It can be a scary thing getting in front of the camera, I get it! The good news is that there are ways to make it easier and believe me when I say it's worth it. Headshots as part of your branding photo shoot are such an important part of your visual identity, letting your followers get to know you and seeing a professional, consistent image across your website and social media. If you're feeling a bit worried about having your photo taken, here are five ways to help beat those nerves and rock your brand shoot!
1 - A kick-ass playlist!
Listening to music can definitely have an effect on your mood, especially if it gets you moving and feeling inspired! This list below (see here on YouTube) is my personal go to playlist to feel confident and empowered, it never fails to get me feeling like a kick-ass photographer who can do anything she wants to achieve.
I recently popped it on when I resorted to using myself as the subject for my image inspired by Heather's fiery photo for our collaborative diptych loop. I certainly felt on fire while listening and I actually love this photo of myself , it got loads of engagement on social media too :)
It can be really surprising how empowered you can feel after a photo shoot too, even if you feel nervous and awkward before we start!
Which brings me on to...
2 - Hire someone who makes you feel good
A photographer you trust, who will build you up and boost your confidence will make all the difference. You have to have a good connection with your photographer, it's important to speak to them before you book, even if it's over the phone (but zoom is better) to see how you gel. I'm well aware I'm not for everyone - I get excited and passionate about the brands I work with and usually end up friends with my clients but not everyone likes that and might prefer a quieter, less colourful person, lol.
I've written here about my "too muchness" and hope I attract like-minded businesses who want to have fun and smash their business ambitions! Get to know your photographer and make the most of the planning stages to ensure you know what to expect so you can relax and enjoy yourself on the day of your shoot.
3 - Wear an awesome outfit!
It doesn't have to be new but if you have a strong brand colour, try to incorporate it, even if it's just an accessory (e.g. scarf, notebook, necklace, mug...), for me rainbows and bright colours feature a lot as that's my thing and what I wear every day anyway.
Wear something you feel comfortable in and you're halfway there, you don't want to be awkwardly tugging at your clothes and worrying about how you look so plan ahead and choose something you know you like, feels good and looks great! I love helping my clients styling their look for a shoot, they often send me photos of their clothes and we plan various outfits over the phone, I've even been known to bring along some of my own accessories which fit their brand aesthetic to add to the shoot. (I had a bit of an accessory addiction in my lifestyle blogging days which has since evolved into a notebook habit!)
Sarah-Louise loves bluebells and the colour blue really suits her so she wore a beautiful blue dress for the first part of her shoot in the woods, paired with a denim jacket for a more casual look, then a blazer for more "work mode" images at the café. She's a wedding celebrant so brought along her beautiful poetry books which made the perfect accessory along with her wedding folder and favourite mug!
See here for my favourite colourful independent fashion brands if you fancy splashing out on something new! I also wrote a gift guide on colourful accessories.
4 - Get Pampered
Do that thing that makes you feel good - getting your nails done, a facial, a haircut or just a blow dry, hiring a make-up artist...
Whatever works for you to get you feeling great and looking fabulous for your shoot, maybe it's all of the above! You can also try to make sure you drink plenty of water in the week leading up to your shoot and get plenty of sleep so your skin is glowing and you feel energised. Why not make a day of it and book a nice lunch out after your shoot too so you're looking forward to the whole day?
5 - Choose a fabulous location
Depending on your business and brand identity, you may have the perfect location in mind already but do give this some thought.
If you work from home (or even if you don't), including your home office and/or rest of your home can be perfect for showing that relaxed side of you and you're always going to feel most comfortable in your own space.
Find an awesome venue to have some more unique headshots taken, I recently found a gem in Brighton which had so many brilliant spaces to capture great variety while sticking to the brief - a fun & quirky place with lots of character and great light for a dark & moody look. If you're surrounded by glitz & glamour, you will instantly feel more glam yourself and rock your shoot!
My top tip actually incorporates all of the above - plan & prepare.
The more prepared you feel in the week or so leading up to your shoot, the more confident you will feel about it on the day. My branding packages include a planning call during which we will discuss the shoot layout, locations, outfits, must have shots, timings, props...