Insider Tips

3 Tricks for the Perfect Photo Shoot

Photo shoots are fun, but they’re also an investment. And as a social media maven, sometimes, it makes sense to take a step back and invest in professional-quality photos. Read on for three ways to maximize your next photo shoot!


Parker Sheil


December 15, 2020

1. Plan

If you were to meet with a hair stylist, you’d be ready to explain your dream hairdo. And if you were meeting with a brand new stylist, you might bring pictures of your vision. Hair-dressers are artists, but saying “you’re the expert!” to a total stranger may give you an asymmetrical bob with purple highlights (when you wanted Kate Middleton’s hair).

Working with a photographer is not so different from working with a hairdresser. If you say “you’re the artist!” to a new partner, you may end up with really cool pictures for your at-home art gallery, but might not get any on-brand content for your business. Hiring a photographer is fun, but it’s also an investment. And as an entrepreneur, you know that the most important part of any investment is the return.

Before meeting with your photographer (and preferably before the actually day-of the shoot), make a list of deliverables. Describe your brand aesthetic (a mood board is super helpful here), and make sure to document any non-negotiable poses. It’s good to get the deliverables confirmed in writing, because it’s the best way to be sure you and the photographer are on the same page. In your written agreement with the photographer, specify both the number of photos/poses you want, and clarify the usage rights associated with the images. For example, do you have to tag the photographer when posting the pictures? If you are paying for the photo images, you want to confirm the final ownership is yours (ie: you can post/profit from the images as you see fit, without paying the photographer any additional fees). Plus, if things do go wrong, you have written confirmation of the photoshoot expectations (protecting your investment). 

2. Primp

In the theatre world, there’s one reigning rule for headshots: make sure you look like yourself. This might sound a little obvious, but think about it. First of all, a huge part of any influencer’s brand is their image. And second, do you want to show up to an event and have no one be able to recognize you? 

By this point in your social media career, you’ve probably got a beauty routine that works for you, and a trusted hairstylist. So stick with it for the photoshoot. If you are willing to invest your company’s capital in a photoshoot, do you want to risk that investment on a fun new concealer you’ve been dying to try for weeks and weeks (but still don’t realize makes your skin looks greasy, which it actually isn’t!)? Use the products you always use, work with the people you always work with. You know your body, you know your skin, and a good hairdresser knows your bone structure. Keep in consistent for the photoshoot, and go back to experimenting with new looks/products after the big day is over. The same approach goes for clothes and shoes. Make sure you practice walking in your photo-shoot shoes before the actual photo-shoot, and spend some time in the clothes. Since you have full ownership over the whole day, take advantage! Test out the outfits ahead of time, and make sure you feel comfortable and confident in both the clothing and beauty styling.

3. Pose

Since you already shared your mood board and non-negotiable deliverables, there’s no need to micromanage during the shoot. You’ve done your homework and picked a professional photographer who understands lighting, angles, and zoom. Let the photographer take charge, and listen to them during the shoot. This is a rare opportunity where you only have to worry about one side of the camera! So relax, let the photographer do their job, smile, and have fun.

Pro tip: If resources allow, enlist an assistant to help out with the shoot. You can delegate the extra hands to manage props, and ask them to keep an eye out for the client/product while the photographer is 100% focused on getting the best shot. That’s what friends (or interns) are for!

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