Planning a photoshoot can feel like a big task at first but as long as you have these 5 tips with you, you’ll be just fine.
1. Create a mood board that excites you
This is THE foundation for planning a great photoshoot. A mood board is “an arrangement of images, materials, pieces of text, etc. intended to evoke or project a particular style or concept.” Important keywords here are “evoke” and “style“.
You want to use mood boards to set a direction to where you want to go with your photoshoot. Think of it as the brainstorming phase. There’s absolutely no correct way of this, but my favorite way is to simply brain dump. There’s inspiration everywhere around us, whether it’s taking an iPhone photo at the mall of a cool movie poster or jumping on Instagram to browse your favorite models or actresses.
Here are two resources you can use to create your mood board: – Pinterest // is great if it’s your first time and you want to create a mood board around keywords such as “moody portraits.” Pinterest is also super user-friendly as all you have to do is click “Pin” to start adding images into your first mood board. – GoMoodBoard // is another option if you already have a couple of visual images to work with. GoMoodBoard makes it easy to create a mood board by simply uploading your images online and automatically compiling it into a shareable link for you. Here’s one I made in 1-minute with old inspirational images I had on my computer.
This is so, so important – I can’t emphasize it enough.
Even before your makeup and hairstyle, what you wear at the photoshoot is going to set the tone of the whole shoot.
Investing in the right pieces is more important than quality pieces. Many times I have photographed a whole shoot with just one large piece of tulle, another large piece of satin fabric, and two simple dresses from Amazon.
You don’t have to spend a whole lot of money to have the right pieces for your photoshoot unless your mood board calls for it. I’m not saying quality doesn’t show on camera but what I am saying is let’s remember that these portraits are about you and not the clothes. So as long as these clothes are working for you and creating the right moods & vibes, they are serving their purpose.
3. Consider hiring a makeup artist and hairstylist
“Makeup lets you experiment and be whoever you want to be in that moment.” – Oprah
One of the first few things I tell my portrait clients is that a portrait shoot isn’t about just capturing who you are. It’s about so much more. The person we capture in the portrait can show a bit of who you aspire to be or perhaps it’s a version of you from a totally different universe with a different style.
When you get in makeup, you’re getting in character. In character to be confident and classy with an updo like Audrey Hepburn. Or maybe it’s to be bold and sexy like Rihanna.
Hire a makeup artist and hairstylist to help you explore through this photoshoot. Use the mood board you created earlier on to share your vision with your makeup artist to create to look you truly want. You’re so used to do your makeup in a certain way that it’s great to have a professional who’s trained for on-camera makeup glam you up.
4. Find the right photographer
If you’ve come this far as to planning your portrait shoot then I have reason to believe you’re quite invested in, not only, making this happen, but making it happen fantastically. You have your mood board, your outfit, and makeup ideas. Now, all you need is the right photographer.
This is the step that really decides the outcome of your photoshoot. You might have passed all the steps before this with flying colors but if you hire the wrong photographer… you might be in for quite the disappointment.
This is what you need to look for when hiring the right portrait photographer:
You enjoy their body of work and find inspiration in their style
They respect you and your idea enough to spend time getting to know you and what you’re looking for
They, not only, understand your vision but are also excited to take it to another level.
You feel comfortable and at ease with the photographer
5. Invest in yourself and commit!
Congratulations – you’ve made it all the way here! But it’s not over yet. This is where many women doubt themselves and drop out. They ask themselves questions like “am I worthy enough for this” or “is this too selfish”. Here is what I can tell you after having photographed over 100 everyday women: every single woman I photographed doubted themselves. In fact, I compiled the 6 most common objections women have when it comes to portraits that you should check out.
If you are asking these questions of whether you’re pretty enough, worthy enough, confident enough, then it’s time to do this for you. Invest in yourself and invest in a photoshoot that makes you feel good and look good. Every woman needs a beautiful portrait of themself and I 100% believe that.
I hope you enjoyed these 5 steps on planning a fabulous photoshoot for yourself. In summary, find a great inspiration, backup the inspiration with clothes and makeup, find the right photographer, and commit!
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