Do you remember riding the rollercoaster at the Royal Show when you were a kid? Perched at the top, gripping to the flimsy railing ‘securely’ holding you in place, ready to fly downhill…
Did your palms get sweaty? Stomach start churning? Did you just shut your eyes and hope for the best?
So many of my clients admit they feel these same nerves before a branding shoot – despite it being a key part of their business, many aren’t comfortable being the centre of attention (how many of us ever are?!) Often, they have procrastinated for months before finally plucking up the courage to even make the initial contact and book one in….
Yet there are some simple ways to: calm the nerves, reduce those jitters, and feel relaxed and in control in front of the camera…
Meet your Photographer
There is nothing worse than meeting your photographer for the first time on the day of the shoot and realising that they are more nervous than YOU. Or that they have a dry, serious personality with no flare for fun and laughter. Make sure you do your research in the planning phase and find the right photographer that best fits your style (before you hand over your hard-earned dollars to Mr Serious).
Ask lots of Questions
If you don’t ask, you will never know, so ask ALL the questions that are boggling your mind prior to shoot day… It will save you a lot of heart-ache and any missed opportunities to smash out an awesome branding photo shoot.
Prepare a Shoot List
As much as photographers like to get creative with branding shoots, it is important to stay on task to make sure your photography needs are nailed to perfection. A great way to stay to task on shoot day is to have prepared a shoot list (having input from your photographer is even better!). It will make the session run smoothly, take your mind off ‘how you are looking’ and leave plenty of time for fun, creative and silly extra shots at the end.
Practice Your Poses
Have you heard of Pinterest?? Of course you have! And if you haven’t, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?Use this wonderfully cool resource for inspiration and for pose ideas! Even better, send them to your photographer and work with them on what they suggest as good ones for YOUR photo shoot and brand style. And then practice, practice, practice…. in front of the mirror at home (without locking the door and preferably with others around J).
Prep Your Outfits
Picking out your outfit for the shoot needs to be done at least a couple of days prior, and most importantly, TRY IT ALL ON! The last thing you want is surprise sneaky little stains or wrinkles, or missing buttons, gapping shirts or pants that are too tight or too loose. Triple check everything, right down to the undergarments you have picked to ensure everything looks good together.
Get a Good Sleep
Such a simple concept, but seriously missed by so many! You want to look fresh and more importantly feel fresh – if you barely scraped in 4 hours sleep the night before your photo shoot, you will be worrying about how your panda eyes are looking and that no doubt will create A LOT of unnecessary stress and nerves on the day! If you feel rested and radiant from within, you will feel so much more confident and relaxed!
Choose Your Sustenance
Drive-thru donuts on the way to your shoot DO NOT count, however a soothing fave take-away coffee (or any favourite drink to-go) will help to ease the nerves and get you feeling in control and relaxed. Grabbing a small bite to eat will also help avoid plummeting blood-sugar levels and keep your brain fuelled to concentrate and have fun.
Hopefully your photo shoot location would have been selected early in the planning stages for your branding shoot, so if it is somewhere you haven’t been to before, then it’s a great idea to map out the location. Just as vital, plan ahead: work out the best spot to park, and how long you will need to travel to the location (allowing for heavy traffic conditions). It is best to plan to arrive EARLY, this way you can enjoy that fave hot drink and not arrive stressed with adrenaline pumping through the veins!
Bring a Bag
Be practical with all the items (clothes, jewellery, props etc) you need to bring to the shoot and carry everything in a handy bag. As you are likely to move around at location, clothes hangers become impractical once at location and hard to move around from spot to spot (without risking those perfectly prepared outfits getting dirt or marks on them).
If you prepare for your upcoming branding shoot in this way, you’ll find that the experience will feel more like a gentle river cruise than a rollercoaster! Yet you will still have a heap of fun, without the unnecessary nerves to accompany it.
Yours In Focus