Photoshoot clarity + planning


Play and have fun!

You will get better every time you try.

Trust your intuition and let magic happen!

A Playful Approach to Creating Photography Magic

Memorable, iconic photographs are often created through play, experimentation, and intuition.

You can plan, or you can “freestyle” and play-- or a combination of both!


1. LET YOURSELF BE INSPIRED-- by anything, your writing, your message, your inspiration images, nature, a location, or a beautiful unexpected experience!

What would be exciting?
What would be fun to try?

Use both movement and stillness (meditative moment) to help you tap into your intuition and be present.

Meditative Moment
Take a meditative moment: you can reflect, and have a moment of gratitude, or a moment to remember your intention or mantra for the shoot. You can pause and close your eyes at any point to recenter yourself.

Movement can also help you to feel centered and present, and create magic!
Playful movements and body language that you enjoy help you go into a creative flow.  
You can play music to tap into emotions and energy you would like to feel and express in your photos. 

When photographing movement, it can help to take photos quickly such as a “burst” (usually done by holding down a button on a phone or burst mode on a camera) or you can keep clicking your camera button or your remote. The speed can help you to let go, stop overthinking, and have fun in the moment. 

This is awesome!
I love this because _____

Create a Judgment Free Zone.

Most photographers and influencers take many images to try different ideas and options. They will take hundreds or thousands of different photograph ideas just to get one to post or use as a magazine cover, etc. 

You may be surprised - in a good way- what happens if you let your creativity run wild.
We are lucky to live in the age of digital photos where we can easily and quickly take many images and experiment. Let yourself experiment and go beyond what you know or have done before in a photo. 


What do I really feel like I want to do right now?
What do I really want to express right now?
What would be fun or healing for me right now?
Try what feels good. Then try something else that feels good.
Try something new: “What if I try this? Or this? Or this?”
What do you feel or see that you could play with?
Try a new point of view or angle! Move your body and your camera.

Let yourself play and feel inspired!
Let your creative genius sparks fly and ignite. 
This will help you break through to a deeper part of yourself and your magic.

If negative thoughts, doubt, resistance, or fear arise:

Questions to ask yourself:
What are my thoughts or feelings about this?
Are they true?
Are they mine or did they come from someone else?
Did they come from my current self or a past (or inner child) self?
Do I still want to feel this way or believe these thoughts?
Or is there another thought I would like to believe that will help me do what I want to do? 

Planning Photoshoots


I recommend to try different locations.
Even within one location, you can try different angles and perspectives.

You can just show up at a location or you can create a photo plan in advance.
When you arrive at a location, see which spots you love and are attracted to. 

You can just dive in and take photos or you can take “scouting” or test photos from different angles, composing the shots as you would want to compose your photos. If you want to take your photo planning one step further, you can put these into a “scouting photo album” to see all of your options together, and decide what you want to do.

(You can do this location “scouting” either on the day of your shoot or beforehand. Location scouting means that you take or gather photos of locations you are interested in, or attracted to.)


You can pay attention to what is your favorite time of day, and the light then. You can schedule shoots around what times of day you prefer or you can schedule strategically based on lighting.

Photography literally means drawing with light (from Greek photos "light" and graphe "drawing").

"Light makes photography. Embrace light. Admire it. Love it. But above all, know light. You will know the key to photography."

- George Eastman, Founder of Kodak

If outdoors, if it is sunny, usually golden hour (within 2 hours of sunrise or sunset) often provides flattering golden lighting.  If indoors, notice what times of days rooms have nice light. 

You can use apps such as PhotoPills to check when particular spots will have sun (such as sunrise or sunset lighting) or stars (for night photography). In PhotoPills, you can use Sun or Night AR (augmented reality- on bottom of screen) which will show you the sun and star locations at different times of day when you hold up your phone.

Outfits, Hair, Makeup

Pick outfits, hair, and makeup that you love and feel great in. 

Wear what feels good! 

You can plan your outfits with your location in mind, choosing colors that work with the environment of your shoot. 

You can also consider the colors of the place where the photos will live (website, social media, etc).

It is helpful to bring at least one change of clothes so you have options and variety in your portraits. Typically when I do portrait shoots with clients or on my own, we will have a bag or suitcase with different clothes, scarves, makeup, hair tools etc.

Please note that if you want full body shots: sometimes high contrast, bold patterns, stripes, logos, or textured / ribbed fabrics can be difficult to edit. 

Plan to start your photoshoot wearing outfit(s) that have a tendency to wrinkle (because it can be tricky to unwrinkle items when on location).

Bring extra outfits in a bag or garment bag. It can help to roll garments instead of folding to prevent wrinkles. For outdoor photoshoots, your bag might need to go on the ground. If you are concerned, bring a sheet, tarp, or trash bag to go underneath.  

Extra Photoshoot Prep

Here are some ideas to help you feel more comfortable and enjoy the process. These are not necessary, so please do those that resonate with you.

Create a photoshoot playlist of songs that help you feel good and embody your vision, message, and attitude. You can play this before or during the shoot.

Here are some things you can bring if you like:

  • Hand sanitizer*, wipes, napkins if you want to clean yourself, shoes, props, etc.

  • Hair tools or makeup to touch up. If you want a particular hairstyle, it is helpful to bring whatever you need for your hair, such as hairspray, anti humidity hair products, mini hairdryer, curling iron, etc.

  • Mirror (handheld or full body) or use camera mode on iPhone/ iPad/ tablet 

  • Sunscreen*, sunglasses, or a hat if it is sunny

  • Bug repellent*

  • Drinks* or food / snacks. If food is messy, you can bring a toothbrush.

* Be sure liquids are sealed in leakproof container or bag (ziploc etc)

If there is a person who would help you feel better during your shoot, invite them or Facetime them. This is not necessary and most clients do not do this. Please only bring someone who sees you in your best light, enjoys photoshoots, and has patience for the process (i.e. is not in a rush). It is ideal if they are inclined to assist by helping you carry things, styling your looks, or providing helpful encouragement and tips (such as helping you pose, relax, smile, or laugh). 

Shoot day

Your goal is to feel good and relaxed. Please allow yourself ample time to get ready and do preparations in the days before. On shoot day, set aside calming time to do rituals that you love and enjoy, so you can feel your best. 

Practical Considerations
Check the weather.
Bring anything you think might help, such as inspiration images and shot list.

Get in the mood
Do whatever helps you feel good and get in the mood such as food, music, scents! It is helpful to eat before so you have energy.

Relax and enjoy the process! 

If you feel good, it will come across in your photos.


At the end of the shoot, you can pick your favorite images. You can do more detailed editing including brightening, color correction, and addressing details such as blemishes, hairs, wrinkles. You can use an editing app on your phone, or industry standard Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop which are sold as a “Photography Plan” bundle for $9.99 per month, and can be purchased month to month (

It is often helpful to plan time to do this during or soon after the shoot, so you can be sure you have what you need. 

I recommend to upload your favorite images to an online album or hard drive (such as a USB flash drive or larger hard drive) so you have backup storage.

If you plan to use a pro camera and take RAW images, the unedited RAW files are large so it is best to transfer onto a storage drive since online uploads can be time intensive.