5 Steps For A Successful Photoshoot

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When I decided to launch Say Yes With Jess, one of the very first things I did was reach out to a photographer to schedule a professional photoshoot.

I pretty much DIYed everything else (I built and designed my own website, wrote all of the copy), but working with a photographer was a key investment I knew I wanted to make.

When I go to a website, the very first thing I notice and connect to are the pictures. Photos convey a message and help tell the story of a person or brand.

Plus, having professionally shot photos on your website and social media instantly makes you look professional and "legit".

In the world of online business, your website is your storefront. It’s the place for potential customers and clients to find you, get to know you, like you, trust you, and hopefully buy your products and services.

I really believe that high quality photos can massively boost your ability to quickly build a rapport with a potential client and help you stand out.  

*tap on the photo on the right to see more photos from my lifestyle shoot*

Here are the 5 steps I took to plan my photoshoot:

  1. Created a vision for my photoshoot

  2. Hired a photographer & scheduled the photoshoot

  3. Planned out my look & outfits

  4. Got a haircut & did my own makeup

  5. Had fun during the shoot!

1. Creating Your Photoshoot Vision

Before reaching out to a photographer, it’s really important to have a vision so you know who to hire. Are you looking for a casual lifestyle shoot? Are you looking for headshots? Do you want your food or craft photographed? Do you want an editorial or more natural look? As best as you can, get clear on your vision. This will be super helpful to share with your photographer.

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2. Hiring A Photographer

I knew I wanted a lifestyle shoot, so I reached out to a photographer friend, Tiffany of Tiffany Bri Photography to work with her.

Do you know any photographers in your network? Great! Reach out to them and see if they’re a right fit for what you’re looking for.

Don’t know any photographers? Post to your community on Facebook and ask for referrals. You can also check Craigslist or local photographers on Instagram and reach out to them directly.

Tip From Tiffany: "When hiring a photographer, be picky! For the best results, make sure your vision matches work they’ve already shot."

3. Planning Your Look & Shots

During my photoshoot, we were able to get shots I really loved because I was clear about my vision. I created a Pinterest board with other people’s pictures that inspired me and shared this with Tiffany.

I’ve had this picture in my room for years and absolutely love the color palate. I used this as a guiding tool for my outfits.

I’ve had this picture in my room for years and absolutely love the color palate. I used this as a guiding tool for my outfits.

The week before my shoot, I went shopping with the intention of buying pieces that fit my vision and would look good on camera.

I chose to style myself but if you feel more comfortable and confident having someone else help you with this process, you can always hire a stylist to help you shop and style the shoot.  

The day of the shoot, I laid out all my outfit options to go over with Tiffany.  She helped me pick which options to go with based on my overall vision and what would look best on me on camera. I had a bunch of accessories I wanted to wear and Tiffany told me to keep it simple! To stick with simple studs over big earring or necklaces. I’m glad I did :)

I wanted several shots outside so we carried all the outfits and shoes with us and I changed when we were out!

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4. Hair & Makeup

You could DIY your look or get it done - your call! I got a haircut the day before my shoot so it would look extra fresh and styled, and I did my own makeup. In the past, I've gone to a makeup store and got it professionally done. Many stores will do a full makeup application "on the house" with the expectation that you purchase at least one product.

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5. Have Fun! 

This is the first time I’ve worked with a professional photographer and overall, it was an awesome experience! It was definitely weird to be photographed, but the more I played around with it and took Tiffany’s cues and suggestions - the more fun we had! 

Tip From Tiffany: "Know that 99% of people feel uncomfortable in front of the camera. I do! So, let your guard down. Don’t think that it’s awkward to be awkward! It’s not, and a good photographer can capture gorgeous moments as long as you’re being genuine."

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All photos in this post were shot by Tiffany Bri. Tiffany is a NYC based event and lifestyle photographer. To learn more about her work, you can find her portfolio at tiffanybri.com or on IG @tiffanybriphotograph