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Updated: Apr 19, 2021

We have said it before, and we will say it again, stepping in front of the camera takes courage and willingness to be vulnerable. It is not always easy, but it is worth it! Check out our previous blog, WHY A BRANDING SHOOT IS A PRIORITY INVESTMENT FOR YOUR BUSINESS, for more. But having your photograph taken gets easier with time. It is very much like mastering any skill—the more you practice, the better you become, the more natural if feels, and the more efficient you get.

Today, we are sharing three inside tips to help navigate the fear and anxiety that often accompanying your first branding shoot. And while this is intended for those new to the process, this information is helpful for those with experience too! Check out these must-have secrets below:


It may seem obvious, but this point is far too important not to mention—it also can be trickier than you might think. Be cautious not to fall into the comparison trap when scrolling the internet looking for ideas for your branding shoot. Although we encourage clients to use resources for inspiration, it is important to remember that your branding session is not about copying the images of others; instead, it is about using those photos to help you create a unique portfolio of your own.

The whole point of a branding session is to highlight the qualities that set your business apart from everyone else—and YOU are the key to that! Embrace what makes you special. Focus on what you bring to the table. Show up as yourself and do not try and be anyone else. Capturing images that tell your story and engage your clients or customers requires you to be authentically yourself.

On that note, this point applies to how you dress, the expressions you use on camera, and the mindset you have going into the shoot too. If you are someone who likes to be goofy, then make silly faces! If you are someone who hates to wear bold colors, then do not show up with a wardrobe that matches the rainbow. Make choices that make sense for YOU and no one else.


Confidence goes a long way in helping to capture images that you feel proud of. Your mindset, how you feel about and see yourself, is essential. Here are a few simple and easy things you can do to build your confidence:

Get a good night sleep.

Showing up to your shoot well rested will make all the difference. Sleep is beneficial for your physical energy, as well as your mental health; it is a natural way to reduce stress, anxiety, or worry. Not to mention it has other advantages like the affecting the quality of your skin—bye, bye dark circles!

Eat a decent meal.

Photo sessions can be quite taxing physically. Moving from pose to pose and exerting energy to jump, walk, stand for long periods, pop a hip, twirl, pick up props etc. takes a lot out of you. Fuel your body with a good meal before your session so you have plenty of energy to keep you going till the last shot!

Choose the right outfit.

Make sure you select pieces that make you feel good, that match your style, and that are comfortable. You are welcome to buy new clothes for your shoot or use pieces you already have in your closet; but whatever option you choose, make sure to try on everything you plan to wear before the day of your shoot.

Too often clients bring clothing to their session that end up not fitting as intended. You want to choose wardrobe that accentuates and flatters the features you love. Do yourself a solid and plan outfits early—that way if you need to go shopping or make changes before you shoot, you have time! And if you need help figuring out what looks good on camera, just ask! We are here to help.

Pamper yourself.

Take some time to get your hair styled, hire a makeup artist, get a massage, have your nails done, or treat yourself to a facial. You deserve a little TLC and it will do wonders for boosting your self-esteem.

Do a test run.

If you are someone who hates doing their hair and makeup, you might consider hiring a professional to help. But, if you plan to style yourself the day of your shoot, make sure to do a test run of the look you want to create. You might also think about taking a few quick snapshots too so that you can see how the hair and makeup photograph. If we are honest, most of us know the feeling of a bad hair day, and it is not one you want to carry with you into your photo session.


What are those butterflies really about—you know, the ones that show up in your gut anytime you mention the words “photo shoot”? Well, most times, it is the unanswered questions that cause all that fear: How many outfits do you need? What props should you bring? What type of shoes should you wear? What if it rains? What if it is too cold? How do you pose? What angles look best? What if there are other people nearby? And on and on… The point is, there are a lot of moving pieces to this puzzle.

The best way to alleviate the nerves, is to get all the answers you need to these questions before your shoot. And the good news is that is what your photographer is for! Bring any and all of your doubts to the table during your consultation. The more knowledge you have about what to expect the day of your shoot, the more relaxed you will be when it is go time.

Those unanswered questions are not the only thing causing your anxiety though. Here are a few other things you can do to prepare for you session that will also reduce stress. We will be diving deeper into these ideas in an upcoming blog post, but we wanted to touch on them briefly.

Consult professionals when you need it.

If you need help, ask!

Shop early.

Whether from a store or your closet, it is best not to figure out your outfits, accessories, and props last minute. Give yourself some time to gather items you may want to use but do not have. Also, do not be afraid to ask friends to borrow items if you are on a budget!

Lay it out.

Take over your room and lay out everything you plan to take to your shoot. An actual visual will give you a good feel for how all of your outfits and props will work together, or not, in your final portfolio of images.

Pack smart.

Consider the location you will be shooting at before packing your bags. Will you have a place to put all your stuff, or do you need to think about carrying it the entire time? Will you be able to roll a bag to take some weight off your shoulders or do you need something with a strap for versatile terrain? Consider what you will need to pack versus what your location might have for you to utilize.

Make a list and check it twice.

A big stressor clients have the day of their shoot happens when they forget something important. Your shoot is an investment and one that you want to do right. Creating a list of everything you need, will help ensure nothing is left behind.

Photo sessions can feel overwhelming if you are not sure how to approach them; but, if you use these three easy tips we just addressed, we promise, you are going to walk into your next shoot with so much ease. Have more questions or want to know more about preparing for your shoot? Drop us a line in the comments and we will be sure to get back to you!

—Written for Ilona Jade by Mandi Ann

Featured: Elyse Guthrie (Realtor)

Location: The Star in Frisco, TX

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