up my own shot list as a starting point which clients are welcome to contribute to as they wish.

But what happens as the day of the shoot draws closer?

Part of being comfortable is knowing that there are many elements you can control. So in the run-up to the big day here is a list of things to consider and prepare to ensure that you have all bases covered and can just sit back and enjoy your time in front of the camera.

1) Clothing

Decide what you want to wear and have your choices laid out and ready the night before. Take the time to really think about how different colours and styles will complement your brand. And it always helps to have some alternatives.

2) Browse for inspiration

Hopefully you already have a mood board or Pinterest account full of inspiring images so now is a good time to revisit it. Don’t feel obliged to find more; just take this opportunity to remind yourself what you’re aiming for and to recall some favourite poses.

3) Hire a stylist

It’s not essential but I’d always recommend consulting a stylist to either advise you ahead of the shoot or on the day itself. Their professional opinions are invaluable and will fill you with confidence as to how to look your very best.

4) Music

Consider having a playlist for your session. Discuss it with your photographer first but the request can usually be accommodated. Personally I welcome it! Whether it is relaxing or upbeat, have your tracks ready to go.

5) Props

Consider if there are any props you want to incorporate into the shoot. Some of this might already be covered in your shot-list but if not collect some items that you think might be suitable. It could be household objects, books, craft equipment, cooking utensils, gardening tools – whatever speaks to your brand.

6) Locations

If there is time available you may want to consider different locations. There’s no need to overthink this; it could be as simple as taking some shots in your garden if you have one. If not how about the woods, park, or even a local coffee shop.

7) Hair and makeup

If you decide to have a make-up artist present on the day then all your worries will be taken care of. If not, think about how you will do your make-up and the look you want to go with. If you are due a haircut then err on the side of caution and opt for a style you are familiar and comfortable with. The day before a shoot is not the best time to try a radical new look!

8) Get a good nights sleep

Don’t have a big night out the night before! Drink plenty of water and get a good nights sleep so that you are feeling refreshed, alert, and ready to shine.

This final bit of preparation will not only ensure that things run smoothly but it will help remind you that you are in control. Being organised and having everything to hand will make you feel comfortable, which in turn will help you relax and be at your very best in front of the camera.

If you’d like to discuss anything in the post or if you have a personal branding photography session coming up and want some advice then do not hesitate to get in touch with me.

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