Transcript: How to Plan Your First (or Next) Photoshoot

September 13, 2019


Click here to download the PDF version of the transcript. 

AMY PORTERFIELD: Well, hey, there. Welcome back to another episode of the Online Marketing Made Easy podcast. I'm your host Amy Porterfield, and I am thrilled that you've tuned in today because we've got to talk about something important. Today my goal is to convince you to book a photoshoot. Not only that, but I'm also going to make sure you know exactly how to plan, organize, and execute a photoshoot so that you feel really good with the results 

And you may be thinking, “Amy, why in the world would I do that to myself? Why do I need a photoshoot?” Well, I'm so glad you asked. Here's the deal. If you have an online presence, no matter if you're a life coach, a dog trainera yoga instructor, or maybe you teach online-marketing strategies like I do, having professional, branded, and lifestyle photos can massively up-level your business, especially when you know when and where to use them. You know how important a first impression is, so how you show up online is going to directly affect your bottom line. With really good lifestyle photography, the image tells a story, and your ideal audience is going to be drawn to you in a way that you just can't accomplish with the run-of-the-mill photos or generic stock images that are impersonal. So, you've got to be showing your face in these images.  

Now, I use stock images and a lot of the slide decks that I have out there—I use them on sales pages in webinars—they have their place. Shout out to Social Curator because those are my favorite stock images. I will link to them in the show notes, So, I need really good images to supplement the content that I'm putting out online. However, nothing will take the place of an image of you. Nothing. And that's why I think this episode is so important: people need to see your face.  

Now, this is coming from a girl who doesn't like photos taken of her, or at least I didn't in the past—not that I'm ever going to love it, but now I'm not so much against it like I was. And it's coming from a girl that doesn't like her photo all over a sales page or all throughout a webinar. So if I'm telling you this is important, then you know I don't take this lightly, right? So, hopefully, you can put your trust in me with this episode, knowing Amy's not going to steer me wrong.  

So, here's the thing. You're not only going to use these photos from your photoshoot for your social mediawhich is a great way to use them, by the waybut you'll also use them for webinars and sales pages, your website, ads, articles, headshots for speaking gigs or when you're a guest on somebody else's platform. The list goes on and on. When you know how to plan and organize a photoshoot, you’ll not only end up with a bunch of amazing images to use, but you'll end up saving time and money because you won't constantly be on the hunt for an image for a sales page and you're not sure what to do, or you won't be posting just a bunch of selfie-taking images on your sales page or in your webinar.  

Now, there's a time and place for that selfie image, and we'll talk about those candid, casual images over a photoshoot image. I'm sure I'll get into that when I start getting into the bulk of what I want to teach you today. However, you need a photoshoot. You need some professional photos. 

Now, I'm guessing right now you might be thinking a few different things. Number one, you might be saying, “Sounds great, Amy, but I don't have the money to do a photoshoot. Valid comment, but don't worry; I've got a plan for you, and you don't even need any money. All right?  

Number two, you might be thinking, I wouldn't have a clue how to go about doing a photoshoot. Like, what do I wear? What types of photos do I need? How often do I need to do a photoshoot?” So all these questions might be circling around in your head. And I've got you covered on all of those as well. Wait until I tell you about the free mini project plan that I created specifically for this episode. You're going to print it out, and you're going to use it before your first or next photoshoot. You're going to love it.  

And finally, you may be thinking what I was thinking before I had my first photoshoot, “I hate having my photo taken.” Can I get an amen? Any of you, just say it out loud. Amen, right? You might be thinking, “I'm so awkward.” Uh, yeah, so am I. Join the club. And you might be thinking, “It'll be a big waste of money because all the photos are going to be terrible because I'm like a statue the minute the camera is pointed my way. Well, first of all, I feel you, because I was saying these exact words even just last year. And I'm not kidding: I was such a nervous wreck that Chloe brought two little airplane-size hard liquor. I forget what it was, and I literally did two shots on my first photoshoot. Now, I'm not a big drinker, for the record. No judgment if you are. But those two shots got me right into that kind of loose, feeling good—like, the second that I could start to feel the alcohol a little, Chloe starts laughing and she’s like, “I could tell that the alcohol’s kicking in,” because I started to, do a little dance a little, and my smile was a little bit more natural.  

Now, listen. I’m doing this episode so you don’t need to take two shots for your next photoshoot. That’s not the plan. But I did want to share that embarrassing moment with you to tell you, my first photoshoot, I was so awkward that I needed a little liquid courage to loosen me up. Now that does not happen. For the record, that was just the first one. But if I had this project plan that I'm going to give you that you get to download and get it for free, and if I had this episode that maybe somebody else made for me, I would have been more prepared for my first photoshoot. So basically, I'm just taking the alcohol out of the equation because you're going to show up feeling good right from the get-go. You can thank me later.  

Believe me. Professional photos will help take your online business to the next level. And to help make the process organized and streamlined, I'm going to take the guesswork out of the planning, organization, and execution of your very first, or next, photoshoot. 

Okay, so before we get there, a quick listener shout out. This one is from Amanda Kopp, who wrote: 

“So much great information! I recently left the comfort of a 9 to 5 job, with no immediate plan for what's next. Scary, right? On top of that, I've recently been exploring the realms of what it takes to start a successful small business. After a girlfriend recommended Amy's podcast to me, I can honestly say I don't feel so scared anymore. I feel as though Amy has provided the tools I need to get started. Plus, with so many episodes, I know that I can go back and learn about lots of different business topics when I feel that I'm ready to focus on them. So glad I found this gem.” 

Well, Amanda, I’m so glad you have as well, and I’m most excited for what’s to come in your new business journey. I think today’s episode might be a good one for you because as you’re figuring everything out, you’re going to need some photos, my friend. Thank you so much for listening and for taking the time to write that review. 

One more thing before we jump into today's mini training all about photoshoots. Today's episode is brought to you by Gravy. Now, if you have a subscription-model business or offer payment plans like I do for my online courses, you've got to listen up. One of my biggest frustrations was lost money due to failed payment plans. In fact, I used to keep me up at night. I would worry about all the people that were on a payment plan, because if they didn't finish that payment plan, I was screwed. So that's when I decided I needed to do something about it, because I hated the worry. So I started to work with Gravy, and I promise you, I never worry about payment plans anymore. Gravy sets up a system inside of your business, where they contact your customers within hours of their failed payments, and they capture updated billing information and save the customer.  

Now, one of my other fears was, I thought, Am I really going to let an outside company come into my business and communicate with my students?” especially because the topic of failed payments is a sensitive one. However, I took the leap and I'm so glad I did, because Gravy is like an extension of Team Porterfield. When they reach out to people, when they talk to people, they act as though they are part of my business, and they do it with compassion. So it has been so seamless.  

On average, our failed-payment recovery rate increased from 33 percent, when we were trying to do it internally, to over 80 percent collecting on failed payments. That's a whole lot of saved payments. So if your revenue is currently at $250,000 or more and you know you're losing money due to failed payment plans each month, I want to encourage you to check out Gravy. The cool thing is Gravy is waiving the setup fee for all of my listeners, so go to 

All right, so let’s go ahead and dive in and talk about your photoshoot. 

Okay, as I promised, we’re going to get into all of the details and the planning and organizing and executing your photoshoot, but you didn't think I wasn't going to talk about lack of confidence and feeling awkward, rightWe've got to start at the top. And this is an important topic. It's all about you showing up for yourself even when it's way out of your comfort zone.  

So let me tell you a little trick that I've done throughout the last year. I have made it my mission to find myself online. And what I mean by that is that I'm a bigger girl. I definitely have got the curves, and I make sure that the social media I'm looking at and the people I follow online, I make sure I can see myself in them, meaning that I don't only look at super-skinny models and then say, I can't measure up to that,” or I don't look at only the airbrushed photos of women and think, I'm never going to measure up. I actually look for the marketing and the branding of different businesses that I love that highlight diversity and different shapes and different sizes of women and the not the norm. And that has helped me immensely. So if you feel less-than in terms of how you look, you've got to be very careful with what you're looking at online, because you might just have a really warped sense of what's out there 

Now, if you feel like you're overweight like I did, you can do whatever you want to get healthier. But right now, right this minute, you are worthy of a photoshoot. No matter what you look like, no matter the size, no matter what the scale says, no matter if your clothes fit or not, you are worthy of a photoshoot. And you are way, way, way harder on yourself than anyone is going to be in your audience. They love you already. So they’re going to respect you even more if you just show up as you are.  

This is something that I have learned very slowly, and so I’m not saying I’m the expert here, but it is something that I pay close attention to, so I just wanted to put that out there right now. So if you needed to hear this, right now, just as you are, you are good enough, you are ready for a photoshoot, you deserve good things, you deserve a thriving business, you deserve to walk with your head held high, and, yes, you deserve to do a kickass photoshoot. And so, let’s make it happen. 

Let’s start with some pre-photoshoot planning. The first thing I want you to do is to start an inspiration collection. So this means that every time you see photos that you love that would be a good fit for your personality and your brand, save them to a Pinterest board or an album on your phone or even a Google Doc; it doesn't matter. If you come across a photo or someone on social media that you really like the lighting of their photo or a pose that they're doing that looks natural or you see a pretty outfit or a piece of jewelry or a cool location that you love, add all of these things to your inspiration collection. Anytime, anywhere, add them. Just dump it all into one central place. This is the best way to start the planning process because it'll get you inspired and a little bit excited, and you'll come up with some great ideas for what you hope to achieve with your own photoshoots. I definitely do this. So this is also a very worthwhile exercise because you're going to share your inspiration collection with your photographer so they can see what you like as well. They're going to ask, “Show me what you like. You'll be ready.  

So before you move on to your next pre-photoshoot step as part of your inspiration collection, I want you to put together a fun music playlist for the day of the shoot. So just start it now. Go on Spotify, or wherever you do your playlist, and call it Kickass Photoshoot, or something around those lines. And I want you to just start adding some of your favorite songs to this list because you will play it when you do a photoshoot. And if you’re a little bit nervous to do that with your photographer and you don’t want to dance around—I’m not a big dancer around kind of girl during a photoshoot—maybe you just play it while you’re driving to your photoshoot or while you’re getting ready. You know music is medicine, so it's going to help you get into the right mood that you want to get into. 

Okay, next up, you’re going to find a photographer. The key here is to find a photographer that you like their work and that you feel good to work with. Now, that might mean that you have to have a quick conversation with them or maybe someone could recommend a photographer to you, but you definitely want to have a connection with them because if you're in their presence and they just make you feel awkward because they're just not your vibe, that's not going to work. So you want to do a little research here, for sure.  

So how do you find a photographer? First, I'd start by asking for recommendations from your peers—people in maybe some Facebook groups that you're in, maybe some of your friends that are in the online space that you're in; ask in my Online Marketing Made Easy Facebook group. So I've got a podcast Facebook group. I’ll link to it in the show notes here. You can ask anyone in there. I'm sure you'll get some good recommendations. But of course it comes down to your location, right? So you want to find somebody in your local area. 

Also, on Facebook and Instagram, you can search by hashtag, and so you could do a search for #San Diego brand photographer, or #Portland photographer, or #NYC personal brand photographer. Try a few different ones, depending on your local area, of course, and see what comes up with that. Now, here's what I typically do. I look at the photos of my peers who live in my area because I live in Carlsbad, outside of San Diego, so I've got a lot of friends that are in the onlinemarketing world, which might not be the case for you, but I do have a lot of friends, so I'll look at their photos and say, Who did you use?” So I definitely did that.  

I was in a mastermind, and a lot of my friends recommended a photographer, and so I went with that. And that was another really great way to find a photographer, being in a mastermind and getting recommendations. So my favorite way is to ask people 

And I use Kat Harris as my photographer. Now, here’s the deal. I will link to Kat in my show notes. However, she is definitely moving into the digital-course world—imagine that—and a whole different sector other than photography. She helps Christian women with dating, and so she's moving into a different place. She's had a great success with her own digital courses in that new area, but I'm still going to link to her so you can just see her because I know I'm going to be asked, Who do you use?” 

I also use another woman that I love. Her name is Alexa, and Alexa does some of my social-media shoots as well. So I will link to Alexa as well so that—Alexa Sorensen—so that you can check her out because I just know I’m going to be asked, so it will be in the show notes. So I use both Kat and Alexa, and I love both of those ladies. And at the same time, there are tons of photographers out there. So just know you've got lots of options. 

Now, if money is tight or you just love a good bargain—who doesn't, right?—there are lots of budding photographers that are in college or just getting started who are not going to charge a huge amount that will break the bank. So, you could also barter for the photography session. So if you have something of value to offer somebody else, you can do a swap. So you could do this totally for free. Get creative, get resourceful. I'm telling you, there's a lot of options out there. But do your research, compile a list of photographers you'd like to reach out to, but before you reach out to them, here’s the next thing I want you to do. 

I want you to put together a photoshoot inquiry communication that you can email to your list of photographers so that you can get a price quote. Here’s something I did not know anything about before I started doing my photoshoots that I think you might find really valuable. Okay, so, here’s what I recommend you include in an email to a photographer. And, again, I’m including all of this and a mini project plan, Download it to get these details. You don’t need to take notes right now. I’m going to run through this list quickly, but it’s all in the PDF that I provided for you for this episode, okay? 

Really quick. You’re going to include the minimum number of final photos you want. Now, you might say, I don't know how many photos I want.” Maybe just start out with fifty photos and see what they say about that, and if they're like, “Whoa, that's way more than I typically do. I typically will send you thirty,” then you can talk about it, but just start somewhere.  

The number of outfit changes you'd like. Typically, I'll do four to six outfit changes, that way I've got a bunch of different looks. My photoshoots usually take two to three hours if they're big ones. Or if I'm doing it just for social media, if I'm doing short ones, like once a month I'll do a social-media shoot with Alexa, those are typically an hour, an hour and a half, I’ll still go through four to six outfits. 

Also, the location, or locations, that you prefer. If you're interested in using more than one location, you need to ask if there are extra fees if you guys drive to a coffee shop and want to do a lifestyle shoot or anything like that. But you want to plan this out. The simplest photoshoots I do are at my house. So I think a good photographer can always find a few different nooks in your house, with natural lighting, ideally, that you could do some photoshoots. So natural lighting is a great idea. 

A side note: when you do find the photographer you want to work with, ask them, what is the ideal time of day to do the photoshoot? I think the last one I did with Kat, she was saying somewhere around four o'clock, three or four in the afternoon was going to be a really good time for the natural-light photoshoot I was doing. I was in a location where there's a bunch of windows.  

Now, let's talk really quickly about location. So there are different places called Peerspace in San Diego—P-E-E-R-S-P-A-C-E—where you could literally rent out a location, a space, that is meant for photoshoots, photoshoots and video shoots. So there's, like, little vignettes, like maybe a couch in one area, with maybe a plant or some pillows, and then there's another little area where it's a kitchenette and some mugs and a cool refrigerator behind you that might be retro or something like that. And then another area, they've got a desk where the natural lighting is coming in. So they're literally set up for photoshoots 

And in San Diego, they're not too expensive—a few hundred dollars—to rent them for a few hours. And I've done many photoshoots at Peerspace, and I've also done them at my house to save a whole lot of money. So you've got some options with the locations. You might not have Peerspace in your area, but look for some locations that rent out just for photoshoots. They’re becoming more and more popular. 

Okay, so, also, you’re going to ask whether you own the photos outright and if you're able to use them without giving credit. If not and the photographer’s going to use them themselves, or they require some kind of photo credit when you use them, make sure you're okay with those terms, and if not, you need to set the terms up in advance that you do feel good with. I personally don't want to credit the photographer every single time I post a photo, but I definitely will give a shout out to my photographers, like I've done here. So I just want to do what feels a little bit more natural, so I’ve worked that out in advance. 

Ask how quickly they’ll deliver the final photos to you and how many will be included with that final delivery. 

Ask if they do any touch-ups. So we don't do a lot of Photoshop with our photos. But I'll tell you right now, I've got this weird vein that runs in the middle of my forehead when I get nervous or overly hot or a little agitated, which I tend to get in photoshoots. I start to sweat, I start to feel awkward, and right away—we call her Velma—Velma the Vein makes an appearance within five or ten minutes of a photoshoot. And it’s ugly, let me tell you. There's nothing pretty about a big fat vein running through the middle of my head, but it's who I am.  

So, yes, it's who I am. Yes, it shows up in videos, and you can't do anything about it. But I'll tell you, I will lightly airbrush that out of photos. I don't want it there. But I'm not going to airbrush all my wrinkles and make myself look thinner or anything like that. You do what you want to do with yours. I think the more natural, the better, for sure, and a good photographer will choose good lighting and just make you look good naturally. So I don't need a lot of Photoshopping or airbrushing, but I like a little bit. And so, ask if that's included. And typically, my photographers will say, “Yeah, I'll take ten photos and lightly airbrush them for you, whatever you need.” And I’ll say, “Great. Get that vein out of there as fast as you can.” So, there you have it. 

Let's see here. I'm going through my list. Confirm that the photo resolution will be high and suitable for online and print materials, because if you work with a designer and they ask for images, you might want to ask your graphic designer, if you have a contractor that you've worked with, “What do you need? If I get photos, what resolution do you need for my sales page?” I've had that problem before where the photos I've gotten from a photographer haven't been high-enough res, and I couldn't use them. So do a little work in advance to find out what that looks like. 

And, also, ask how much they charge per hour versus per session and see if you could save some money if you do, let's say, a session of three hours and maybe get more photos than you expected, but then you don't have to do a photoshoot for longer than you anticipated. More time can go by until you need more photos.  

I also want to back up a little bit because I talked about using Kat and Alexa, and I want to explain to you how I use them differently. So, I've used Kat for many, many photoshoots, and I've used her before I ever met Alexa. So when I use Kat, one, she is much more expensive than most photographers I've worked withrightly so. She's amazing—and so I want to be really mindful of how I’m going to use Kat.  

And so with that, we usually use Kat when we have a new product coming out or we’re rebranding a product. So, let’s say for Digital Course Academy®️, she shot all the photos, knowing we went into that photoshoot knowing what I was going to use those photos for. We actually had a brand board already created from our graphic designer, something you likely won't have if you're just starting out, but because we had this brand board that we were using for DCA, we could show Kat the colors, we could show her the look and feel. So that's typically how we might work with Kat. And so we do those photoshoots maybe three to four times a year. 

And then with Alexa, if I'm on my game, we'll do it every month or every other month, where we're using those primarily for social media. So, I don't have a brand board to show her. I'm not exactly sure how I'm going to use all the photos, and my clothes are just different outfits I've picked out. They don't really go along with any product or anything like that. And Alexa is less expensive, which is good because I use her more often.  

And so, you'll get the groove with some different photographers, and you might want to use one photographer for one thing and a different photographer for a different project. And that's cool, too. You'll get into the swing of all of this. I didn't figure it out until I got into action and started using a photographer and then started learning some of this stuff. I’m just giving you the lay of the land in advance so that you'll know it even before you jump in. So you'll know a lot more than I did when I got started. Good? Okay. 

Once you put all those details together in an email, you can zip it off to different photographers and get quotes back from them. Again, I put all of this in a PDF, 

Once you find a photographer that you feel is a good match, it’s time to plan out the details for the day of the photoshoot. So you’re going to get clear on the location, the date, and time. Again, ask your photographer what time of day would be ideal. Go for natural lighting, if you can. That’s going to be the best, hands down. So try to do it in a place that has some windows so you can get some natural lighting. You’re going to select your outfits, you’re going to select your poses—we’ll talk about that—and any special props that you might want to use. We’ll talk about that as well.  

So, let’s break it all down, actually. Let’s talk about it. First of all, location, date, and time. So, you'll first want to decide where you're going to do your photoshoot. I already told you that the best place to do it, if you can, is at your house. You're going to feel the most comfortable. Your photographer, likely, is going to find a few different areas. If you've seen a lot of my photos, many of those are at my housein my office, in my backyard. So we just did photos in areas that we thought might look good. Some worked, some didn't.  

That's the thing. You're going to get tons of photos back that you're like, “Uh, no.” That's fine. I definitely do not love all the photos that Kat or Alexis send me. Definitely. But there's always some gems that I'm like, “Perfect. Let's use these.  

So start with your house, if you can. And I would love for you to do it at a time when everybody's out of the house. So, if you've got, let's say, a husband and a few kids and a dog, I'd love for you to do it when your husband and kids are not there, to allow you just to have a little calm; and also, if your dog’s going to be a nuisance, barking or not good around a bunch of people, let’s send the dog to the neighbor or something. So, give yourself that space to have a little calm, okay? Good? And then, other than that, find a different location, if that works for you.  

Also, if you want to do a multiple-location photoshoot, let's not do that on your first photoshoot. Let's just choose one location. We've definitely gone to a few different places. It's a pain in the butt. You've got to figure out where you're going to change your clothes. And in addition to that, literally, you're in the way of people that are trying to drink coffee in a coffee shop or people that are trying to just go about their day, and here you are, taking photos. You're kind of a pain to other people as well. So getting in the car, having everyone drive over there, whether it's your photographer or somebody that's helping you on your shoot or whatever it might be. So it’s great because you can get some awesome photos in different places, but it really is a lot of work, and you've got to time it all out. So let's just not do that on the first photoshoot. And then when you do, plan it and say, Okay, we're going to start here at this time. Then, we're going to go to this location at this time, and then, this location at this time. Just start simple. Good? Okay. 

So, next step is planning out the details for the day of your photoshoot. So that means you’re picking out your outfits in advance. Do not leave this for the morning of. I've done that, and it's caused a lot of stress. So what I'd love to see you do is, a few weeks in advance, start thinking about what you feel good in, what outfit might make you feel comfortable, and just look in your closet and see what you have. You do not need to buy a bunch of new clothes for your photoshoots. If you want to, go on with your bad self. Do whatever you feel good about, but make sure you do it in advance.  

So the very, very latest is, the night before, you make sure you try on everything, and we're talking shoes and jewelry and whatever it is. Just make sure you have every outfit picked out, and then, package it up however you want to. And if you are going to travel somewhere, put it in the car the night before. Just get it all done the night before. So you've got your bag of shoes and your clothes on a hanger, whatever. Put it in the car. If you're doing it at home, just lay it out—outfit one, two, three, and four; and you’re done. 

Now, when Alexa comes over for the social-media photoshoots, I’m typically in the same pair of jeans. I’m typically barefoot, most of the time, and I just change out my shirts. So, I don’t get too complicated with the outfits. I try to keep it as simple as possible.  

And listen, if you're not the best for picking out outfits, because I'm not, ask a stylish friend. I will take pictures of myself in outfits and send them to my friends and say, “Do you think this would look good in a photoshoot?” And because they're brutally honest, they'll say, “Uh, no.” Or they'll say, “Love it,” or they'll say, “Yes, but if you did this or that it would look better. So call in some reinforcements if you need to. Not a bad idea.  

Okay, next step, we've got to choose the poses. Now, I know. You're like, “Amy, you're off your rocker now, if I'm going to be choosing and practicing poses in advance.” But you are. You are going to be doing that, believe me. You're going to thank me for this one. I did not do this on my first one, and oh my gosh, I wish I had a video of how awkward this first photoshoot with Kat was. She was such a trooper. When it's a good photographer, they’ll make you feel good even when you look crazy because you're trying to do a natural pose that looks anything but natural.  

But here's the secret that I learned—two things. Number one, I looked in a magazine, and I found a few different poses of women in pictures that I liked, that they look natural, and I'm like, I could do that pose.” Nothing model-ish or extravagant, let's get serious here.  

So, if you look at my pictures closely, you'll see a certain pose I do all the time that I have to stop doing so much. I can't even explain it, but it's like I cross one arm in front of the other; one is hanging down straight. Anyway, it's the one I feel most comfortable in. I found that pose in a magazine. And then, what Kat told me to do is to practice it. So I literally practiced this pose in a full-length mirror a few times a day and just got comfortable putting my body in that pose and relaxing in it. I know! I sound crazy, but this helps immensely.  

So here's what I want you to do. Choose two poses in a magazine and practice them. And then, cut them out. I literally gave Kat a magazine cutout and said, “This is the pose I’m trying to do.” And then she looked at it. She’s like, “Okay, cool. Okay, do it,” and then she’d kind of readjust me. And so she helped me with the pose even though I had practiced it. So, I’m telling you, it works like a charm.  

And then, finally, for the preplanning of your photoshoot, if you want to have any props in the photos, like a journal or books or your laptopthat's a popular one for lifestyle photosor a whiteboard or anything like that, just make sure that you have them ready in advance, just like your outfits. The more you plan, the less likely you have to be nervous the day of, or scattered. If you're feeling scattered and trying to put all this together the day of, you won't show up as your best self. So any props that you want, let's just get them figured out in advance. If you need to run to Target to get a few props, do that in advance as well. Good? Okay 

And before we move on to the day of your photoshoot, I know I'm giving you a lot. This is all the stuff I wish somebody would have told me before I did my first photoshoot. So I'm giving you a lot, but that's why I put it into a little cheat sheet. Go grab it. 

Okay, so, we’ve made it to the day of your photoshoot. It’s game on. So it's time to get gussied up, get that playlist going so you're feeling good, and take a bunch of photos 

Now, when it comes to the ladies, let's talk about hair and makeup. Either do it yourself and feel good about that, or you could have somebody do it for you. You guys know me and the hair situation. I will definitely get a blow out. And I typically have somebody do my makeup. Now, I don't like a lot of makeup, and I feel really uncomfortable when I'm fully made up. And when I feel really uncomfortable, I don't come across as my best self.  

So there's two things you could do here. If you want to get your makeup done, I would do a test run, and that might cost you a little bit to do a test run, but it could cause a lot less stress the day of. And when you find a makeup artist or a hairstylist that you love, you can keep going back to the same person. I have two different makeup artists I like, and I tell them both, “Please, please, please go light on everything. And also, I just like it to look really natural.” And I might even rip something out of a magazine and say, “This is the kind of look I like.” And if I look in the mirror and it's too much, I'll say, I cannot do this. We need to pare it back.”  

I remember I was at a live event, and somebody did my makeup, and it was just too much, and I had to be honest. Like, I can't go on stage and feel my best when I have way too much makeup on. We got to take some of this off.” So you speak up. If you don't like something, speak up because it will show in your photos if you're upset or uncomfortable about how you look, the makeup or the hair. So, just, you micromanage the heck out of that, and hopefully, you could choose somebody that you've worked with in the past. 

And then from there, let’s say you’re doing the photoshoot at your house, you’re going to get dressed. The photographer usually will show up maybe twenty, thirty minutes before you’re going to get started so they can kind of scout out the location and make some decisions. They’ll likely tell you, “This would be a good place to do some photos and maybe try this.”  

So let them, also, be experts, and say, “I’d love for you to give me some suggestions where you think this might look good. Here’s the look I’m going for. What do you suggest?” So I definitely use my photographers as my guides, and I trust what they have to say. They're going to have the eye on the best look. They'll be able to see it before I would ever be able to see it. So I micromanage up until the point of the photographers there, they know what I like, now I’m going to let them do their magic. And I think that tends to work really well. 

Now, if you’re a natural ham, you probably didn’t need any of these suggestions. But if you’re not, you’re probably listening to every word, like, “Okay, I can do that. I can do that. That’s going to be awkward. I’ll try that.” And so for all of my nervous Nellies, like me, for a photoshoot, the first fifteen minutes are going to be so awkward. They still are for me. So you just go into it like, “Okay, this is awkward,” and then you start, in the beginning, you just do some really cheesy smiles, and your photographer knows that these are the awkward photos. I think they’re just ready for awkwardness until you kind of ease into it. So, just have fun, make a joke of it, it’s totally okay. They know that most people feel awkward in the beginning. 

And I promise you, it gets easier and easier. It's funny because I don't even love doing photoshoots, still don't love them. However, I don't mind them. And so the last photoshoot we did, Chloe was there and she's like, “Jeez, you've got these poses down.” And I said, “Well, now we're on to, like, our fourth photoshoot. This definitely gets easier.  

That reminds me. So, Chloe typically shows up to a lot of my photoshoots, and two reasons why. Number one, I'm very close to Chloe. She makes me feel very, very comfortable, and she knows what I like and what I don't like. She knows fake smile. She’s a very good friend as well as someone I work with. So she can be like, “Ah, that's a fake smile. Loosen up a little bit,” or “All right. Velma the Vein is out in full effect. Don't worry when you see it. We're just going to airbrush that out.” She's just there as a friend making me feel more comfortable. But in addition, she has a dual role. You might not have this role, but I'm just going to tell you. Chloe's my marketing director. So she, in the back of her mind, is thinking, I could really use a photo like this or like that.  

Like, if you're thinking about how you're going to use these photos, you might want a photo where there's a bunch of space to the left, and you are actually to the right of the photo so that maybe you want to put some text over the photo. You need to tell your photographer, “Hey, let me show you an example of a photo I might use in my own marketing,” and you can show them somebody else’s photo, but it’s so that you can use it in marketing purposes. And so where they position you in the photo, it matters.  

And so that’s why one of the things on the list that I’m going to give you is kind of to figure out how you’re going to use these photos and where you’re going to use them, and then show some examples to your photographer of how you want them to frame the photos. That part's important. If you are in the middle of every single photo your photographer takes, you won't be able to use those in different ways that you might have envisioned yourself using them. But when I bring Chloe, she knows how she wants to use the photo, so I'm extra lucky, and she'll actually speak to Kat or Alexa, and she'll say, “Can you do a photo where Amy is positioned like this, because I have an idea of how I might want to use this. Typically, if you're new in your business, you have nobody telling the photographer that. That's okay. You'll learn as you go. You just work with what you've got. But that is one thing that's really helpful when Chloe comes to the shoots. 

Okay, so, let’s wrap this up. Your photoshoot is done. So, you did all the preplanning. You showed up like a boss. You were awkward, but you got through it. Let's just be realistic, right? You got through it.  

So now you're going to wait for your photos. When you get your photos back, if you liked the experience with that photographer, if they made you feel comfortable, and you like the photos, stick with that one photographer. Book your next session. Maybe it's three months from now, but get it on the calendar so you know when it's coming up and you lock that person in, because finding a good photographer, someone you've worked with in the past and you enjoy it, that is so golden. That is such a great experience. So that's why I keep going back to the same photographers that I use because it makes it a whole lot easier. And they also know what we did last time and how we can change it up for this next time. So, if you find someone you love, stick with them. If you didn't love the person, be honest with yourself. If it was you just being hard on yourself or you really didn't like the photographer, then find somebody new the next time. But book your next session, whether it be for social media—so it might be in a month or two—or maybe it’s for a big project you have coming up, so look in advance and say, “Oh, I’m going to launch something in September. Maybe I’ll do a photoshoot in June or July.” Do it early so you have the photos in advance. 

So, once a month is ideal if you are doing social media and you just want to have some photos, new photos, every single month. If that feels like too much, do once a quarter. My weight-loss coach, Corinne, she does once a quarter for social media, and she'll just do tons and tons of different looks, outfits, locations, all of that. But she says, Amy, just once every quarter, that's so much more manageable. So do whatever works best for you. 

One last tip: keep your photos organized on Dropbox or whatever you use to store all your assets. So what I do is that when a photographer sends over my photos, I put them in Dropbox, and I label them by the date of the photoshoot. So I have one photography folder in Dropbox. And then from there, they'll be labeled, like, January 2020. So I've got that photoshoot in Dropbox. And then from there, I'll put all the photos that she sent me in one folder, and then I'll label it, like, “All Photos.” And then I’ll have one that says “Needs to be Edited,” and I might put the ten photos of that vein showing in the “Needs to be Edited so I can send those to Kat and say, “Can you do a light airbrush on the forehead, please?” And then I'll have another full folder that says “No,” or “Hell No,” and I'll put all the photos I don't like in that folder. That way, I can delete them, but first, let’s just get organized and just be clear with myself what I don’t like, so I don’t have to keep going back to those photos, and then I can choose the ones that I like in the folders that are remaining. So, do it however you want, but store them appropriately, somewhere where you can go back to them. 

And then because I have a bigger team now—we’re growing the team. We’ve got, like, twelve people that might want to pull photos—I always have a folder that says “Approved by Amy” for each photoshoot folder. So those have been airbrushed if needed, or not—many of my photos are not airbrushed—but I've got the final folder is “Approved by Amy so they know, you can use any of these photos in this folder. So if you do have a few different people on your team pulling photos, you might want to do that so you don't see a photo show up on a sales page that you're mortified by, because you're the only one that's going to hate it. Everyone else is going to be like, “It's great,” but you're not going to love it. So if it's a no, you've got to put it in the no folder. And if you're okay with your team pulling from certain photos, put it in a folder that they know it's game and they don't have to ask you every time they want to use a photo. Believe me, I’ve learned the hard way with that one. So it really, really helps. And you know I’m obsessed with getting organized. So I love a good Dropbox organization. 

And I love a good cheat sheet, so for the final time, Pretty much everything I just went over, in a checklist, is inside a special PDF I created just for this episode. Go to the show notes. You’ll see a place where you can sign up to get the cheat sheet. I think you’re going to love it.  

All right, let's wrap things up. Okay, two things before I sign off. Number one, coming up next week, if you're a content creator, which you are, then you know that creating weekly content week in and week out is a lot of work. Do you ever think, I put my blood, sweat, and tears into this podcast episode,” or blog post or video, and then you put it out there, and that's it? It can feel like a one-and-done-type deal. It seems like it deserves a little more fanfare, right? Believe me, I've had many episodes like I want everybody in the whole world to hear it because it took so much work to create. Well, we do have one solution that will get you more traction for all that hard work. Next week I'm going to share ten ways to repurpose one single piece of content. We're talking about repurposing. I'll show you how to leverage what you create so it works as hard for you as you did in creating it. The more mileage you get out of just one piece of content, the more chances you have to create raving fans and customers and the less time you are working on content. Hallelujah and amen. So just keep it in mind. Next week, coming your way, how to repurpose one piece of content. 

Okay, before I let you go, remember that our sponsor this week is Gravy, my very own 24/7 engagement team who contacts my customers within hours of their failed payment, captures updated billing information, and saves the customers that I have worked so hard to acquire. So if you have a subscription-model business or if you offer payment plans, you’ve got to check out Gravy. When you go to that page, you’ll see that there’s an option to get a free consultation with them. You just got to talk to them and see if your business is right for what they do in terms of capturing failed payments and making sure that everything on the back end is running smoothly so that you do not lose money with your membership site or your payment plans.  

Okay, guys, thanks again for tuning in. Here’s to the best photoshoot ever. You are enough, you are worthy, you deserve a photoshoot, and I cannot wait to see your beautiful face online. Thanks so much for tuning in. I’ll see you here, same time, same place next week. Bye for now. 

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