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DIY Photoshoots (Yeah, you can do that)

Updated: Aug 26, 2022

Let’s talk a little about photo shoots. They’re typically a special event involving a photographer, a fancy camera, maybe some lighting tools, and often times props and backdrops or lush locations. And they also normally take a while to complete and cost a small fortune. But what if I told you you could do it yourself… for free? And that you don’t even need a fancy camera— unless you’re fancy and already have one that you just really wanna dust off. By all means, go ahead. It’s your photoshoot. In this little blog, I’m going to share the tips I’ve learned in the last couple years that have made my DIY photoshoots both successful and fun.

  1. Pick a spot.

I would say pick a location, but I’m saying ”spot” because it can literally be a small area in your house with a blank wall, or a beautiful enchanted forest full of elves. Just find the spot that fits the vibe you’re going for.

For this shoot, the sun was setting, so I ran outside in the backyard and found a spot with no distracting objects or debris.

2. Figure out your lighting. Depending on the spot you picked, you may or may not have some lighting options. The best lighting will always be natural lighting, as it’s typically the easiest for editing, it‘s free, and it‘s flattering. If you don’t have access to natural lighting (maybe it’s night time or your house is naturally kind of dark) don’t fret! Utilizing a ring light, flash light, Christmas lights, or even a lamp can still allow you to create magic.

By using the natural light to my advantage, I was able to get clear, flattering images without harsh fluorescent lighting.

3. Have fun! This might seem like silly advice, but oftentimes we take ourselves too seriously, and thus we can hurt the creative process by being too stuck in our thoughts. So loosen up! Turn on some music, or even just start by fake laughing. Sounds dumb? Try it, and you just might start laughing for real, which may help you get some really natural looking poses!

4. Try different poses and movements.

Are your photos looking stagnant and boring? Mix it up! Try a new pose, or a different angle. Move your camera around till you find the right spot for you. Play with props, if you have any, or even just use your body, hair, and clothes to create movement in your photos.

*Bonus tip: Try fake walking! Take a pretend step forward or backwards to create the illusion of movement in a photo. Keep your arms relaxed and mimic the movement of walking— but don’t be afraid to make it DRAMATIC.

Even if something you try doesn’t come out perfect, you might discover something you like in it and want to try again.

5. Record as a video.

If you’re like me and just have a phone to take photos on, and you feel like it’s sooooo hard to get a good shot using a timer, try this. Set your phone up, press record, and pose. Pose, pose, pose. Just try all the poses and movements and facial expressions and dance moves. And then go back through your video and screenshot all the things you like. And BOOM. Just like that, you have a gallery of photos to use AND a cute video you can utilize for content as well.

I learned this tip a few years ago from a style blogger/business owner Carmen Alexandra. link to her blog here:

Okay, last tip.

6. Never stop learning.

Your first photoshoot might be trash. That’s okay. Or it might be amazing, and then your next one might fall flat. That’s okay, too. Just keep taking things from each shoot that you like and want to do again, while also taking note of what doesn’t work well for you. And don‘t worry if what doesn’t work for you works for someone else. We’re all unique. Nothing in life is one size fits all. Just keep loving the person you're taking photos of more than you love the attention those photos get, and you’ll be okay. 😉😌

Hope this was helpful!


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