7 tips to make your first headshot or portrait photoshoot a success:

1.  IT TAKES TIME.  Rome wasn't built in a day.  First timers or those that might be self-conscious about a body part, their weight, makeup or similar need to know this:  A great photographer can make you great if you take a few minutes and work w them. A great photographer can find the appealing side of your portrait so invest some time in the shoot.  Put your personal hesitations on the back burner and work w them.  For first timers and newcomers, plan on at least 20 shots for YOU to get loose.  Shoots of over 100 shots are quite common.  It takes time.

2.  RELAX.  Great portraiture isn't about smiling like mom had you do as a kid.  Relax.  Breathe.  Slow down and be yourself.  The goal is to capture YOU----not a forced smile or pose.  Deep breathing and finding your center allows your photographer to capture your best features.  Relax.

3.  OBSERVE.  Watching someone in a photoshoot BEFORE YOUR photoshoot will teach you a ton of tricks----especially for the first timer.  Watch what they do and listen to how the photographer directs them.  Observing someone before your turn in front of the camera relaxes the first timer as well as decreases the nervousness of those who feel "I never take good  picture" or "I'm not photogenic".  A great photographer can bring out the best in a model.  Arrive early, observe, learn and you'll be a better model and get better results. 

4.  COUPLES OR GROUP PHOTOSHOOTS  I have found it best to shoot individuals FIRST then shoot them together.  Nerves and posing problems often occur early w the first time couple.  Shooting them individually FIRST gets you comfortable before your couples shoot.  You don't play golf without taking a few practice swings and it's the same with posing.  This is the hot ticket to preparing EACH PERSON FIRST before putting them together in a group.

5.  LISTEN  A pro knows how to steer you quickly to results.  An amateur photog does not.  Listen and work with me for premium results!

6.  WINE.  Personally I find that a cocktail or glass of wine loosens up adults.  How do I know this?  I host photo wine parties at my home studio all the time.  It works.  Have a drink if possible, relax and have fun.  Drink in moderation.  Too  much of a good thing makes eyes red and bloodshot. 

7.  HAVE FUN.  Photoshoots can be incredibly fun when you open up yourself both possibilities.  The difference in picture quality from a person who is comfortable vs. not are night and day.  Have fun and create great pics!