Does this sound like you? You’ve booked a photo shoot, maybe it’s for friends, or maybe it’s your first shoot with strangers. You were really excited… until the date of the shoot got closer. Now you feel like you want to vomit every time you think about it! You’re this close to cancelling the whole thing!
Am I right? It’s nerve racking!
Those little voices in your head 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.
Everyone gets nervous… it’s because we CARE and we want do a great job.
The minute we lose those nerves and stop caring about the results… we may as well all go home!
So the first thing you can do is simply re-frame that state you’re in. Acknowledge that it’s totally normal, and you feel that way because you’re an A+ human who wants to do a great job! You’ll be surprised how much you can calm your nerves simply by refusing to fight them.
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.
However, that didn’t work well for me in photoshoots. It’s not a good strategy, especially when you’re providing a service to people and they’re paying you. You owe it to them to be at the top of your game. So in order to do that, I had to plan ahead to combat my nerves.
So planning out your shoots is the BEST way to combat nerves.
The first thing I like to do when prepping for a shoot is to actually visit the location on another day prior to the shoot. And I mean turn up at the specific time of day when the shoot will be taking place.
I drag my family along with me and try out locations. I practice shooting with the light in different directions, and come up with areas I want to use for different shots.
If you can’t visit it on another day, at the very least arrive on location half an hour before hand to scout it out.
When you’re creating a gallery of images you need to get more than just 1 or 2 great shots, or a bunch of great shots of the same set up. You want to create a consistent gallery of varied images, and by getting familiar with the location so your know your options 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 many unknowns with paying clients.
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!
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! No seriously, I know because I’ve 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!