Branding & Headshots

4 Ways to Calm Your Nerves Before a Headshot Session

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Many years ago, I had a successful professional book me for a headshot session in my studio. This man exudes confidence, and I assumed this shoot would be easy for him. As I heard his car pull into the driveway of my Brighton Michigan studio, I walked out to greet him.

To my surprise, he opened up his trunk, pulled out a can of beer and guzzled the entire can while I stood there, shocked! This successful, charismatic man was actually nervous for his headshot session!

While I don’t condone downing a beer right before your shoot, I’ve never forgotten that day, and it’s made me much more understanding about how vulnerable it can feel to be in front of a camera.

Modern Headshot of a woman in a turquoise blazer and cute glasses - Calm your nerves before a headshot session.

So how do you calm your nerves before a headshot session?

  • Take the time to prepare for your shoot. Plan your clothing choices, add in accessories, and for women, schedule hair and make up. I’ve photographed many people over the years, and there is a noticeable level of confidence when hair and/or make up is done. And by planning outfits that look good on you, you’ll be amazed how much more confident you’ll feel when it comes to your shoot.
  • Get to your headshot appointment 10 minutes early. I probably sound like your mom here. But there’s nothing more nerve-wracking than rushing around at the last minute to get to an important appointment. If you’re running late, you’re going to miss a turn, get caught by a train, or have something happen on your way that will increase your nervousness. If you’re too early, you can always sit in your car and relax for a few minutes.
  • Bring a friend for moral support! You might feel less nervous if you bring someone from your inner circle to your headshot session. I love to do headshot shoots for more than one person at a time! If you have a friend that also wants to update her headshot, consider booking both of you together. I can photograph you while she helps provide the emotional support you need to relax, and vice versa!
  • If you need that drink, bring it! There, I said it! Sometimes having a drink can psychologically take the edge off. [this does NOT apply to my high school senior clients!] I’m sure I’m not the only one that downed a drink before approaching that good looking dude back in college! Now, please don’t drink and drive, and I won’t be happy if you’re noticeably under the influence. But if having a few sips of a drink can help you, I’m all for that. Just bring enough for me! 🙂

Updating your headshot should be easy, but try telling your body that! I try to foster a relaxing yet fun environment in my Brighton studio. I help you come to the studio prepared and we devote plenty of time to making your experience a positive [and low stress] one. But if you’re like most adults, you’re not a fan of being in front of the camera. Use these four tips for calming your nerves before a headshot session help you rock your next headshot or branding shoot!

A collection of modern headshots with various backgrounds from Angela Brown Photography - calm your nerves before a headshot session

Consider a signature personal branding session instead of a headshot session! If you’re an entrepreneur that understands how important it is to grow your personal brand, check out this post.