You are qualified.
So many photographers including myself talk about the anxiety they feel the days and moments leading up to a photoshoot. I used to struggle with this constantly for many different reasons. I would obsess over if the lighting was going to be okay, if I was going to say the right things, or if I would remember the poses I had in mind.
I decided I was done feeling like this. It was taking a toll on me and my mind. A few steps and I am a different photographer. I walk into a session confident, calm, and prepared. You can too, just follow these steps and I guarantee you will feel better!
Okay obviously this is a no brainer. Preparing is essential to feel confident walking into a photoshoot. But how do you prepare? Arriving 20 minutes early to scope out areas around the location helps me tremendously. I also like to learn about who I am photographing. Whats their personality, what do they enjoy, can they bring something significant to the shoot that would add personal touches to the photos? It helps me connect with the client before ever meeting them!
How you speak to yourself in any situation is so important. What we say and think about ourselves is vital to our confidence and others will either catch onto your confidence or lack thereof. Before every shoot I say a prayer, I thank God for the gift I get to be to people, and I ask God to help me with peace. To have peace when my brain wants to fog up and get nervous. I also tell myself over and over, "The client has seen my work and is choosing me because they want what I have to offer." If prayer isn't your thing, ask a friend or family member for some affirming words about yourself and your work, and read it before your shoot.
Being a natural posed and lifestyle photographer, my go-to is not to start posing people. For me, in a lot of scenarios it can be awkward and can kill a mood. But having helpful prompts written in my phone or on a notecard helps me to get things going. A prompt can be saying something like, "Show me the face you would make if you won the lottery", or "Look at the person who has the worst farts" (this is sure to get a laugh out of families :)) Prompts still allow for natural responses but help me to not feel pressured on the spot.
Have you ever done a 30 minute session and had 600 photos to go through at the end? Oh my gosh, this was me. I would shoot WAYYYYYY too many photos. Just trigger happy. lol. It was definitely related to my anxiety while shooting. Not only was it unnecessary, it made the culling and editing process take double the amount of time. I noticed in-between locations and prompts, creating some conversation between me and the clients helped with not only shooting less photos but them feeling more relaxed as well. Take a breathe and be yourself.
You can do this!
I encore you to follow these steps and let me know if it helped you! Remember: Prepare, Positive Thoughts, Pocket Prompts, and Slow Down. You can do this!