Avoiding the pitfalls of a photoshoot

By Warren Page, Pagepix

“I don’t like having my photo taken!” If I had been given a pound every time I have heard that, I would be long retired and living on a tropical Island.

Published in Suffolk Director Magazine, Winter 2021|22

Photography: Warren Page Pagepix

Although you’ve done what you can to dodge the bullet, the time has now come. The marketing people have told you that the existing shots they have of you, which were taken ten years ago, have gone well past their use by date and they need some more up to-date photos.

So, brace yourself and try to make the best of it; after all what could possibly go wrong?


1. Look in the mirror

It might sound vain but take the time for a quick trip to the ladies or gents and check how you look. Hair in place? Check. Tie straight? Check. Any buttons undone revealing more than they should? (It happens believe me) Check.

2. Bring a change of clothes

If you’re doing portrait shots which will be used over a longer period of time, it might be an idea to bring along a change of clothing; items like an alternative jacket, blouse, shirt, tie or jewelry that can be easily slipped on. That way you will end up with more options going forwards.

During the shoot:

1. Relax

Try and relax when facing the camera, make your body language approachable and friendly, not ram-rod straight and forbidding. For example, put your hands in your pockets and be as casual as you can in the circumstances. A good tip is to turn your body slightly away from the photographer, and then turn your head to look at the camera.

2. Stay still

Try not to fidget – a photographer does a far better job when they are not straining to retain focus on a moving subject.

3. Think about how the photo will look

Before the shot is taken, take a few moments to check that your jacket / necklace / tie is straight. That nothing is sticking out of your pockets such as masks or pens, and that all clothing labels are tucked in. Also, take advice from the photographer on the best place to stand to get the best background.

4. Be honest

If you’re nervous, tell the photographer, as a good one will do their best to put you at ease. Remember the photographer wants you / the person who has commissioned them to be happy with the final images produced so it is in their best interest to get your best side.

5. Gauge the mood

Should your job involve being in the limelight for more serious stories, then make sure some of the images have a more sombre mood and aren’t all smiles.

6. Be patient

Give the photographer a bit of time to work around you. In most instances they will have never met you before and will need a bit of time and space to get the best images for you. It’s in your best interest to show a bit of patience and not rush the photographer along. They will want to adjust the lighting to the best effect etc.     

If you want to preview the images, at least wait until the end of the shoot – don’t interrupt the natural flow of the work by demanding to see each image as it’s taken. Some photographers will be ok with showing you at the end, but most are cautious bearing in mind there is still work to do in post-production before the final images are ready to be presented to the client.

Warren Page is Founder of Pagepix and takes the front cover and lead interview photos for Norfolk Director and Suffolk Director magazines.
T: 07976 935738
E: warren@pagepix.co.uk or visit pagepix.co.uk

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