Sometimes, being in charge of taking photos can be stressful. Here are my top five tips to help you be more confident at your next photoshoot!

Know your subject

Whether you’re going to capture cars, architecture, portraits, sports, food or [insert your subject here], do you know what you’re about to do? It’s kind of hard to know how to take great shots of a car if you’ve never done it before — or never seen someone else doing it. In fact, I wouldn’t know how to do it myself!

In order to know it, I’d look on the internet. Do research on the topic. Does the car has important specificities? What’s the best lighting to avoid unwanted reflections? Which angles are the most interesting?

I’d also look at what other photographers do to inspire myself. I may watch tutorials on “how to photograph a car” (or “car photography for dummies” in my case). Researching and documenting your subject helps tremendously to feel more confident if it’s your first time doing it.

Know your environment

Have you already gone to the location of your future photoshoot? If so, you probably know the best spots to create cool compositions. If not, you may want to consider going for scouting a few days prior to the photoshoot.

I recently had a student who stressed about an upcoming family in-law portrait. I asked her if she knew where that would take place. She did, so I suggested her to go there around the same time of the day her photoshoot would take place. That way, she’d be able to have a good idea of what the light would look like and which angles would be the best. This very simple trick — when you can do it — helps a lot to decrease stress and be more confident.

Arrive early

One of my favorite tips. I love arriving early at my photoshoots. It gets me in the mood and I have plenty of time to chat and have fun with people. I get to feel the energy of the place and I can take the time to walk around while deciding for the best settings. Do yourself that favor and plan on leaving a little earlier than you would normally plan. You’ll feel that much more in control and calm once you’ll be there.

Photo by Johanna Buguet on Unsplash

Develop relationships

A great way to improve my confidence is to know I have a great relationship with my client. It’s so much easier to communicate on both sides when there’s mutual trust and respect.

I love to ask feedback to know right away if that’s the kind of image they are expecting so I can change things up if needed. In some cases it’s the exact opposite: I have total freedom and I can do whatever I want. In any case, having a strong relationship with the client helps me feel more confident — and have more fun! — when I work.

If everything else fails … act as if it’s fine!

Okay so if for whatever reason you don’t know your subject or the environment, you arrive late and you don’t know your client … act as if everything was FINEEEEEEE. I did happen to me — and will likely happen again in the future. I mean … what else can you do at that point anyway?

Be like a little duck: Calm on the surface while your little legs swim hard under the water. The important is to remain professional and stay in control. #FakeItTilYouMakeIt

Preparation is key to confidence

You’ve got it by now: preparation is key. When we have a plan, we feel so much more confident. Go ahead and show your clients/friends/family how efficient and creative you can be. Take charge if that photoshoot and most of all: Have fun!!

Lead photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash