How do you prepare for a photo shoot? There is so much content on the Internet about photography sessions. It honestly can be quite overwhelming. When you go to Pinterest and look up photo shoots, even by type of session, you’re going to see so many different options for locations, poses, props: but how do you figure out what choices to make for your own shoot? How do you decide your favorite poses? How do you decide if you want to bring props or not?
The first thing to keep in mind when prepping for your photo shoot is that, above all, this shoot is meant to capture YOU. Even in a styled shoot, you are the subject, you are the focus. That means that whatever decision you make about poses and props, you’ll want to make sure that you remain in the center of attention. Maybe you were raised like me, in a really humble environment, where this attitude was looked down upon. In that case, I know this might be a struggle for you. I want to encourage you, that nothing is more important in your shoot than capturing the essence of who you truly are. The people who love you now and the people who will come into your life for years to come will thank you for taking the time to to make a monument of these moments in your life. Unfortunately, nobody has the ability to turn back time, so let’s take the time to capture these memories for you and make them last forever.
Whether you’re going into your first ever photo session or your fifth, posing can always be a stressor. The absolute most important part of making this process easier on yourself is choosing a photographer that you feel confident will make you more comfortable in front of the camera. I can’t tell you how many sessions I’ve had where every single ✨posed✨ shot was completely awkward and stiff, no matter how much instruction was shared, and how much time is given to loosen up. However, in the end that did not matter at all because we genuinely had such a good time together, that we were able to capture the most beautiful shots of the subject (their words not mine) that they had ever had taken. A photo shoot is about so much more than posing the right way. For my clients, creating genuinely good memories in front of the camera at our session is always the priority.
With that being said, I have learned over time things that my clients have done ahead of time to prep for the shoot that has made them exponentially more comfortable with the posing process.
Go on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, whatever platform you’re most comfortable on, and find photos that you love. Examine how the subject is posed. Where are their feet and hands placed? How is their body turned in relation to that? Is their head in a natural position? Getting an idea of what others have done already that’s worked can give you a really good idea of what to do when it’s your turn to be in front of the camera!
Practice poses in front of the mirror! If you ever took a speech class in high school or college, your professor probably told you to do this exact thing. Stand in front of your mirror and turn your body all around. Notice ways in which you feel the best about your body and feel most comfortable. If you know you like the way you look in a certain stance, that’ll make you look more confident in front of the camera, therefore making your posing look more natural and overall creating a better final image.
Do not think about it too hard. The bottom line is a great photographer absolutely will not allow you to look awkward or uncomfortable in front of the camera. So just take a deep breath, relax, and enjoy; the photographer is there to help and won’t leave you hanging!
This section will be a lot easier. Choosing props is a lot simpler than one may think. In all of my sessions, we evaluate together as a client-photographer pair whether or not the prop will be useful for the shoot. I always encourage my clients to bring as many props as they feel is representative of them as they want and we can always pull it out if it doesn’t work out like we hoped. Here are some questions we discuss in the process:
Will this prop reflect my personality in ways that can’t be captured without it?
Does this prop help tell my/our story?
Well this prop help me have a better time and loosen up?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, I’d say it’s helpful bring it along! If it ends up being hindrance to the shooting process, you can always toss it to the side, but you can’t undo the decision to leave it behind.
That's the need-to-know on props and posing for a photography session. If you've been waiting to book a session, don't wait! Hit us up for a genuine time of creating memories that will last forever for yourself and your loved ones.
Don't forget to comment with your own tips & tricks, anything at all that I may have left out!