I have a confession - I always wondered why my clients got so stressed about planning their photoshoot in Lagos. Like - it's not a big deal! Then I had my own glam shoot and I quickly developed a lot more empathy for my clients. #lessonlearned
So let me start by saying that it is completely natural to feel anxious before a shoot and I promise you all the same questions run through every woman's minds - Will I look good? Will my outfits look good? Will I like the pictures?!? - and so on. So the first thing you need to do is pick a photographer whose work you love and you trust! When you pick the right photographer, you get this great synergy of telling her / him what you want but also give them room to create according to their vision and usually this is where the magic happens. #trustyourphotographer #thankmelater
I adore women and love photographing women of all shapes, shades and sizes and I recently realised that "every day" women hold a special place in my heart. These are women (usually mums too) like me who don't get glammed up on a daily basis but when we do, we want to look and feel AMAZING! I constantly feel like I don't have enough time for myself and one of the reasons I love my job so much is that I get to create beautiful portraits for "every day" women. I love watching my clients learn to channel their inner diva / goddess / model / whatever you want to call her and it's just so fulfilling to see the confidence boost that comes with their experience. #blessed #livingthedream
But the magic doesn't happen on its own and preparation is key to getting the results you want, which is why I always have a pre-shoot consultation with clients before their shoot to make sure we can create an experience they'll love. So here's what we discuss:
1) How do you want to be photographed?
Women tend to book photoshoots for a variety of reasons - birthdays, growing family, need pictures for social media or just because. But whatever the reason, it's important to think about HOW you would like to be portrayed in your shoot. The options are endless - glamorous, stylish, sexy, fine art, flirty, playful, mysterious, casual, professional etc. This is your opportunity to reconnect with parts of you you have lost touch with, so my advice - just go for it!
2) What am I going to wear?
Coco Chanel said "Dress shabbily and they remember the dress; dress impeccably and they remember the woman."
What you wear will depend on your personal style and the looks you've decided on (see item 1) and I'll go more into specific outfits in future posts. But this is the time to splurge a little and buy one (or maybe a couple) of new outfit(s), have something made, borrow from a friend with a fabulous wardrobe or dig into your wardrobe for those outfits you've never been brave enough to wear. Even if you are going casual, make sure you look more Oprah magazine and less like you are spending the day on the couch.
3) What am I going to do with my hair?
Now it goes without saying that Nigerian women are generally quite fabulous and constant chameleons - so the first decision tends to be: Weave, Wig or Natural Hair? You also need to decide if you would like to change your hair and / or hairstyle between looks or prefer a more consistent look throughout your shoot. With a talented hair stylist on hand to create whatever you need, the options are endless e.g. long, short, curly, braided, updo etc.
4) What makeup look do I like?
My advice for these shoots is to always look like the best version of you. I like to think your kids / grandkids will one day look at these pictures and recognise a face they love dearly. However we aim for the best version of you - think The Oscars red carpet and no lady escapes without a pair of luscious lashes. #eyesarethewindowtoyoursoul
Again there's a lot of versatility as eye and lip makeup can be changed to suit different looks and you can transition from a more natural face for the personal branding / casual photos to a more glamorous smokey eye for the grand finale.
5) What do I want to walk away with after the shoot?
I'm a big advocate of printed work be it prints, albums or wall art as nothing beats being able to hold your portrait in your hands - a gift you can share with family and pass down when the time comes.
I printed a couple of my portraits for the wall space by my stairway and I smile every time I walk by them because they serve as a permanent reminder that that I am beautiful even on the many days I don't quite feel it. Scrolling through tiny images on my phone while great for the 'gram are quickly forgotten about and don't quite give the same joy. So I'm a big believer that every woman should have a printed portrait of herself in her home - it does wonders for the soul. 🙂
So those are 5 of the most important decisions you need to make before your photoshoot - I hope they help you as you plan your next (or first ever) shoot. I always recommend giving yourself a couple of weeks to plan everything to avoid feeling stressed. If you aren't already, I would love for you to join me over on Instagram where I'll be sharing more photos and tips on getting the best out of your shoot.
If you have any questions about planning your shoot or you think you may be ready for your very own shoot soon - be sure to contact me right here, we'd love to hear from you.