…now days, everyone needs a professional portrait session, in order to represent yourself properly on your CV, your social media, your LinkedIn or your website.
Are you preparing for your first photoshoot? It’s normal to feel nervous or unsure about what to expect. In this post, I’ll share some tips to help you prepare and feel more confident for your big day.
I find it the best, to have a video call and brainstorm ideas with your photographer beforehand. To determine what vibe or style your session is going to have. If you are a salesman or a personal trainer for example, you will need a smiling clean portrait that makes you look approachable and fun to interact with.
If you are a model, a musician, a DJ, an actor or a dancer, maybe you need a more dramatic studio shot.
Your Photographer can give you ideas and guide you through what outfit to choose. If he/she is planning to use a dark backdrop, and you wear a bright white outfit, it could ruin the whole concept of the photoshoot.
I am Thanos, a professional Photographer based in London. I have 10 years of experience, specializing in Portrait Photography, outdoors or in the studio.
Very often I do self-portraits, (like the one on the right) to remind myself what it feels like, when you are in front of the camera. Because a big part of my job is making people feel comfortable in this situation, I help them be them selves and enjoy the process.
So you hired a photographer for your first professional photoshoot.
How to prepare yourself for it?
Don’t worry, I got you covered. I gathered 5 helpful tips for you down below. Lets go through them together.
Everything starts from the night before. You have to make sure you get a good sleep! 7-8 hours of sleep is optimal. The most important part of the portrait is your eyes, so we need them fresh and healthy. If you stayed up all night partying (like me at the photo on the left), chances are your eyes will reflect all the tiredness. “Everything can be fixed with a little bit of photoshop” I hear you think, right?
Yes, photoshop can fix imperfections and do wonders. However, heavy retouching, will make the portrait look far away from reality and alienate your face. People that don’t really know you, maybe they can’t tell the difference, but your family members or your best friends will know for sure.
Light retouching is what professional photographers aim for, so your final photo will be 99.9% realistic and no one can tell if it’s been mastered or not.
On the day of your photoshoot, you don’t wanna go on an empty stomach, because at some point it will make you feel tired and this will show in your facial expressions. But at the same time, eating heavy is a bad idea as well.
You have to eat something light enough, to keep you through your session.
And after the photoshoot is over, you ll be free to eat all you want!
It is normal if you get crazy when the day has come.
The reality is, you hired a professional. Your photographer knows all the technical stuff, what lens to use, what background to choose, how to pose you, where to position you. His job is to talk you through everything. And all you have to do, is to relax and be yourself.
Your photographer is responsible to find your most flattering angles, so do yourself a favor, and let him/her worry about everything. That’s what you hired them for. You’ve seen their work, and style, and you chose them for a reason, because you trust their work.
Of course you can discuss this with your photographer beforehand.
But my personal take is, that you don’t need more than 2 outfits. Your make up will be the same, your hair style will be the same (or similar anyways). And even if you post your photos 3 months apart, everyone can tell it was the same day you took these photos.
Having 3 or more outfits at the same session, will waste a lot of your time, making stops and changing, that you could spend all this time experimenting with different posing, new backgrounds and different facial expressions. Investing your time in these things can be far more beneficial than having one more different outfit.
We said already, that it is your photographer’s job to guide you through posing.
However there is a secret tip that separates normal people, from professional models when it comes to the photoshoot, so listen close.
Every time you hear the camera “click”, you do minor adjustments to your pose. Move your fingers a little bit, or try a different smile, tilt your head slightly. I am not talking about changing the pose entirely. Keep the basic pose, but do micro-adjustments.
If you keep this tip in mind, every photo your photographer took, will be a little bit different than the previous one. So in the end of your session, you will have a variety of different photos to choose from.
By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to feeling confident and prepared for your first photoshoot. Remember to relax and have fun, and trust your photographer to capture your best angles and moments.
So this is basically a short list of what you need to know, and how to prepare, for your first portrait session.
If you have any specific questions, feel free to contact me. I’ll be glad to hear from you, or give you my personal suggestions.