Here are answers to some of the most common questions I receive and a few tips to get the most from your shoot.
I’m not comfortable in front of the camera, and don’t like pictures of me. Now what?
No worries — I’ve got your back! The truth is, most people are not trained models or actors and are not comfortable being photographed. However, I have decades of experience working with all kinds of ‘real’ people, making them feel special, relaxed and in their power. In the end, I strive to make the shoot fun and easy — and when you’re enjoying the experience, you’ll shine for the camera.
Plus, I know the tricks of lighting and composition to make you look your best ;).
I’m not sure what the best setting is for my shoot. How can I figure that out and where can I find inspiring options?
Your location choice is very important — both for the creative alignment with your brand, and also for allowing variety for your image library. It’s really about two things: Supporting your brand messaging and practical logistics. Choosing a location is one of the most important details we will discuss during your initial free consultation.
While I recommend shooting outside in natural light for at least some of the images (parks, gardens, city streets, woods and beaches are wonderful), interiors can also be important. The obvious choice is to consider what you have at your disposal — your home or office, a friend’s home, and public outdoor spaces near you. You may also want to consider a civic building in your area, such as a library, or a public garden or arboretum that will allow photographs. Often even a hotel will permit photos being taken with discretion.
Alternatively, for a rental fee, you can find incredible locations on Airbnb, VRBO, and Peerspace (this one is especially great for more creative spaces — modern, vintage, funky, lofts, etc.). Or, you may decide that a studio is the right environment for some — or all — of the shoot. Again, I can help you with this important decision.
I’ll also travel to wherever your heart desires. The boulevards of Paris, the vineyards of Tuscany or the beaches of Malibu? Let’s go!
I just need a headshot for my website. Why do I need an image library?
Many people start thinking about a photoshoot when a specific need arises, such as a website refresh. However, along with the expansion you are hoping for with your new website (or whatever the need may be), there will come additional demands for images. Perhaps it is for social media, or for landing pages of products that your are intending to develop. Or for additional pages that you will add to your website later. Or for when Oprah calls to feature you in O Magazine, and they need a brilliant shot of you. Trust me — it happens, and it will happen to you!
Having a beautiful, fresh image library means you’re professional — you’re prepared with the assets you need for future uses and demands that come up. And choosing an image will be a delight, because they will all be on point, present you well and have a brand consistency. That is gold for your business.
I know I need video, but I’m not sure where to start.
Odds are, you’re right — you probably do need video. Nearly all online brands require video for many aspects of business, from social media to sales pages, webinars and livecasts. You start by identifying where video will play the most important role in your business. Then begin imagining how the video assets you create might be re-purposed to serve additional uses. For example, an interview with an influencer in your space could serve as a podcast or product, but could also be parsed into small chunks for social media.
This is called ‘value stacking’, and it’s a key way to maximize the value from your video investment. I can help you decide where video best plays into your business and how to get the most out of it. Simply book a free consultation to get started.
For video, I’ve heard that all I really need is my iPhone. Isn’t that good enough?
The iPhone, or most any modern smartphone, has extraordinary video capabilities, and an immediacy that can be appealing for many situations. And some people run their entire business with nothing more than a phone.
Yet even a brilliant smartphone doesn’t replace strategy — the reasoning behind your video content. It doesn’t help you determine locations and pacing and style that supports your brand message. I can help you with all this and more, so that your videos are not only beautiful, they’re effective.
There may also be times when you want to move beyond the limitations of the iPhone and into a more professional look, especially for your most important assets, such as product launches or customer testimonials. This is where you see the the top players standing out — they know when to use their phone and when to play pro. There’s a place for each — and I can hep you sort it all out.
Want to explore more? Book your free consultation with me and we can talk about your brand strategy and everything video.
What hair and makeup is best?
I will arrange for an experienced, professional hair/makeup artist to be on set (or if you have a fave, that’s fine, too!). I want you to look your natural best — nothing heavy or overly styled, but rather fresh, radiant and relaxed. We’ll discuss your ‘look’ with consideration of your brand, wardrobe, desires, etc.
Tip: Bring some ‘swipe’ to the shoot — tearsheets that you like from magazines, catalogs, etc. that can serve as inspiration and direction for the artist.
What wardrobe is best?
Neutrals rule. Unless you have a unique brand identity which incorporates bold or stylized patterns and colors, avoid them. Favor simple, elegant, carefree clothing with minimal patterns and soft colors — and especially neutrals (grays, beiges, silvers, whites and darks) and layers that can add interest and texture without distracting from YOU.
For an additional cost, I can arrange for a professional stylist to either work with your own wardrobe, or procure new clothing options for you. The right wardrobe can add incredible value to the shoot.
Glasses or no glasses?
If you are generally known as someone who wears glasses, then wear them. Otherwise, shoot primarily without them, yet reserve them as an option, so that we can shoot with and without. Please be sure your lenses are clean and the frames correctly adjusted to sit properly on your face.
Any other tips for a great shoot?
Drink plenty of water the day before and day of the shoot.
Limit or avoid alcohol consumption the evening prior to your shoot.
Get a good sleep the night prior and, ideally 2 nights prior to the shoot.
Meditate or engage in a calming practice a few times the day before and morning of your shoot. Include affirming mantras of your innate beauty and worth, and think about serving your clients at the highest level.
Give thought to the shots you might want for all of your possible needs — from website to events to sales pages and social media — and write them down. We may not get to them all, but at least we’ll have a shotlist to discuss and prioritize.
Gather tearsheets from magazines, websites or other sources of images that inspire you.
Clear your calendar completely for your shoot day. You want to have minimal distractions. If you’d like having a friend join you for moral support, to tend to your or your home’s needs, or to bring out your best energy, by all means, include him/her.
Relax — and trust. Mostly, have fun!
What happens if I need to postpone or cancel my shoot date?
If you request to change or cancel the shoot date 30 days or more from the scheduled date, you may do so without penalty and with a full refund of your deposit(s) to date.
If you request to change or cancel the shoot date 29 days or less from the scheduled date, your deposit(s) will be 100% non-refundable, although they can be applied toward a future shoot date.
What if there is inclement weather for the shoot date? Or another ‘Act of God’?
Together, we will follow the weather patterns. If inclement weather is likely to impact the shoot or if another ‘Act of God’ event arises, I will work with you to reschedule without penalty.
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