Unless you have done it numerous times it can be so stressful. Believe me I know. I had one recently done myself and the feeling of wanting to run was definitely there. Even those who do them often can feel anxious each time.
There are some ways that can help you on that day to make it go much smoother and it involves planning. I know planning...more planning. 'If I have to plan one more thing' I can hear you saying it. However, it will make it much easier. No planning equals not getting the pictures you actually will want and your day much longer than it has to be.
1. Ask yourself why you want the pictures done. I'm sure your thinking what do I mean but really we need to be asking ourselves this. What is the purpose and use of the images. Do you want to connect deeper with our audience? Do you want just a pretty picture of yourself? What story do you want to tell? Do you want to show what it would be like to work with you or behind the scenes? Do you want your images to help your audience to know and trust your which will convert to sales? All of this needs to be thought about.
2. How will your images be used. Where and how will you use them? Do you need an updated profile picture? A banner for your Facebook or web site? Images for your other social media outlets. Where and how will they be used is really important.
3. What outfits do you want to wear. Is this during the holiday seasons so you need a holiday theme with clothes fit the weather like fall colors or sweaters during the winter? A dress vs jeans can tell a different story. Do you want to add your branding color in your clothing theme somehow? If you are doing more than one theme during the session you can do multiple looks as well.
4. Hair and Make-up. I love this part. The fun part. Do you want the more natural look or more glam up. This really is a personal decision and based on how you want your audience to view you. Again, if doing multiple themes you can do both if your make-up artist is with you throughout the shoot. Definitely you do not wait for that to be the first day your work with your make-up artist. Just like for a wedding try them out before hand.
5. Location Location Location....do you want your shoot where you might do most of your work. A home office or coffee shop? The downtown streets in the nearest big city? A beach where you might spend some time relaxing. Maybe you like to go hiking. Remember a branding shoot is all about who you are and connecting with your audience.
6. Do you want anyone in the session with you? Family, pets, clients, or friends. Again, this is to reflect what your brand is so you can become relateable to those who don't already know you. Show them a bit about your life.
7. My personal favorite: connect with your photographer. Meet him or her in person, or through Zoom, if not local. You can get a feel for each other and on the day of the shoot it will help you feel more comfortable with the whole process. Depending on what you two plan your photographer can help you with the six previous steps as well if you want them to. Explain what you like or don't like about certain images of you so they can make note of that as well.
Most of all enjoy the day. Have fun. Laugh and take it light. With the proper planning that is possible. What your feeling will show through your photos so you don't want to be upset or annoyed.
I could have added more to this list but really this is the nuts and bolts of it. You can take these and have an an amazing session.