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3 Steps for Calming Nerves Before a Photoshoot


Have you ever booked or planned a photo shoot.. maybe with friends, maybe your first time with strangers…you’re really excited, but then the closer the shoot gets, the more you want to vomit, and cancel the whole darn thing?

Am I right? It’s nerve racking!

Those little voices start up, ‘they’ll hate my photos… I have no idea what I’m doing…I’ll forget everything…. aghhh’
I promise it’s not just you… and today I want to talk about some strategies you can use to manage those nerves and get the best from each and every shoot.


How to Deal With Nervousness

#1 – Reframe it!

Everyone gets nervous… it’s because you CARE and you want do a good job.

The minute you lose those nerves and stop caring about the results.. well we may aswell all go home!

So first thing first is to re-frame that nervousness and acknowledge that it’s totally normal and it’s because you’re an A+ human who wants to do a great job.


#2 – Planning & Preparation Go a Long Way!

As with all things in life, preparation and a little but of planning will make the WORLD of difference!

Now truth be told, I’m a ‘wing-it’ kinda girl.. there are many things I’ve achieved in life by simply throwing things together last minute and hoping for the best, but that didn’t work well for me in photoshoots.. I had to plan ahead to combat how nervous I felt, and it’s not a good strategy when you’re providing a service to people and/or if they’re paying you… you want to be top of your game.

So planning out your shoots is the BEST way to combat nerves.

How to Plan Ahead:

  • Visit Your Locations at The Time You’ll Be Shooting

The first thing I like to do when prepping for a shoot is to actually VISIT the location.

And not only visit it to get a feel, but actually turn up at the tie of day when the shoot will be taking place. I drag my family along with me and I try out locations, practice shooting with the light in different directions and come up with areas I want to use for different shots!

You can visit it beforehand, or at the very least, arrive on location half an hour before hand to scout it out.

When you’re creating a gallery of images it’s more than getting 1-2 great shots, you want to be able to create a consistent gallery of varied shots… and getting familiar with these BEFORE your shoot will save you a whole lot of stress and time on the day of the shoot.

You don’t want to be standing around scratching your head, or trying out too may unknown things with paying clients.

  • Draw Our Your Poses… Stick Figures For The Win!

The other thing I LOVE to plan out beforehand, is my poses.

Now this is true for family shoots, for individual portrait shoots, boudoir.. lifestyle, any genre!

  What I like to do is work out who I’ll have at the shoot, and come up with a range of poses to do… and I draw them out, stick figure style, so I can visualise what they’ll look like, and I’ll think about my location and where I’ll do each.

Now this doesn’t mean you have to stick to it perfectly, but knowing you’ve planned out some ideas means prior to the shoot you can breath a little easier knowing you won’t arrive with no idea what to do and where to start.

Usually once you get into the flow of the shoot you’ll be fine, but if not, keep your scribbled stick figures in your camera bag and as you’re changing lenses you can take a quick peak to visually remind yourself what else you have in mind to try!


#3 – Keep Shooting

Honestly, the more you do it, the easier it will become… I promise!  Your nerves won’t disappear entirely, but your confidence will ensure they’re manageable and you won’t be praying for rain or your family to call in sick so you don’t have to shoot! (Yes, I’m a mind reader, I know we’ve all been there)

So even when you’re feeling wracked with nerves and you don’t want to book more shoots – do it anyway!

Keep shooting and keep learning!


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