No I am serious there in nothing wrong with you. It's normal to be nervous right before a photo shoot. In fact, the newer you are to any situation the more nervous you will be because the unknown is scary and we all just want to be as perfect as we can. However, like everything else in life, if you practice, over time, nerves will ease. So, wether you are a new photographer or the person getting shots, here are 5 excellent tips to help you not be nervous in a photo shoot.
Meet Before The Shoot
I love to meet my clients before the photo shoot whenever possible. I am a people person that prefers to handle things one on one and not over the phone. Usually, if I have time, I ask to meet my clients to break the ice and get a good grasp on what type of person I am dealing with. Sometimes clients ask me to meet before I suggest it, which makes me realize they are equally as interested in our shoot as I am. To me, each person is unique and every situation is different even when it seems like the photographic process is the same.
There is a scene in the movie Philadelphia where Tom Hanks is dancing by himself and totally immersed in the world of Morzart's music and away from his problems. Music brings people to life and has a great way of taking us on a journey, calming us down and changing our mood. I ask my clients what music they like and prepare a play list for them just in case they forget or don't have any music during the session.
Carry a Photo of a Loved One
I have a photo of my kids in my wallet and on my phone which I frequently pull out before walking into various situations. My kids make me happy and being that I know that I do everything I possibly can for them, I use their image whenever possible to change my mood. So, when I see them smiling back at me I become more centered and focused on the task at hand which puts photographic things in the perfect perspective.
Being prepared for a photo shoot wether you are the photographer or the client is very important. Don't leave it up to the other to direct the entire shoot because you might find you didn't like all of their ideas. Make suggestions, scout out locations, look at coloring, clip out desirable images, make a shot list, ask questions, talk about the shoot and be prepared. In the end you will find that just being prepared can calm the nerves so that the creative shooting can open up into places you hadn't thought of before.
Just Say Eff It
Nervous? Who really cares in a week, month, year or decade from now? Sometimes you just need to say eff it and go balls to the wall and jump without fear of failure. Do your homework, know your process and be prepared. Then once you have done all of that... just say eff it. If you fail you fail and if you succeed you succeed but always try to master the process. I have found tons of success through my failures and even though it was never fun to fail, it was always exiting finding the success on the other side.
4/16/2012 04:03:08 pm
Even practicing with partner at home might help, no?
4/16/2012 11:40:04 pm
Assuming you have one yes. :)
4/17/2012 01:51:36 am
Just say Eff It! Sometimes that is the attitude it takes to do things out of your comfort zone.
4/17/2012 02:06:55 am
It's my favorite one.
4/17/2012 10:18:50 am
I will have to join the group of the 'eff it' approach. My second fav is the pictures of loved ones - what a great idea.
4/17/2012 11:51:21 am
The eff it approach works for more than we can imagine.
4/17/2012 02:46:10 pm
You're one scary looking dude. ;-)
4/17/2012 11:13:27 pm
Yes these tips span many different situations even interviewing. I used to use them for auditioning.
4/18/2012 04:11:59 am
Great tips. Like SB said, a dry run does help. I also find exercise helpful to ease my jitters. It releases some of the pent up energy.
4/18/2012 04:32:54 am
Speaking of energy I used to scream in a pillow or somewhere right before an audition to get out that extra BS going on inside.
4/18/2012 09:02:33 am
Great tips!! I definitely think practicing in the mirror beforehand helps : )
4/18/2012 09:41:18 am
Thank you. Yes it can.
4/18/2012 03:27:14 pm
The eff it approach seems to be a favorite.
4/18/2012 05:51:51 pm
Is that a self portrait Jai? Nice picture. :)
4/18/2012 11:34:58 pm
Thanks. It's my rendition of Psycho.
4/20/2012 07:46:34 am
That is cool. I look forward to it.
4/21/2012 11:33:11 pm
That's one crazy picture! Awesome tips too. These tips could work in many other challenging life situations as well, not just for photo shoots. Thanks!
4/21/2012 11:44:27 pm
You are so right. Good eye.
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