About a week ago, I had my first legit photoshoot for my brand, Versaheel. It felt surreal really! I didn’t know what I was doing half the time, considering I really don’t have any background on posing in a studio, or a strong experience in striking poses with a lot of people staring at you.
“Who is this girl? “Why is her hair orange?”
But I survived it! I mean them! I had a 2-day photoshoot, and they were magnificent!
I know, I started selling shoes way back 2009, with only a 2-megapixel camera phone and my too-tired set of feet from long hours of standing in nursing duties, I brave the traffic and sometimes rainy weather to go to the Marikina Market, and take photos of newly delivered shoes!
It felt like a real treat for me! I remember dreaming for hours to pass by until dismissal so I can quickly pack my bags and head home, and oh, make a not-so-quick stop from my kind suppliers! 😀
There were also times when I console myself by cheating a self-promised 30-minute Multiply (the social media giant that time, Facebook wasn’t popular yet) posting and selling just so my wits will wake up amidst studying for the finals. The 30 minutes usually turn to 3 hours. 😀
Fast forward to now, I have a studio, an outdoor venue, photographers, makeup artist, and a publicist! I could have never imagined these things when I was only 20 years old!
So if you’re a teenager, a 20-ish person, or someone who has a lot of dreams, never let those go! You’ll never know the world is actually watching you, and someday it will be ready to launch you.
I’m not a pro on this, but just in case this may come in handy, I’ll tell you things I learned on how to survive your first photoshoot.
Sleep early and arrive early.
This helps so much to ease away the appearance of the dark circles under your eyes. It’s also good to arrive early so that you can have a lot of time for your hair and makeup, consequently more time for the photoshoot itself!
More time could also mean more photos! It also buys you time for changing and retouch!
This is quite a problem, especially that I don’t fair well with the water department. If you’re not hydrated enough, your lips will be chappy! This doesn’t look nice, especially on headshots and closeups!
Know your angles.
I have quite a pudgy face, and I know my right cheek is extra plumpy than the other side. So I could say right sideways is my best angle! Practice in a mirror so that you would know!
Hey, don’t stress too much! No one is that perfect! Every picture-perfect model also knows how to look best on camera, and we should too!
Have a concept in mind.
What are you trying to highlight? Is it your hair, your makeup, your outfit, your shoes? Know the goal of this shoot so you could also prepare!
Most high-end shoots will probably take care of everything – the clothes, shoes, jewelry and other accessories. But while you have a say on how you will look, it’s better to be vigilant on the things you bring on the set.
For example, I am promoting my shoes, so I have to downplay my dress, by sticking to plains and basic colors, and let my shoes shine! You don’t want to distract your audience by looking at the other things in the photo you are not even meant to advertise!
Be nice to everybody.
I think this is such an obvious thing, but we’d like to keep a happy and nice environment, no matter how pressured you are. I mean if you need help with getting some BTS photos or some extra hand to zip your dress, and the people around are not compelled to even do these for you; you’ll get extra mileage and points by being nice and hopefully (and naturally) these people can extend a hand to do your little requests.
Close your eyes. Open them. Smile/Radiate the aura.
There are times when you are so tired already, your smile turns into a fake smile, worst a frown. The easy refresh button technique that I learned is to relax your mouth, close your eyes, and then pop! You will look natural again!
As what Tyra Banks also said, “SMIZE!” Smile with your eyes!
And it also helps to uplift your spirits, even if it has to be on your own! I mean you’re the model, you should do your job! 😀
And the best advice is to have fun, and just enjoy it!
It’s not everyday you don’t have to ask someone to take a photo of you and hopefully, they get the right frame and angle. I mean you’re dealing with professional photographers here, and it’s such a wonder to not instruct them on how you’d like the photo to turn out.
Plus, your next Instagram photo will not be a selfie! Yay!
I hope you learned a thing or two on this! I did too! And I am extremely grateful for all the people who have helped me make this photoshoot into a reality! These photos were released in an article about my story on how I started as a shoe designer. You can read that in The Story of a Dreamer : Via Galang.
As for this photoshoot, big applauses to these awesome people!
Hair and Make Up: Alvicel Cee of Alluring Vison by Cel
Studio: MeMo Photography Studio
Studio Photography: Evan Mogol Photography
Outdoor Photography: Elvie Manlulu of Rugged Pixie
Outdoor Photography: Tobi Cabrera of Funkadelic
Publicist: Blog Talk with MJ Racadio
Published Article Writer: Viva Alvaro-Galvez
And of course, my darling fiancé for being my driver that day, forever BTS photographer, sometimes my critic, and always my number one fan!