Art of the Angels

Spiritual Inspiration, Creative Design + Visual Transformation

Website + Design Services for Spiritual Entrepreneurs

Welcome Dearest Soul… to my little home on the web, where I create beautiful, intuitive websites + holistic brand designs for entrepreneurs who are ready to unfurl their wings, launch a soul based business, uplevel their income and step up + shine!

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Here’s a bit about what I do:

  • I specialise in designing websites + brands for emerging spiritual leaders + healers to help them attract, reach + serve more people.
  • I intuitively weave together magic, colour, energy + light to channel professional designs that bring my client’s visions to life.
  • I help my client’s to conceive, birth + launch successful holistic + heart based brands that reflect their unique soul essence.
  • I offer free advice, encouragement + guidance to those who feel unsure where to begin, or uncertain how to turn their vision into reality. Ask me!
  • I share my art, design + inspiration online, because love transforms …and I’m all for sharing da love!

Ready to take your business to the next level?

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‘Yes, show me how!’

Top 10 Tips To Prepare for Your First Business + Lifestyle Photoshoot

how-to-prepare-for-your-first-photoshoot-model-preparation

It can feel nerve wracking to book your first photoshoot if you’ve never experienced one before, but if you’re an entrepreneur, at some stage you will feel ready to commission professional photos to compliment your brand. Your photos are important because they will be some of the first images people view, when they land on your website. Since first impressions count in your business, I’m sharing my top 10 tips to help you get the most from planning your first business or lifestyle photoshoot.

If you’re interested in arranging a business, lifestyle or fantasy photoshoot for your holistic or spiritual business (or just for fun!), please click here to read more.

Now, onto my top 10 tips…

Tip 1 – Get Clear!

It’s important to keep in mind that the end goal is to promote your brand – who you are are what you do. When you’re clear on your energy and message, your website photos are more likely to shine forth with this clarity. Ask yourself these 3 key questions to help you get clear, before choosing your photographer:

  • samantha-winstanley-photo-stephanie-curwen-photographyWhat do you personally want to achieve from your photoshoot?
  • What would you like clients to feel about you, when they see your final photos?
  • What keywords would you use to describe your personal brand essence and style?

Once you are able to answer all 3 questions, you’ll be able to explain to your photographer exactly what you are hoping to achieve. Having this clarity gives both you and your photographer a much better chance of capturing the images you want.

You may also like to do some research beforehand using Google Images or Shuttershock.com typing ‘female lifestyle photoshoot’,  or similar terms in to the search bar. Browse through the results to see what kind of styles you like (and don’t like) then save your favourite photographic images to your desktop. You can then send these to your photographer to help them understand the kind of look and feel you are hoping to achieve during your own photoshoot.

 

business-lifestyle-photoshootTip 2 – Style Direction: Clothes & Outfits

It’s a good idea to take along a selection of different outfits  you can choose from and change into over the course of your photoshoot. That way,  you will get a nice, mixed variety of images to use across your brand, rather than seeing the same outfit appear again and again, in every single photo.

It’s also important to consider the colours, style, look and feel of your brand when choosing what clothes to wear during your photoshoot. People’s personal brand, often reflects the kind of looks they love anyway, and it this styling that should influence your own choice of outfits for the day.

If you feel very unsure about how to create the look you want, your photographer can arrange a Stylist to help you with your clothes, hair and makeup on the day. It is also useful to speak to your designer before your photoshoot for tips on style direction. This will help ensure your final photoshoot imagery compliments your brand and website.

If you don’t have a website yet and feel unsure about what your brand style will be – or perhaps you just feel unsure about wearing bright, bold colours during your photoshoot, stick with muted, neutral and natural tones, or even white (UNLESS you are indoors during a white studio setting – in which case you will need to wear bold colours to stand out against the pure white background). It’s also worth considering that very dark colours and black, although slimming – can sometimes look a little harsh – but again, it all comes down to your personal look and style preferences.

You will want to choose clothes that feel comfortable, and very ‘you’, yet at the same time, look professional. Choose outfits which make you feel fabulous, without going over the top. Simple, elegant and stylish usually works very well, but a little contemporary jewellery, or daring splashes of vibrant colour can actually add zest and a feeling of prosperity and abundance to your brand.

If for example, you want to be seen as a leader in the field of professional confidence/life coaching, you probably will not want to go for an ethereal, hippy look. You may instead want to step forth in bold, contemporary style and confidence during your photoshoot – because this is the message you will want to inspire in your followers. preparing-for-a-magical-fantasy-photoshootIf, however, your brand and personal style is all about magical fairies… feel free to go to town with floaty dresses, dreamy sparkles and flowers – because this is the image that will appeal to your followers.

You should aim to tailor the styling of your photoshoot to appeal to your followers and at the same time, what you choose to wear should remain true to your unique essence (as your unique essence usually IS your brand). Ultimately, you should feel both happy and comfortable in your choice of outfits for the day.

Your style should reflect the message and impression you wish to inspire your audience with, while still allowing your individual character to shine!

 

yoga-lifestyle-photoshootTip 3 – Your Uniqueness is Your Key

Depending on the nature of your business, it’s a good idea to also get some photos of you actually doing what you love to do! For example;

  • If your business is based around a yoga lifestyle - consider setting up some images of you doing yoga poses, drinking herbal tea or having some of your yoga lifestyle elements show up in the background of your setting.
  • If you are a confidence or happiness coach – consider some shots of you jumping for joy, laughing and coaching people to be happy. Bring the same zest and energy of your vocation, to your photoshoot.
  • If you teach about organic living and natural, holistic lifestyles – you may like to include outdoor nature shots with trees, flowers, plants and healthy green smoothies.
  • If you teach meditation – you might like to achieve calm, prayful, meditative shots, with candles, incense and flowers.
  • If you create art – consider shots of you at work painting and creating in a colourful studio setting.

You can of course include a combination of all the elements that reflect who you are and what you do – both in your business and leisure time. People enjoy viewing all aspects of who you are. There are no rules – your photoshoot should be tailored to reflect your unique individual style, whilst complimenting your brand message.

Most importantly, remain true to you. For myself that meant a summer woodland and dreamy, flowy dresses, as that is very true to the essence of my heart, who I am and what I love. But you might like to express yourself and your message in a different way.

 

happy-lifestyle-photoshootTip 4 – Your Energy is More Important than the Setting, Style or What you look Like!

You may think – oh no, I don’t have the ideal setting, I can’t afford a photographer, and I don’t even like how I look on camera. But the most important thing about anything you do, is your energy.

People feel your energy on subconscious level, and so if you can look at the camera and feel like you are sending a blessing of love, joy and all good things to your future clients through that lense, people will receive that message, even if you take the shot in your own bedroom!

Of course, if you are able to invest in a professional photoshoot I highly recommend you do, and would like to remind you that you are totally worth it! But I don’t want anyone to feel they can not begin creating great images for their brand, right where they are – even with their own phone camera, or the help of a good friend.

samantha-winstanley-4Just be true to you, and most importantly, relax and have fun. When you are playful, carefree, laughing and enjoying yourself – your soul’s essence will naturally radiate outwards and shine through your eyes.

During your photoshoot you should aim to embody the essence you are wanting people to feel coming from you when they land on your site. Meditate upon your ideal photoshoot the night before. Really feel into the energy you want to come across during your shoot; visualise the happiness and fun you are going to have and this will really help to boost your confidence and help you to shine brightly during the time with your photographer. The most important thing is to aim to capture images where you look happy, because you genuinely feel good!

 

photoshoot-makeup-stylist-lancashireTip 5 – Best Version of You on Your Best Possible Day

It’s totally ok to dress up, and make an effort to look your best for your photoshoot – just the same way you would dress nicely and do you hair for a special occasion. Your aim should simply be to capture the very best version of you, on a good day – without going over the top with your makeup and hair, especially if makeup is not something you don’t normally wear a lot of. You are the most important feature, more so than the setting, so don’t be afraid to release your inhibitions and allow your best self to shine forth. Remember, you can always hire a stylist to help you look your best on the day.

 

Tip 6 – Practical Design Considerations

  • winter-lifestyle-photoshootImages that Stand The Test of Time – Although you will probably want to book another photoshoot in time, you’ll probably also want your current images to look as sharp as possible, for as long as possible, so try not to make your clothing or setting look too seasonal (e.g. with scarves and gloves used during winter, or by dressing with a very seasonal clothing pattern that will date as soon as next years fashion trends arrive.) Remember that your brand will be year-round and most people do not want their photos start looking dated, too quickly.
  • Plain background - I 100% recommend you get a selection of photos of you taken against a plain background. Photos taken against a plain coloured background are great because they are so versatile in terms of design. You can cut your image out, add colour, words, texture and backgrounds to fit in with your brand design, header and promotional materials. This is not so easy to do with shots set against busy, detailed backgrounds with varying shade and light. For this reason, shots taken in a well lit room or studio, set against a plain background (ideally a white screen), work fantastically well on your promotional materials. (Check out my website header above for an example of how this could work).
  • Consider Composition – if you want text to appear besides you on your images, ask the photographer to take a few shots, where your body does not fill the entire frame – but leaves a lot of empty background space, where your designer can overlay text, next to your image. These kind of shots are great for promotional designs such as banners and advertisements.
  • Close up headshots – You might also like to ask for a small selection of head shots taken from the waist and shoulders up. These are great to use for more business like, profile pictures.
  • Lifestyle Shots – Photos of you laughing, generally having fun, being playful, and naturally exuding the best of who you are, help people get a good feel for you and your brand. These kind of photos work well because they build client trust by showcasing the positive energy and upliftment you bring, and this helps the right people feel they would really like to work with you! Lifestyle shots are best achieved when you think creatively.
  • modern-loft-apartment-photoshootLocation, Location, Location – Location and setting is largely dependent on your unique business model. For example, a photoshoot done in a modern apartment/studio loft space setting, showcasing you at work on the laptop, sitting relaxed on a stylish chair and drinking trendy herbal teas, may be right for your business – but it might not be quiet the right vibe for someone else. Alternatively, a photoshoot taken outdoors in nature, with you kicking up the leaves, playing with your family, dancing in the sun or walking towards the camera in the park or by the sea, may feel more appropriate for you. We are all beautifully unique, so think about your brand, your business and the kind of settings that really resonate with your personal brand message. Choose the kind of location or combination of different locations, that would work most appropriately for you.
  • Simple Elegance + Timeless Style – I personally feel well fitting dresses, that you feel comfortable wearing, with a few minimal jewellery pieces, look best for most female entrepreneur sites. But again, it’s all down to you as an individual. Bear in mind that your designer can sometimes change the tones and colours in your photography, to suit your brand design, so remember that it’s more important you just relax and have fun, rather than worry too much about your choice of clothing on the day.
  • Colour Tips - Aim to get photos that reflect the kind of energy and colours you intend to have on your website, in either your outfit, the background, the setting, your jewellery, or your props.

confident-woman-photoshootTip 7 – Confidence

You are a light in this world and you where born to shine! Reframe any fear or nerves as excitement. It’s time to swap any cringeworthy thoughts about having your photo taken with confidence in who you are and what you came here to share.

Nerves are really just energy – and energy is fuel which you can use to shine forth the joy and light within your heart, during your photoshoot.

It can take a lot of energy and be much harder work than you think, to continually smile and face a camera for several hours straight – especially if you are trekking through countryside, and changing outfits to find good locations! The upside of doing outdoors shoots is that they can sometimes feel more natural and relaxed than inside a brightly lit studio. So if you are feeling a bit nervous or shy about having your photo taken, then I suggest you take friend and start with an relaxed outdoors photoshoot in a quiet country park. Just have fun – any shyness will soon fade away and you’ll be laughing in no time.

woman-dreamy-lifestyle-outdoors-photoshoot-northwestI will never forget what my friend Cora Flora said to me once about making friends with the camera when I confessed I felt self-conscious whenever a camera was pointed towards me! She said, “Just imagine it as an Eye of Love!” …It made me laugh as I used to feel like the camera lense was judging me. By reframing the camera as a compassionate, ‘Eye of Love’ it made the whole idea of having photos done, or even talking to a video camera, a whole lot easier.

You may still feel a little self conscious or nervous at first, especially if you have your photos taken in a busy a public place. But generally you’ll find people are so used to photographers, photoshoots and people taking selfies now(!) that most people don’t bat an eyelid when they see you having your photos taken by a professional photographer. Infact, it can actually feel quite liberating to go out in public and have your pictures taken, and you’ll generally find that once you begin, you’ll realise there is little to feel self conscious about and a whole lot of fun to be had!

The key to achieving anything is to just take the first step, book your shoot, begin. Just be bold, be brave, be you!

 

preparing-for-your-first-photoshoot-selfieTip 8 – Practice

Most of us hold some tension in our face and it’s not easy to know what our face actually looks like unless you take look! So try taking a few fun practice selfies at home before your real deal photoshoot. This way you can know how your face feels when you are smiling and looking your most relaxed and joyful self.

 

Tip 9 – Preparation

healthy-eating-photoshoot-preparation-smoothie

The week before your shoot you might like to to do some preparation to ensure you are looking and feeling your best. Try to go to bed early, before 10.30pm, and get a good nights rest, at least 8 hours. Practice styling your hair and doing your makeup in advance and try all your outfits on to make sure they fit well and look good.

herbal-tea-photoshoot-preparation-tipsEat well and detox from foods and drinks which dull your skin such as sugar, too much dairy and caffeinated beverages. Eating plenty of nutrient rich fruits and vegetables will really help give your skin a boost and get it looking ‘photo-ready’! You might even like to practice meditation, breath work and increase your yoga or exercise regime to get your skin really glowing. And if you really want to look like a super star on the day, I recommend a few sessions of acupuncture before hand. In my experience acupuncture never fails to boost the glow of your skin and put a dazzling sparkle in people’s eyes!

 

top-tips-to-prepare-for-your-first-photoshootTip 10 – Choosing Your Final Photos

If the photographer has a limit to the number of shots you can choose, which is standard practice, then I would say firstly to choose the photos that you instantly loved – the ones that make you smile and feel good about yourself. From a practical design point of view I feel it’s also a good idea to make sure you choose a few shots taken against plain backgrounds, as explained above, these can then be cut out, and applied by your designer to different backgrounds that fit with your brand colours and are great for use on promotional designs.

 

I hope these tips help you with your own photoshoot preparation!

I would love to hear about the plans for your own dream photoshoot. Please feel free to leave a comment or ask away if you have any further questions I can help advise you with!

And if you are interested in arranging a business, lifestyle or fantasy photoshoot with ArtoftheAngels please click here to read more.

With love + blessings,
website-signature-sam

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Want to use this article as free content for your website or newsletter? Simply be sure to please include the following along with my post:

samantha-winstanley-fantasy-woodland-photoshoot-white-dressSamantha Winstanley is a soul inspired, heart-based creative designer and artist. She creates websites and brands that assist leaders, healers and entrepreneurs in the spiritual and holistic professions to step up, shine and inspire greater numbers of people. She infuses all her work with the energy of pure love and spirit. Visit her website: www.ArtoftheAngels.com or join her mailing list: http://eepurl.com/pb9Hv to receive your free gift.

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