I remember when I was pretty new to my photography business, I would get SO nervous before my shoots. “Was I going to say something dumb!? Would I really deliver images they’d love? Would I actually take photos I was proud of this time? Would they all be in focus and useable!?” All of these thoughts clouded my mind before my shoots, and all I wanted was to be more confident.
The thoughts were so paralyzing, that I could barely focus on what I was doing at the moment. I wasn’t able to be truly present; out of fear that I wouldn’t be good enough, and that my images wouldn’t be good enough.
Chances are, you may be feeling this way too. And if you are, then stick with me, because we’re gonna rewire your mind and get you confident to show up and do WERK. 😎👇🏼
1. Take a deep breath, and pray before you meet your clients.
Seriously, it sounds so simple, but this really and truly helps you show up and be present – and it invites God into that space, to be strong when you’re weak. I usually pray something along these lines:
“Lord, help me to use my gift for a greater good today. Help me to shine your light into my client’s lives, and leave them better than I found them. Equip me with the tools to capture the exact moments that You want to be captured today. Help me to see them and capture them for who they really are – not what Instagram tells me I should make them look like. Be strong in me when I am weak, and comfort me when I’m feeling nervous. Help me to be strong, bold, and confident – because You are alive inside of me. You say that Greater is He who is in me, than he who is in the world – and I need you to allow me to fully experience that today, and for your power to be made perfect, and manifest in me. Thank you Lord. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
2. Remember that they don’t know what you do.
… and you don’t have to expect them to.
They don’t know WHY you’re placing them beside that bush. They don’t know WHY you’re asking them to do that prompt or to face that direction. And that’s okay! They don’t have to. YOU are the professional, even if you don’t feel like it yet. You’re the one in charge of making sure this sessions goes how it needs to.
All you need to do is break the ice at the beginning of the session by saying something like, “Okay, so I may ask you to do a few crazy things, and I just need you to trust me, because those are the things that make for incredible images. K? K.” I’m dead serious. This is what I do every time, and it works every time!
Sometimes, I’ll even add a crazy prompt in and make them do it, only to say, “I literally just wanted to see if you’d do that – I don’t actually need it.” 😂 (That always gives me some super genuine and funny reactions – be sure to get those!!)
3. Don’t be afraid to do what YOU need to.
… Regardless of how you think they’ll react.
Don’t be afraid to stretch the session longer to get what you need… or to move them to a completely different spot if it’s not working like you thought… or to change the posing up completely.
I know it’s hard to go back on what you originally said at the moment, but I AM TELLING YOU, IT IS WORTH IT. There are so many times I didn’t go out on a limb and ask my clients to do what I really wished – and then regretted it later because I knew that would’ve been “the shot.”
Here’s an example of a few times I DID do something that I really wanted, (and yes, it was uncomfortable at the moment,) but… you can see where it paid off. 🙌🏼
About 10 minutes before this shot, I had decided to leave the location – because we’d already been shooting way over time, and I had gotten the most out of the spot, (or so I’d thought.)
On the way out… I had happened to spot an area of plants out of the corner of my eye that I felt could potentially be an awesome foreground/background opportunity for a shot of them; especially if I shot it with my 135mm and created some intense depth in the shot. Therefore, even though it was uncomfortable, I decided to ask them to literally turn around and walk back and stand in these weird bushes. 😂
The results…? 👇🏼
Was it a weird request? Yep. But I remember leaving that session so pumped over those shots, and being more proud of them than of any of the others in that gallery.
If I wouldn’t have had the confidence to ask them to turn around and walk back to that spot, (as much of a TINY inconvenience that it was…) these shots wouldn’t even exist. 🤷🏻♀️
Another example? Yep, it happened again!
Here I am, yet again, wrapping up a photoshoot of my cousin and his wife, when I saw another cool plant. (What is it with me and these funky plants!?!?) 😂
This one was a little ways away to walk to as well, and we’d already shot for like ever. (Obviously, there’s a theme with me…) 🤔 But, I spotted this plant and asked them to go stand not just by it… but IN it. 😂
Did they think I was crazy? Probably. But turns out this is one of her FAV images from the shoot. 😍🌾👇🏼
So my point is, don’t be afraid to ask something extra, or slightly inconvenient, of your clients.
Your job is to deliver incredible images, and if you think there’s even a SLIGHT chance that you could take an awesome shot if they’d do a certain thing, do it. You’ll never regret asking… but you’ll regret not asking.
4. Invest in your education.
It’s both our dedication and our education, that truly make us bold in our craft.
Guys, I cannot stress how important this is. And no, I’m not just saying this because I mentor other photographers! If you could see how much I’ve spent to date on business mentoring, you’d stroke out. 😂 I kid you not. And I still do it!
It’s so important to be, and stay, teachable. If there is someone that’s where you want to be in your business, REACH OUT. Chances are they offer mentoring, and they would probably be honored to teach you. A lot of times we look at money as a resource we want to hoard and don’t want to spend, and feel like we need to hold onto. But you know what’s more valuable than money?
And you can save literally YEARS of it, just by trading a little money for education. (Which saves you not only time, but money in the long run, because education helps you to be more confident – therefore you get to start charging more for your work, and at a much faster rate.) Literally, you can’t not win here. I struggled to even mention this, because personally, I don’t like to sell – but dude… if I would’ve known this earlier, (that I could pay money to project myself years ahead into my calling,) you betcha I’d have done it the moment I decided I wanted to be a photographer. Just sayin’. 🤷🏻♀️
… How can you expect clients to invest in you, if you’re not willing to invest in yourself? 🤔
If you’re really struggling in your business, book a free clarity call with me, (no strings attached,) for me to help you pinpoint your biggest roadblocks.
Then, if you decide it’s a fit and you NEED us to work together stat, we can totally proceed with a mentorship and get this education party started! 🥂
I wholeheartedly believe that if you’re here and reading this page, it’s not by accident, girl. I’ve been praying for this years mentoring clients, and for God to truly equip me with the knowledge and resources, tailored just for you, to project you into your next season and help you to be more confident – because THIS is your year.
It’s time. No more excuses. Let’s do this, and rise up to who God has called us to be in both our lives and businesses. 🙌🏼
Wanna stick around and stay learnin’? I knew I liked ya. 😉
Feel free to binge on these blog posts, or pin ’em on Pinterest for later! 👇🏼
If you’re short on time, follow me on Pinterest – and you’ll get these kinda tips delivered straight to your feed! You know… when you’re scrollin’ through Pinterest with coffee in hand, ready to take on the day… or, procrastinate.
Whatevs. Pinterest biz sesh, anybody!? 😎🥂