Many of my customers start our conversation by saying that they feel nervous and uncomfortable having their photo taken, but end the photoshoot beaming and saying how much they have really enjoyed it. As a brand photographer I couldn’t be happier to see how much fun they have - and it shows in their images. But while many business women understand the benefits of professional, eye catching personal branding photos they still hold back because of nerves.
These are my 4 tips on how to overcome those nerves and take the plunge!
1. Good planning reduces nerves
The first and possibly most important part of your planning is to find a photographer that you have a rapport with and takes time to get to know you and your business before the photoshoot. Planning is also essential to get the most from your investment and your photographer should be happy to help and offer advice in terms of locations, outfits, props and poses.
This planning also significantly helps with nerves on the day. Having a plan and a list of images to work through means that you know exactly what to expect when the day of the photoshoot arrives.
It’s very understandable to feel nervous if your impression of the photoshoot is arriving at a location to meet a photographer who is a stranger to you. The reality is that you should feel like you are meeting up with a lovely new colleague who is there to help you as a team.
2. Embrace the occasion!
Many people see the photoshoot as an opportunity for self-care and investing in themselves. For example, some clients will first see an image consultant to learn colours and styles which suit them best before selecting outfits to wear on the brand photoshoot. I’ve seen what a confidence boost it has given them. Another client seemed particularly natural in front of the camera and commented “I usually feel uncomfortable having my photo taken but today I thought ‘just go for it and smile your biggest smile!” I loved hearing that and it showed in her gorgeous images.
So if you can, try to turn those negative thoughts into positive empowering thoughts that remind you of your self-worth.
3. Stay authentic
The best personal branding images authentically reflect your personality, allow customers to get to know you and build a rapport with you. Whilst you will want to make a good impression and show you and your business in a professional way, it’s important that you feel yourself. The images should also have a ‘day in the life’ feel and will usually include shots at your home or usual work environment. The photoshoot should therefore feel more natural than you may expect.
4. Trust your photographer with how you’re feeling on the day
If you are still feeling nerves on the day of the photoshoot, be honest with your photographer and tell them if you’re not feeling comfortable. They should adapt their approach and think about ways to help you relax and build confidence throughout the session. For example, I would start off with a very natural pose (such as sitting down with a cuppa or working at a laptop) and I also find it helps to show the client a few winning photos in camera as we go along. In my experience, the first few photos always feel awkward but after that we get in the groove and start having fun!
Perhaps the most important thing to remember is that you are the biggest asset of your business and your customers want to hear your story. You deserve to take centre stage for the day and you also deserve to enjoy the experience.