Do these 3 things before your next photo shoot and love being in front of the camera (or, at least be pretty OK with it)!

Brand photos for Plume Marketing Co. by Harmonie House Images Charlotte, NC
Photo by: Miranda Reger / Harmonie House Images

For many of us, being in front of the camera is something we loathe. At gatherings, we’re always the one offering to take the group picture rather than be in it. When we need professional pictures, we do weird things with our eyes (do we open them wide or try a more smoldering look?). We never know what to do with our hands, we’re not sure which side is our best side, and dear God, can we just be done with this already?!

Yeah, we’ve been there. And since we photograph people for a living, many of our brand photography clients approach us with these same anxieties. We’ve found the best way to help them love being photographed (or at least not hate it so much) is to give clear direction through out the shoot, and to prep them well before they show up to their session.

Here are 3 Ways to Help you Love Being Photographed Before Your Next Photo Shoot

1. Prep Your Mind

We won’t go into all the research here, but studies show that our bodies “hear” and respond to our thoughts. Which means if we’re in the habit of negative self-talk, our bodies will respond negatively. And so the same is true with affirmations – when we think positively about ourselves, our bodies respond positively. As soon as you book your photo session, begin speaking and thinking daily affirmations to yourself. Remind yourself that you are worthy and important. That your work and the way you uniquely show up in the marketplace is valuable and needed. On the day of your shoot, just before stepping in front of the camera, take 30 seconds to give yourself that same mental pep talk.

2. Prep Your Body

Two weeks before your session, begin doing daily deep breathing exercises. This can be as simple as setting a timer for 60 seconds, sitting in a chair with feet flat on the floor, and slowly breathing in through the nose for 4 counts, out through the mouth for 5 counts. Daily yoga or stretching are also great – the idea is to get your body into the habit of intentionally moving slowly and with ease. Why? When you’re in front of the camera, you’ll likely feel some anxiety or nervousness, which will speed up your heart rate. Because of these nervous feelings, your movements could become stiff or guarded. This will show up in your eyes and smile, but also in your shoulders and neck. When we see this happening in a shoot, we’ll pause and ask our client to shake out their nerves or relax their smile. Prepping your body ahead of time will help it remember to get back to that slow and easy state. 

3. Prep Your Self

One week before your session, gather all the clothes you’re bringing to the shoot and have them cleaned and pressed. Hang them up in a door frame where you can easily see them and so they won’t get smooshed between other clothes. Practice wearing them (shoes too!) and posing in front of a mirror (full length is great for this!). This way your body can literally go through the motions before your shoot day. Need help posing? We’ve included a YouTube link as well as some local Instagram inspo accounts below. Oh, and don’t forget to give your nails and hands some lovin’ – they are always showing up in photos! At the very least, trim or file your nails and be sure to moisturize your hands the morning of your session. 

Brand photos for Kinship Events Co., taken at The Frame in Charlotte NC by Harmonie House Images
Photo by: Miranda Reger / Harmonie House Images

Looking for those posing tips we mentioned?

Here’s the YouTube link we send to all of our clients before a brand session, from model Emily DiDonato, who shows all of us non-modeling gals her tips and tricks to looking the most flattering on camera. The good stuff starts at minute 2:07!

And here are a few local Charlotte Instagram ladies offering daily posing and style inspo:

One More Thing!

Consume water every day like your life depends on it. Because it does. Plus, it reduces puffiness and helps your skin be all glowy. Also? Hold off on the alcohol. This will avoid puffiness around the eyes and keep them clear and bright the day of your photo shoot. You can always pop the bubbly during or after the session to celebrate!

We get it – being in front of the camera can create all kinds of nervousness. We hope these 3 ways to prep your mind, body and self will help you love being photographed! Or, at least be pretty OK with it. 🙂