Cleveland Engagement Photography at Cleveland Museum of Art by Juliana Kaderbek Photography, an award winning Cleveland Wedding Photographer
juliana kae

4 Tips for a Successful Photoshoot

We all felt it, right? Nervous and maybe even stressed before your upcoming shoot. Whether it’s your engagement photos, family photos, or even your wedding day, you’ve probably dreaded that moment you had to be in front of the camera. I get it. There is nothing natural about having someone follow you around taking photos. The second that lens comes up we feel self conscious, not to mention, what do we even do with our hands?! Great news friend, you don’t have to feel this way!

Let me ease your nerves and help prepare you, so that when you go into your next photoshoot you go in confident and ready to have a good time! All it takes is a little knowledge and preparation. Here are my 4 tips to make your next session a success!

Tip #1: Focus On Your Partner

That’s right, I’m fully giving you permission to ignore your photographer. Here’s the thing, the less you focus on the fact that someone is photographing you, and the more you think about how much you love the person you’re looking at, the better your photos will be, I promise! Doing this will naturally loosen you up and make you more relaxed. Look into each others eyes, and let your surroundings melt away. Be goofy, quirky, and intimate, however you naturally act together, don’t be afraid to be yourself. Think of how you are when you both are on a date. I’m guessing not stressed right? Do this and not only will your photos be more real and less posed, but you’ll have more fun because you’ve basically just turned your session into a cuddle fest. 

Tip #2: Don’t Undervalue the Importance of Hair and Makeup

Take this one with a grain of salt. I’m not telling you to doll yourself up to look like Barbie if that’s not your style. What I am saying, is that no matter what your personal vibe may be, a little bit of thought into your hair and makeup will go a long way in photos. Makeup smooths out your skin and enhances your natural features, while your hairstyle is a great way to express your style creatively. Here’s an idea: make a fun day out of getting your hair and makeup professionally done before your next shoot, and show up feeling like a rockstar. You won’t regret it.

Tip #3: Plan Your Outfits Ahead of Time

Always plan out your outfits in advance. The clothing choices you make are extremely important because they determine the look and feel for your photos.

The best way to pull your look together is to coordinate your outfits. You may do this through selecting a color palette or using pattern as a way to find those colors.  (One word of warning: small, tight patterns, like very narrow stripes, aren’t the best for photos.) A great way to add depth and interest to your photos is to add layers and accessories. They can also turn a decent outfit into a stunning one! Besides adding interest, accessories are also a great way to bring your personal sense of style into your photos.

Sometimes photos are a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity so it’s ok to pull out all the stops for your portraits. Why waste it on an outfit you wore to the grocery store last weekend? I love the idea of choosing a dream dress from Rent the Runway for your session. The most important suggestion I can offer is this: Be yourself, but be the best version of yourself. Elevate your outfits beyond the everyday so that you’ll have photos that you’ll want to show off for years to come! 

These are some nice guidelines to follow, but for more outfit inspiration I created a Pinterest Board to help show which styles, colors, and patterns go well together. And who knows, you might spot an outfit idea that would be perfect for your next shoot! 

Tip # 4: Choose a Photographer You Trust

This is a big one. Because in order to get those natural candid photos, you need to trust the one giving you direction. The difference between a good photo verses an amazing photo often has nothing to do with you as the subject, and has everything to do with how your photographer deals with light and directing. So choose a photographer whose work you admire and trust wholeheartedly to capture your love story in the best way possible!

There you have it friends! I hope these tips help ease your anxiety about being in front of the camera. With some preparation and wise choices, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to overcome that camera shyness. Now next time you have a photoshoot, you’ll be confident to go out and rock it, Tyra Banks style!





juliana kae

Behind the lens


I love preserving timeless moments from your most intimate day by composing images that evoke feelings of the moment through rich and timeless imagery.