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16 Ways to Help Your Brand Shoot Clients Feel Calm on Camera

You know that stepping in front of the camera is uncomfortable for many of your clients. So, if you're working with someone struggling to battle their nerves, try having them use these anxiety-reducing methods in the week leading up to their Personal Brand Photoshoot. Don't let cameraphobia stop your clients from showing up to represent their brand!

It's not every day most people step in front of the camera. And if they're not used to it, it's completely normal to have butterflies or perhaps a bit of pesky anxiety. Your job as a photographer is to validate your client's nerves and apprehension while reminding them that you are there for them and they will be ok.

A little support and encouragement can go a long way to helping your clients relax. It can seem scary to many to have their photo taken but it's ESSENTIAL in getting their business seen and attracting more clients.

Everyone has a different comfort level, and that's ok. But that shouldn't keep our clients from showing up to build their dream business.

As a personal brand photographer, you understand how much trust is built when a business owner puts themselves in front of the camera. The key is to educate your clients on the importance of what they are doing and do what you can to help them feel comfortable.

I've found a few great methods to battle those feelings of camera anxiety. Read on for tips and tricks to give your clients so they are ready to slay their shoot. And let's be real, you know that you'll get better images for your portfolio if your clients are enjoying themselves.



1. Play with Scents

Is there a better smell than incense and essential oils? Lavender and eucalyptus get me every time. Suggest your clients keep an eye (nose) out for a fragrance that dissolves tension and transports them to their happy place. Think spa-like zen. There are some that are best inhaled and others that can even be applied to the skin (likely diluted with a carrier oil). This can be a quick, easy, and effective method to tell those nerves who's boss. If oils or incense are an important part of their routine or brand, consider including shots that show those details in their personal brand shoot - it makes for great content and can set the mood for the rest of the shoot with smells that make everyone feel good!

2. Meditate

There are a number of different types of meditation that could serve your clients well when it comes to calming anxious feelings. I use a mix of mindfulness and transcendental meditation to take control of my thoughts and calm me down when my anxiety kicks up. If your client needs guidance with meditation, suggest that they have a browse through their app marketplace. They are sure to find some amazing ones to help get them started. You could even consider creating a playlist for them if you have the time.

3. Breath Deeply

The internet is FILLED with different types of breathing techniques to fight stress and ease the mind. These are great in that they require nothing more than participation and focus.

4. Get Cozy

Have you ever heard of Hygge? According to wikipedia, "'s a Danish and Norwegian word for a mood of coziness and comfortable conviviality with feelings of wellness and contentment." Recommend that your clients create a space that brings comfort to help free their minds from unhealthy and unhelpful feelings. Encourage them to surround themselves with these comforts whenever the butterflies visit, and consider including some of the same elements in the scenes they set up for their shoot (super easy to do when they rent an airbnb for the shoot).

5. Try some CBD

This substance, derived from nature, has been proven to reduce anxiety. It can also help calm nerves, reduce menstrual symptoms, and improve sleep. And we all know that sleeping well helps with just about everything else in our lives! A few drops should do the trick, but if your client is new to CBD, suggest that they give a few days between their first try and their photoshoot.

6. Get Some Fresh Air

Most business owners spend a lot of time inside in front of a laptop. The indoors can get quite stuffy, and fresh air can do wonders! Have your client get in the habit of popping open a window or heading outside for a brisk walk to clear their headspace with some deep breaths. Extra points if they can enjoy some beautiful nature while they're at it! Encourage them to identify the root of the feelings and see if they can reframe them into excitement for what's to come after they get their photos back - new clients, a fresh look, more funnels, pride in their content, etc.

7. Enjoy some Herbal Tea

Sometimes a cuppa tea is all you need to slow things down and enjoy. Sipping on a delicious warm bevvy can turn your client's attention to their tastebuds and away from any anxiety they may feel. Decaffeinated teas like ginger or peppermint are known to help calm nerves.


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8. Get some Rest

I'm sure you can agree that a great night's sleep can do absolute wonders for your energy, wellbeing, and mental state. The same is true for your clients. Encourage them to give themselves plenty of rest in the lead up to their shoot. They will not only look more rested and have a clearer head but will feel better overall! And isn't that a beautiful goal?

9. Stay Hydrated

Okay, I'll admit that I'm not totally sure that drinking lots of water will actually help calm your nerves, but I do know that it helps our brains run smoother and keeps our mouths from going dry. So, I think it's safe to assume that staying hydrated would have a huge impact on lowering anxiety... Either way, best to drink lots of water anyway for all the other health benefits, right? This tip (as with all of them) is for you, too! It's easy to get dehydrated as photographers, so drink up!

10. Speak Kindly to your Inner Child

Have your client picture themself as a little youngin'. Tell them to remember how sensitive they could be. Then, when they start to feel butterflies creep in thinking about their brand photoshoot, have them talk to their adult self as calmly and reassuringly as they would talk to their child self. Have them encourage, compliment, and reassure themselves that there's nothing to fear. Maybe even introduce some child-like play into their photoshoot to really embody that love and patience.

11. Open Communication

Whatever your clients are feeling regarding their photoshoots is valid. The nerves, excitement, overwhelm, all of it. Be sure to give them the support they need, whether it's culling through their ideas to help create their shot list or a little extra encouragement to help boost their confidence on camera. Ultimately a brand photographer's goal is to help get their clients seen so they can grow their dream businesses. If anything gets in the way of that, we're not fulfilling anyone's goals. So encourage your clients to keep you in the loop with their feels so you can make their shoot an incredible experience and give them a great ROI.

12. Include Hobbies in the Shoot

Doing something that we love can be a wonderful distraction from the butterflies that new situations give us. This is where you can work with your client to incorporate a hobby into their shoot. This can not only calm down those anxious feelings but can also give them joy and excitement (that will look natural and authentic on camera). Plus, showing their life outside of the business allows them to connect with others who like the same things. Talk about building a community and attracting ideal clients!

13. Prep an Empowering Playlist

Music can make all the difference. Imagine watching an epic film without a score... Great music provides feels, energy, confidence, comfort, and embodiment! Help your client get in the groove and out of their head with a playlist that brings them to life or calms their nerves--Something that makes them feel GOOD.

I recommend having a playlist premade (along with your bluetooth speaker), as well as encouraging them to make one of their own.

14. Write it Out

If your client has a lot on their mind regarding their branding photoshoot, suggest they pop open their journal and write it out. Have them try stream of conciousness writing to get all their feelings on paper and work to reframe any negative ones by crossing them out and replacing them with encouragement. You can suggest they try writing it as a letter to their inner child or draft some affirmations and tell themselves all the good that will come from increasing their visibility with new images. Even if journaling isn't normally their go-to practice, they may find it helps them feel more confident, prepared, and empowered.

15. Crystals

These gorgeous gifts from nature not only look great but can also help reduce anxiety. My friend in business, Gem from the Mindful Business Coach, wrote up a lovely guest post that features 3 Crystals to Ease Photoshoot Anxiety.

16. Dive into the Planning

I find that if I don't have a plan, I can feel my anxiety levels rise. All of my branding photoshoots include a planning session and write-up. Remind your clients that investing energy into the planning will help them feel more prepared, which will likely put the butterflies to rest. As they are building out the day's structure, have them think of locations that not only match their brand and values but also bring them peace and joy. Consider places that don't have a ton of foot traffic if they don't want an audience, and have them prep outfits that make them feel gorgeous, powerful, free, and magnetic.

There you have it!

Remember that all of these tips work for photographers, too, so take care of you so you can take care of your clients!


Please note, these are tips based solely on my experience and

do not take the place of professional medical advice.



Hi I'm Kayleigh - colorful brand photographer & lover of green tea, travel, & all things plant-based

I live in NW England but I grew up in Seattle and traveled for YEARS, shooting everything I saw in the 100+ countries I visited - deserts, icebergs, cliffs, fjords, you name it! 


Then I strarted photographing people, which quickly turned into a passion. I used to feel super nervous and timid in front of the camera but have worked through it and now I get an absolute kick out of helping other compassionate entrepreneurs around the world show up boldly, authentically, and CONFIDENTLY in order to connect with their people and grow their businesses.

I can’t wait to help you feel good, save time, and capture photos you can't wait to share!


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