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  • Sarah Parisi Dowlin

Ten tips for looking your best in photos (that have nothing to do with the photographer)

Updated: Nov 22, 2022

What would it take to get you to book the brand photoshoot you’ve been putting off? Get a headshot request from your new employer? When you lose weight … finally? Finding the right photographer for your brand? Or…knowing, without a doubt, that you will look AMAZING?

Personal stylist Melanie Lippman asked these questions to her LinkedIn audience and the responses mirrored what I hear from my own clients -- not one of whom has ever been 100% confident about stepping in front of the camera. And as a mama of two littles still fighting off some pesky pounds, I get it. So much of how you look in a photo can feel out of your control. Will your photographer find the good light? (Yes, obviously.) Will she pose you right? (Absolutely.) Will she take the time to fix your flyaway hair? (Yes, to this, too. But hear me when I say this: A successful shoot is not about having the perfect light, the perfect pose, or the perfect hair. What's MOST important is your ENERGY!

Feeling energetic, optimistic, and aligned with your purpose is far more impactful in creating images you love than anything the photographer actually does (or doesn’t do).

And while this may sound like I’m letting myself off the hook, this is actually good news! It means that you don’t have to leave the results up to the magic of pixels (or photoshop). You can be proactive about giving yourself the time and space needed to bring your best self to the photo shoot. So, take a deep breath and know that you’ve got this. I believe in what you are creating and how you are serving. For an extra dose of confidence read through my top ten top favorite tips for feeling (and, ultimately, looking) amazing on camera.

  1. Organize, organize, organize. I put this first because it’s THAT important! Don’t wait until the last minute to get your wardrobe, props, etc. all packed and together. The more organized you are, the less stress you’ll experience in the weeks and days leading up to the shoot.

  2. Block off your calendar. As soon as you have your photoshoot scheduled, block off your calendar to preserve the time you need to show up fully prepared and fully rested. Bonus points if you block out the day before, too. Pro tip: dust off that that handy OOO email so you can ditch the inbox and truly focus during our time together.

  3. Prioritize your wardrobe. The outfits you wear are SO important for flattering your body and helping you feel good on camera. Did you know subscription boxes like Rent the Runway, Nuuly & Trunk Club are tax-deductible (if you are wearing the items for brand photoshoot purposes)?! Order ahead of time in case you need to exchange for different sizes.

  4. Create a confident-boosting playlist. Spend 10 minutes creating a playlist of your favorite energizing tunes that help you connect with your purpose. Be sure to share it with me on your photoshoot day so we can play it to help you get in your zone.

  5. Hydrate and nourish. Good hydration and nourishment leading up to your photoshoot day is key to looking radiant on camera! Stock up on those eye-boosting carrots and those skin-repairing greens. While you’re at it, cut out alcohol the week before your photoshoot to reduce bloating in the face.

  6. Splurge on beauty. Investing in professional makeup and a fresh haircut can go such a long way in helping you feel your best on shoot day. Pro tip: don’t forget about your nails. We’ll be including your hands in several shots, so make sure to give them a little extra love as well.

  7. Bring a business bestie. I cannot emphasize enough how much having a bestie on board throughout the shoot can bring out the best in you. Whether this is a spouse, a colleague, or someone you just “let loose” with having someone that you enjoy being around can help calm your nerves and bring a lightness to your eyes. Bonus if they moonlight as a comedian and can easily make you laugh.

  8. Energize your routine. Keep note of what brings you ENERGY and what depletes your energy. In the days leading up to your shoot, focus on energy-boosting activities. Go to that favorite yoga workout. Host a dance party with your kids. Take a walk at your favorite park. And heck, if eating ice cream brings you energy, then eat the ice cream.

  9. Start with your “Why.” Still feeling a bit unsure about being in front of the camera? Turn inward to focus on your “why” to motivate you through the vulnerability. Consider reading your “why” statement out loud together with your photographer at the start of the shoot (psst: this really is a game changer).

  10. Retrain your self-talk. It’s natural to look at a photo of ourselves and focus on what we DON’T LOVE. Instead, retrain your brain to focus on what you do love about yourself every time you see a photo of your reflection the mirror. Maybe you love your hair today, your glowing skin, or your smile. Be loving and kind to yourself. Confidence isn't built from perfection; it’s about embracing your unique beauty and honoring yourself just as you are today.


Curious as to when you might be ready for a brand photoshoot? This article lets you know when brand photography is a good investment for your biz.

This post was originally shared as part of our Brand Photography 101 email series.

Parisi Images captures candid, stock-like brand photography for individual and team-based professional service firms, giving you the confidence to show up and stand out online, validate your expertise, and increase your impact.

Ready to plan your next photoshoot? Schedule a Discovery Call here!


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