I’ve always hated having my picture taken, which is why you rarely see my full face on Instagram. It takes the right lighting, hair, makeup, and about a million shots just to get one decent photo. Obviously I need help.


Enter Vika Vine – a talented Toronto photographer who specializes in social media and personal branding photography. Vika and I had a fabulous time working together and the photos look spectacular. What you don’t see in the photos though, is the thought and planning that went into the shoot.


Whenever you hire a photographer for brand photos, social media photos or even personal photos, you definitely need a plan. When I prep for a photo shoot for myself or my clients, I automatically go through a mental list of questions and considerations.


I’ve broken down that mental process into what I like to call the 333 Approach. Feel free to use it for any upcoming photos you need to have taken of for jazzing up your IG feed.


1. First Things First


You need some photos taken and maybe even hired a photographer. So where do you begin? Here are some questions to ask yourself at the get go:


1) What’s the purpose of the shoot, your focus, goal or desired outcome?Make sure you’re crystal clear on this and keep it in mind when making all your decisions and during the shoot itself.


2) What do you want people to see or how do you want people to see you when they look at the photos? How do you want to be portrayed? Ensure that all your choices are in alignment with this.


3) What kind of photos do you need and how many? Do you need overalls, closeups, detail shots? How many different looks or outfits are required? If it’s for a website, where will they go on your site? If it’s for social media, what size will they need to be?



2. Choosing Your Outfit(s)


Once you’re clear on the overall requirements for the shoot, it’s time to choose your outfit(s). Here are some things to consider before you do:


1) First and foremost, the cuts and styles must suit your body shape and personal style. If you’re not sure, there’s a ton of info online or you can hire a Stylist to help you out.


2) If it’s a brand or social media shoot, what are your brand colours and how can you incorporate them in your outfit? If you’re wearing your brand colours, how do they look against your skin tone? If you want to wear them and they don’t suit you, wear them away from your face, on the lower half of your body. If it’s a personal shoot, you’ll definitely want to choose colours that suit your undertones.


3) Consider how your outfit(s) will look on camera – both full body and closeups. Are the clothes you chose flattering from multiple angles? If you’ve added some layers, do they keep the eye moving? Are there any details in your outfit or accessories that you could highlight? Careful not to wear anything too distracting in the effort of creating  interest.



3. Last But Not Least


A few final thoughts before the day of the shoot:


1) Wear something you love or feel comfortable in. You’ll look more confident and at ease than if you wear something uncomfortable, something you don’t like or even something that just isn’t you.


2) Show off your most flattering angles or the parts of your body you love. For example, I really like my shoulders, so an off-the-shoulder or shoulder baring top is a definite for me. Got great legs? Throw on a skirt. Love your hands? Make sure they’re prominently featured.


3) Don’t forget to factor in your hair and makeup– they’re equally as important, so make sure they’re done. Remember that bright lights will wash you out, so if you’re in front of any lighting, apply a little more makeup than you normally would.



Hope this helps! For more photos from my shoot with Vika Vine, Click Here to head over to Instagram where they’re scattered about. And if you need help with your brand or social media photos, check Vika out at vikavine.com. She won’t disappoint!