How to tackle your first photoshoot

Lights! Camera! Meltdown! As an introvert, being the center of attention has always been frightening. I’m a naturally awkward person, so when I experienced my very first photoshoot, I was overcome with nerves. The end product was not what I had anticipated at all, it was so much better! The photographer, Zaid and his assistant, Danyaal did an amazing job at making me feel comfortable. They joked and complimented me and told me exactly what I needed to do. It wasn’t long until I got the hang of it and decided to simply get over my insecurities and just own the stage. Sometimes it isn’t easy to just relax, so I’ve put together some tips and tricks to help you along.

Think happy thoughts
Your thoughts control your body and the way others perceive you, making your mental attitude very important. So, block out that negative voice that tells you you’re too awkward to be photographed, and focus on the positives. Maybe you have a lovely smile or amazing cheek bones – find ways to play up your best features.

Don’t overthink it
Insecure and anxious people tend to overthink things (believe me, I know). When being photographed it’s easy to see your anxiety coming through. Pose in a way that feels natural to you, there’s no need to be overly technical about things. Just go with the flow.

Have fun!
This is really important. A genuine smile or laugh looks great on camera. Think of something funny or play some upbeat music in the background. Focus on enjoying the moment and just letting go.

Have some visual references
When I’m nervous or overwhelmed my brain just doesn’t seem to function. When all eyes are on you it’s even worse, so have some visual references for poses you’d like to do at the shoot. This will give you more direction and a lot more confidence.

Motivational support
If you still feel uncomfortable about the shoot, bring a motivator along. By this I mean a friend who can talk you into being your best. We all have that one friend with such an infectious, positive energy that they can easily make you feel at ease. Get them to come to the shoot for some motivational support.

There’s nothing wrong with a bit of practice in the privacy of your own home. I was surprised to learn that everyone does it. Practice a few positions and figure out your best angles. When you’re in front of the camera, imagine yourself practicing in your room, this will ease the pressure and make you move more naturally.

Not everyone is born to be a model and that’s absolutely fine. But there’s no reason why you should shy away from an opportunity to look and be your best. So get out there and shine how you were meant to, and don’t forget to smile.