There are so many reasons to have a photoshoot – for your business, to create content for social media, to update your headshots, to sell a product or even to sell your home… Or, perhaps you simply want to book a photoshoot for personal reasons, such as capturing special moments like birthdays or milestones or preserving memories from a once-in-a-lifetime trip to a place like… Paris!
I think my favourite reason why my own clients book themselves a photo shoot is that it can provide an ego boost. When they see themselves looking their best in well-composed and flattering photographs, it can help improve their self-esteem and body image. One of my clients said her photoshoot alone acted like an anti-depressant!
Further to the ego boost: I assure you that the resulting photos will likely delight your friends and acquaintances, who will appreciate seeing a new portrait of you. Get ready for a ton of love when you post your new profile pic.
Here are some of my fave tips to ensure a great photoshoot experience
1. Find a photographer whose work you truly LOVE. Do you love black and white, bright and airy, or dark and moody photographs? Or all of the above? Photographers mostly have a shooting and editing style to which they stick, making their portfolio somewhat consistent. Do some research. I promise you that your perfect photographer is out there. And make sure you venture past page 1 of Google. The treasure may very well be beyond page 2!
2. Does the photographer offer a pre-shoot consultation? As a photographer, it’s important that I devote some time to you and discover your raison d’être – a certain amount of communication during the lead-up to the shoot can really help with a successful outcome. Also, getting to know each other before the day of your shoot will really help eliminate pre-shoot jitters.
3. Dress up! and make sure you love what you are going to wear. It’s a great opportunity to express your individuality and showcase your current style. Looking back on the photos of myself in 2017, I realize that I probably wouldn’t wear those laceup knee-high leather boots, tight dark blue jeans, and cute red cardigan anymore, but I still love seeing what I was wearing back then!
Depending on the length of your shoot, plan for at least three different looks. You’ll appreciate the variety when it comes time to choose your final images. It might even be as simple as a few accessory swaps. There is also a sort of rule in portrait photography that busy patterns can be distracting and if you are with a partner or family you should all aim for similar tones so no one is competing for attention!
NB : be mindful of the weather, Winter shoots can be harsh and a fancy coat with a favourite scarf and hat can also look very cool.
4. Professional hair styling and makeup application is not obligatory but why do I recommend it? Investing in hair and makeup for a photoshoot ensures that you look polished and camera-ready which can elevate your confidence when you stand in front of the camera. It can also help to create a cohesive look that complements your chosen outfits and the overall theme of the shoot. My fave Makeup Artist in Paris is Joleen Emory
5. Create a vision board/mood board – add photos that inspire you and show the emotions that you want to express in your photos. We are not going to copy the photos, it’s simply a guideline and will help me understand your style and the mood you wish to create and see in your final images.
6. Location, location, location! We all have our own love affair with Paris, and the choice of location should reflect your connection with the city and of course, showcase your own personality and interests. We are so spoiled for choice in Paris, and the iconic sites will always deliver a great backdrop for your photos, however, the location we end up in is totally up to you.
For example, the photos I have chosen to illustrate this post are all locations specifically requested by my clients. Some love the Old Paris like Ile St Louis, another client has a special attachment to Place des Vosges, and another loved the artistic connection and history around Montmartre.
The consultation and mood board will help you to express this and once I define what it is you love the most about Paris, I’ll come up with a bespoke itinerary for your Paris photoshoot.
7. Prepare to feel self-conscious… for the first 5 minutes! It’s a fact that every client (including myself when I had my own shoot) feels a little nervous and silly for a few minutes. However, I promise you that those initial nerves will quickly melt away, and soon enough, the only person you will pay attention to is me – your photographer! Furthermore, when shooting on location in Paris it’s VERY common to be shooting somewhere that many other people are doing their own photoshoots; all wrapped up doing their own thing, and this often helps my clients relax and quickly get into the swing of things.