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Preparing for a photo shoot.

Whether you have decided to do a photo shoot for branding, professional head shots, birthday, holiday, or even engagement I suggest preparing for it!

I decided to do a photo shoot for the launch of my brand. It was something I wanted to do before launching my event planning business, but I did not want to keep procrastinating starting my business.

This go around, of course I have no intention to start a brand from my blog, but it was in my heart to do so! Because I had decided to create a new, personal brand I DEFINITELY wanted to do a photo shoot to go along with the image I created.

No matter what type of photo shoot you are intending to do, preparation is a must. The day I had the photo shoot, of course I was inspired to do a blog about it!

So here's 10 things to remember when preparing for a photo shoot:

1. Set a budget.

As soon as I had the idea to do a shoot, I started planning out a budget. Creating how much I wanted to spend on my clothing, a photographer, my make up, possible props, etc. Setting up a budget is important because you get to see what kinds of coins you're working with so that you can plan your vision accordingly.

2. Plan ahead.

Once you set a date, similar to event planning, start planning everything else from there. I immediately booked my make-up artist. Next I booked my photographer. Then I solidified my fashion looks, hair styles, accessories, props, location, etc. Most items I bought online, but a few pieces I picked up in stores! For a photo shoot, I definitely recommend getting your make-up and hair both professionally done. It will save you time and money trying to do everything yourself. Also you want to love the way you look in these photos. Leave it to the professionals!

3. Create a vision.

I immediately started a photo album with everything that I visualized for my shoot, from my outfits, make-up styles, pictures of my location, and photo inspirations. For each of my photo inspirations it was pictures from other branding shoots, photos of people smiling, holding coffee mugs, etc. As you can see I was heavily inspired by shots like that! If you are a person that loves Pinterest or creating vision boards this would be a great instance to utilize either of them.

4. Do a test run.

Please make sure to try your clothes on at least a week or two before doing a photo shoot, so that you have time to order other options, get alterations, and get accessories or change accessories as necessary. Those who know me, know that I am all about a good fit; I get lots of my clothing altered. Also I loving trying on my clothes before and after purchasing them. Of course during this COVID-19 era, it's hard to try on clothes before purchasing. But in normal times I definitely prefer to try them on! No matter where you order your clothes from for your shoot, make sure that you get a feel for them and try them on well in advance to your shoot. You want to look and feel as comfortable as possible in your garments. Don't let the clothes wear you!

5. Practice your angles.

I am so serious about this one! You want to make sure that you practice your angles and know how to find your Tyra Banks would say! I can not stress this enough, but you are paying good money for these photos, also you want to make sure that these photos fit your vision, whether it's for branding or personal use. So look your best and capture your best light...literally! Of course, trust your photographer...they are the expert. But you do want to make sure that you fully have a grasp of your best looks, angles, lighting to bring your vision forth. Always know how you look, it will make your photographer's job easier and you will know how you look in each frame and pose.

6. Have a back-up plan.

Of course my vision board included photos of me being outside, my location I chose was outside, and I wanted lots of sun in my photos! Also with COVID-19 it just seemed safer to shoot outside. So the week before my shoot the weather was clear. Of course once it got to that week of, the weather forecast changed drastically; mother nature obviously had other plans. So I had to come up with a back-up plan/location, since the forecast clearly changed, I first reached out to my photographer and make-up artist who neither had availability for another few weeks. I then reached out to one of my favorite cafes to see if we could shoot inside and they agreed! If you are ever in Maryland, be sure to check out Terra Cafe. The owner Terrance not only allowed me to do the photo shoot there but also obliged anything that my photographer and I needed! Also because of the rain, there were about two outfits that I had to eliminate from my shoot.

7. Get a good night's rest.

This is very important! Getting rest is imperative in order to have a productive day on any given day. But if you are going to be in front of a camera, you need to be well rested with no bags under your eyes. As I have stated before, you want to make sure that your vision is carried out in your photos, so make sure your energy is high so that your personality shines through them by getting some good sleep the night before!

8. Remember your vision.

As you have your photo shoot, keep in mind why you are taking these photos, the image you want to portray, and what you intend to do with these photos. Remind yourself of those while taking photos, it will keep your energy and personality genuine in them.

9. Pack your essentials.

I must have packed my entire closet and make-up station with me! Several options of shoes, lip options, countless pairs of earrings; I wanted to be fully prepared! Of course bring basic essentials like a hair brush, flat iron, a steamer, a make-up touch up kit (extra lipstick or lip gloss, and a make-up brush, and maybe extra foundation). But also make sure that you are prepared with any props you want to use.

10. Enjoy yourself!

Just have fun at your shoot! Again allow your personality to shine through the photos. Be sure to smile, laugh, and work the camera honey!

Check out my YouTube channel where I gave a behind the scenes look into the fashions I wore in my photo shoot and a few outfits that didn't make the cut!

My photo shoot was shot by my amazing photographer Carla Byrnes.

My face was beat to the Gods by my amazing make-up artist Alicia Peace.

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