Do’s and Don’t’s of a Photo Shoot

Last June 25, 2016, I got the chance to shoot with Mr. Denys Jan Lee of 1225 studios, and it was an absolute blast. It was my first photo shoot in a long time so I was really excited but also a bit nervous. Unlike my past shoots, I didn’t have as much time to prepare for this shoot since it was scheduled on such short notice. Nevertheless, I still tried my best to be ready for the day of my shoot.

Here’s a few do’s and don’t’s to make the best out of photo shoots:

Do Prepare. Don’t Cram.

Prepare your clothes and make up. Try on your clothes before the actual shoot so you’re sure that you are happy in what you’re wearing. This is important because if you don’t feel like you look your best on the day of the shoot, it could really bring your confidence and your performance down. Try out your make up too this way on the day of the shoot, you know what you’re doing and you’re sure you look your best.
Prepare your poses and get to know your angles. A really good trick is to practice in front of a mirror or with your phone camera. This way, you get to see what looks awkward and what doesn’t. It also helps you feel more confident when doing the poses during the actual shoot.
Prepare by getting to know the place you’re shooting at if it’s possible. This way you can make sure that you’ll be comfortable in the clothes and shoes you’ll be wearing. If you’re shooting outdoors, make sure to scout where you want to shoot so as to save time on the actual day looking for possible places.
Prepare all your things the night before and make sure to get a good night’s sleep. This way, you’ll wake up nice and refreshed and you won’t have to go around looking for this or that in the morning.

For this shoot, my photographer suggested UP Diliman. Since that’s where I am currently studying, I was down to shoot there. I mentally prepared myself and tried to think of all the places in UP that we could shoot at.I practiced posing in front of the mirror, which is actually something I do a lot. I practiced posing in the clothes to make sure that I could move freely in the clothes. Since I wanted an edgier look, I decided to go with a black cropped top, distressed jeans, sneakers, a choker, and a red jacket for that pop of color. For my second look, I went for an edgy with a touch of sophistication to achieve that urban type of shoot. I kept the colors toned down with this one with a black long-sleeved, off shoulder, cropped top, high waist denim shorts and heels.

Do Relax. Don’t Panic and Force Yourself.

Sometimes things may not go the way you planned. The weather may not cooperate or some of your accessories may be missing, but the important thing is to relax. Otherwise, it will show in your shoot. Be comfortable with the photographer and the camera. Relax your body, so as to achieve a relaxed and natural pose. Don’t do a pose if it feels forced. If you feel awkward while posing, no matter how much you’ve practiced that pose, it will translate in the picture. So don’t forget to relax and rest for at least a few seconds after several shots. When a pose is held for too long, or when you’re smiling for too long, it starts to feel forced and this can be seen in the picture. When this happens, stop for a while and relax before resuming the shoot.

On the actual day of the shoot, a lot of things did not go my way. The choker I prepared the night before was missing, it started to rain, I was running late, and I had only 30 minutes until the shoot and I had not done my make up. However, I did not let these set backs phase me. I relaxed and remained calm, I decided that I still wanted to wear a choker to the shoot so I bought a ribbon from UP Diliman’s shopping center and tied that around my neck. I started doing my make up while I was in the car, thankfully I was used to doing this. I was even prepared to improvise and change the theme of the shoot so that we could use the rain to our advantage, but thankfully, the rain stopped when we were ready to begin. As I have not met the photographer before the actual day of the shoot, I made sure to talk to him and get to know him before the shoot so that we would be more comfortable with each other.

Do Believe In Yourself. Don’t Be Afraid

Don’t be afraid to ask questions or ask for suggestions from your photographer. After all, you both have the same goal in mind, which is to get the best shot.
Don’t be afraid to follow directions even if you’re not sure how it will end up looking.
If you have a certain shot in mind, don’t be afraid to suggest it and it try it out.
Don’t be afraid of going out of your comfort zone, but still make sure that you stay true to yourself.
Believe in yourself and feel confident. Be confident enough to take that extra step and go up that extra branch if you think it can get you the shot you want.


This style of shoot and clothes wasn’t something I did very often. My past shoots have had a touch of edginess in them before, but they were never the main focus. I’ve always wanted to try out an edgier look, along with a more urban style of shooting, but I was never sure if I would like the results. This time, I decided to throw caution to the wind and go ahead with it, while still making sure that I added certain aspects to make it more personal. Over the years, I have grown accustomed to the camera, so I am pretty comfortable in front of it. However, it still sometimes feels unnerving when the camera seems to be only a few inches from your face. Remember to not be afraid because the photographer only wants what is best for you. I still remember my first photo shoot, and let’s just say I was a lot less confident posing in front of a camera.

Do Enjoy. Don’t overstress your self.

At the end of the day, this is the most important thing. Even if you follow all the “rules” like, elongating your neck, putting space between your limbs, creating shapes with your body, and all that, it won’t matter if you’re no longer enjoying yourself. Modeling isn’t just about control over your body, but also control over your mind. If you are no longer having pleasant thoughts, it will start to show in the pictures. Stop overthinking everything and worrying about whether or not you’ll look good. Enjoying yourself is the best way to look confident and beautiful in a photo shoot.

I certainly enjoyed this shoot. It was the first time I worked with someone whom I’ve never met before. Now, I know what you’re thinking. How did I know it was safe, if it was a complete stranger who approached me? Well, I made sure to do my research first, and found that we had mutual friends. Also, I made sure I was familiar with the place and had someone with me. It was all for the best since Mr. Denys  ended up being a fantastic photographer. He made sure that I was comfortable and he looked like he was enjoying so that helped me relax and enjoy as well.

Check out some of his work here:



8 thoughts on “Do’s and Don’t’s of a Photo Shoot

  1. Hoshi says:

    You know what, while reading your post I realized na hindi ako sanay or I don’t often look at myself ( mirror and camera). Maybe it’s also the reason, I am not comfortable wearing make ups, to take photos of myself, and sometimes just socialize with everyone. Hindi naman siguro sobra that at least tumingin-tingin sa salamin and it’s not an automatic sign of vanity. I don’t know if I am interested in photo shoot na ako ang subject, but your pictures and content remind me of ” to be confident and beautiful, be calm and comfortable checking yourself”.

    Mabuhay! Maganda talaga mag-shoot sa UP Diliman. Sa akin pang photowalk naman 😉


    • mitzijonelle says:

      Maybe it’s time to start looking at yourself sa mirror at sabihin sa sarili na “I am beautiful”! It’s important to believe in yourself and be confident. I’m really happy na nakuha mo yung message na yun kasi yun talaga yung gusto kong iparating sa lahat 🙂


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