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PICTURE PERFECT: Your Guide To Booking Your First Professional Photo Shoot

I know you’re not still putting off that epic birthday photo shoot!

Booking your first photoshoot can be a life-changing yet slightly intimidating experience! Let me first say that I get it – I know that being in front of the lenses can be uncomfortable, and that is perfectly okay. In fact, many people initially feel like that, and there’s nothing odd about it. However, trust me, receiving a bunch of photos taken by a professional is an experience everyone should have at least once on their journey to self love. Plus, it is a great way to boost your growing business! So, no matter whether you’re a high school senior, model, influencer, or business owner, everyone has fears – how will the photos turn out? Well, with a few foolproof tips, you will absolutely nail the session and look amazing!

That being said, let me introduce you to some of my best tips to help you prepare for your first professional photoshoot.

Before booking your first photoshoot...

First, you need to find a pro who specializes in the type of photography you like. For example, if you want some picture-perfect portraits, look for someone actually capable of providing what you seek. Start by checking their portfolio and reading reviews from past clients to get an idea of their work and the quality of experience they provide. Refrain from selecting solely based off pricing! Really go through their work and see if their style fits your needs. If you live near Decatur, GA, give Au Courag a try!

Also, it’s all about communication and customer service skills! Y’all, it's important to feel comfortable and able to communicate effectively with your chosen artist. Ask for a consultation call or an in-person meeting to chat about your vision, their approach, and the overall process. Do you feel like you two vibe? Then, you’re one step closer to booking the right person!

Don’t forget to check the photographer's prices and package options to get an idea of what to expect. Don’t be afraid to ask about payment plans. This isn’t something you need to rush, so take your time to research. Allow yourself time to save and really plan for the shoot experience you really want and deserve! Maybe ask for referrals from friends and family – did they recently have a great photo shoot experience? No? Then you can also check online photography communities for recommendations.

Before the big day arrives...

Practicing some poses for your first photoshoot in front of a mirror can help you find your best angles and gain some confidence. Even though we both know you’ve been striking some poses when no one’s looking! Although the person you choose will guide you through the process, posing may feel awkward at first, so this is an excellent way to break the ice well ahead. Oh, and you can also check the tips of several posing coaches, such as David Suh!

Someone mentioned beauty sleep? That’s right – to look and FEEL your best on the day of the shoot, you need to get enough sleep. Aim to rest for at least 8 hours a few nights in a row, and try some natural sleeping aids, such as lavender tea or melatonin supplement. This will help you look fresh in the pictures!

Preparing your wardrobe is yet another important step in nailing your first photoshoot. Consider different styles and trends and bring appropriate clothing and props. Create a Pinterest mood board to visualize your desired results so you can share them with your photographer. My best tip? Wear something in which you feel confident and, most importantly – comfortable! Y’all, there’s no point putting on something that looks good but doesn’t feel right for your personality. Any discomfort will be reflected in the photos! Just be yourself. And if you don’t know what that is just yet, look for a photographer that offers styling services and wardrobe. Yes, it’s a thing!

Beauty is about enhancing what you have. Let yourself shine through. – Janelle Monae

Okay, we're here! It’s shoot time...

Another important aspect of booking your first professional photoshoot is to pay great attention to detail. Cameras can pick up small ‘imperfections’ that the naked eye may not see, so make sure to trim what needs to be trimmed and wear appropriate underwear.

And remember – channel your anxiety into excitement and approach the shoot like you own it. True, everyone gets nervous before a photo session, but if you focus on how fabulous you want the outcome to be, I’m sure your confidence will skyrocket! Positive affirmations or meditation with visualization may also be helpful if done in the morning or minutes before the photo session starts. Keep repeating, “I was beautiful, I am beautiful, and I will always be beautiful! – You know you are!

I love when first-timers communicate their excitement or uncomfortable feelings with me. Simply talking about it immediately diminishes the build-up of those feelings. It will give you a more honest and relaxed vibe during your first photoshoot. Let it all out!

Found this inspiring? Comment below some fears you had/have about shooting. Then, monitor my blog closely for more insightful photography content – more on this topic is arriving very soon!


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