Of all the things I love about creating content, conceptualizing and styling a photoshoot is one of my favorites!
I am excited to take you behind the scenes of how to pull together a photoshoot for the blog and the grid (Instagram)!
I’m sharing some of the most important elements I focus on to ensure a successful shoot day.
MY TIPS & TRICKS
It may seem old school, but one of my favorite parts about a shoot is to choose my outfits (well far in advance) of the shoot.
A lot of planning goes into outfit and wardrobe curation: it starts with selecting the garment(s), then layering with accessories such as shoes, bags, jewelry, etc. to complete the entire look from top to bottom.
For each shoot, I make sure to maximize both my time and the photographer’s, and usually get through at least 3 different outfits for a unique variety of shots. However, being able to achieve this versatility requires careful planning and thought. So if you’re a newbie to photoshoots, less is more.
Another thing I’ll do far in advance (well 1-2 weeks at least) is to get a mani-pedi. I’ll make sure to switch up my nail color every so often, because having nails on fleek does make a difference in your photos
Where do I go shopping for outfits? I like to stick with the traditional retailers like Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom, and Neiman Marcus for my fashion. My favorite brands are Alice + Olivia, Maje, Sandro, and Theory. I’m usually the type of gal that ops for more classic pieces that make me feel both powerful and confident. I’ll mix it up with trendy items that only 1) fit my style and 2) have a longer shelf life than that one season wear.
I’m a big believer that what you wear makes a statement to the world about who you are. So for me, I lean towards a sophisticated, professional, and elegant presentation, so I opt for quality over quantity. There are times when I’m more glam or more casual, but I’ll tell you a secret: it’s all about the accessories. They create and complete the look, either to dress it up or dress it down. Ask me any questions on this topic if you feel inspired!
Trial and Error
There are so many things I’ve learned through trial and error with photoshoots and creating content. What I’ve found super helpful is to create a shot list. I usually go over this with the photographer in advance. This ends up being a lifesaver as I can walk into a shoot knowing the overall theme and vision. I’ll also pull together images of fashion inspiration from Pinterest or Instagram to help me imagine the overall creative direction.
I have a running list of potential locations that I want to shoot with, as well as a list of “TFP” (Trade for Prints) when it comes to photographers, makeup artists, and hair stylists I have worked with in the past. I started documenting this list on Google Sheets since my New York Trip in May.
Some other tricks that have helped me prepare for an upcoming photoshoot, although it may sound tedious, is to steam all clothing the night before, choose the right make-up look, and set aside some time for hair and makeup.
I’ll usually curl my hair the night before, and then touch-up in the morning to save time. To make sure the shoot has a high success rate, I allocate a good hour on hair and makeup. If possible, I make sure to get a good night’s rest too, so at least 8 hours at the minimum.
When it comes to makeup, make sure you prep your skin beforehand. You will glow all the more because you washed and moisturized your face first. It’s always best to start on a fresh canvas. Two things that really stand out to me when it comes to photoshoot makeup are eyelashes and lips!
- Believe it or not, eyelashes give you that extra pop in a photo. My favorites are Mac 34 Lash for a natural look, Huda Beauty Hoodie False Lashes for a dramatic look, and Lilly Lashes Hollywood for an all-out glam look. I rarely wear lashes during the week when I’m working, but with a nice pair of lashes, you’ll feel great in front of the camera! And when you feel good in front of the camera, that’s usually when those photos turn out best.
- When it comes to lips, find the shade that goes with your outfits. Adding gloss to your lips can give the illusion of fuller and plumper lips. Brighter colors on your lips are easiest to capture on camera. However, if you decide to go with more natural hues and nudes, make sure you spice up your eyes. Whether that’s a smoky eye with some eyeliner to add dimension to your face.
Shoot days when I’ve felt happiest with my appearance are the days when I’ve been most satisfied with the end results. You’ll naturally feel more confident and you won’t have weird hair or makeup sticking out on the picture – ha!
If you feel good, it always comes across in the pictures, so take your time and have fun!
Remember preparation is everything when it comes to ensuring a successful shoot.
It takes some time, but these are some of the most effective ways I’ve found to ensure a great photoshoot.