Preparing for your headshot photoshoot! "Relax!" (part 5 of 7)

Take a deep breathe in! Hold for a second. Now release your breathe slowly. Do this two more times in a nice gentle way. 

See wasn't that easy. Do you feel a little more relaxed? You do? Perfect, so do I! Today I want to talk briefly about how to relax before, during and even after a headshot photoshoot. As a headshot photographer I've seen the gambit of customers who are totally and fully calm, comfortable and relaxed in front of the camera. Then I've seen customers that are slightly shaking, showing signs of tension and have trouble concentrating. My goal is to get the latter to be like the former. Here are a few tips and tricks I've found to help. 


  1. First and foremost I talk to whomever is in front of the camera as if there were no camera. I find having a simple conversation distracts people from their photo anxiety. Plus it's a great way to get to know them better and it makes the shoot more fun for both of us. 
  2. Breath - If #1 doesn't work I'll try some of the following. Having someone take a long deep breath and hold for a brief moment, then slowly release. I'll have them do this a 3 or 4 times. This also works great for anything that might be stressing you out in life. 
  3. Often I like to get people to visualize what characteristic they want their viewers to see in them. Do they want to be confident, trustworthy, approachable, likable or any other characteristic they can think of. Once they know what they want I have them close their eyes and focus on what makes them feel like they are confident, trustworthy, approachable, likable etc. Once you take the focus off of them being in front of the camera and turn the focus on feeling their chosen characteristic, all anxiety or nervousness goes away. 
  4. In a rare case where someone still is not relaxed I pull out the big guns. TEQUILA!!! No, I'm only playing. Unless they are up for it. 

So just remember even though your headshot image itself is important to you and your brand, the act of getting your headshot taken is not a big deal at all and is nothing to worry about. Go into your headshot session with a great attitude knowing you will get the best headshot of your life and you will every time. 

If you have any tips or tricks that help you relax I would love to read them in the comments.