Top 10 Tips on how to prepare for a Lifestyle Photo Shoot

For months now I’ve been thinking I need to do a bit of a personal branding exercise as I’ve seen so many bloggers and business owners with the most amazing lifestyle photos. So a few weeks back I plucked up the courage to pose for photos (not an easy feat when you aren’t a model or someone who does this regularly!) Lifestyle Photo Shoots can be stressful, but I’m here to give you a few tips on How to prepare for a Lifestyle Photo Shoot and go into a photo shoot feeling relaxed and at ease with the process… which will naturally result in much better photos!

Top 10 Tips on how to prepare for a Lifestyle Photo Shoot

1.Choose a photographer that you connect with

Fortunately I chose someone who made me feel very comfortable and at ease almost immediately. I’ve done an extended family photo shoot with Marike Herselman before, so this meant I knew my photographer and ultimately my lifestyle photo shoot was actually far easier than I anticipated because we had a prior connection. If you don’t know a photographer to approach choose your photographer based on recommendations of friends or colleagues, or look through their website to see if you like their style of photography and then arrange a coffee to connect with them in person and see if it’s a match!

2. Plan ahead what type of shots you are looking for

For my lifestyle photo shoot I wanted to walk away with a few posed photos, a few relaxed ones and a few of me working on my laptop – these are the images I’m most likely to need to use as I am a blogger  I spend most of my time looking exactly like this! It’s important that the photographer you choose is able to capture the types of photos you want so be sure to let them know what you are looking for BEFORE the shoot begins. If you’re a real planner you might like to head to Pinterest to search for options of shots you want to achieve.

3. Decide what you are going to wear beforehand

The worst part of my lifestyle photo shoot was the stress of what to wear and I left it far too late (the morning of the shoot! bad planning!!) Once I had my lifestyle photo shoot outfits sorted then the actual photo taking part wasn’t too bad! Chat to your photographer to find out how many outfit changes your shoot will allow and then head for your wardrobe to choose on outfit or two that is comfortable to wear and that makes you feel confident (usually something you would wear everyday anyway!) Opt for a fairly neutral palette if the background setting is busy or a bright colour if the background is quite plain. Try to avoid graphics, words or images on your clothes and opt for not too many patterns or prints. If you have a brand colour then try to wear something that might represent that brand across your social media platforms and marketing material. Pinterest can also come in handy for planning outfits if you’re feeling very lost or refer to this list of fail-safe outfit options for a lifestyle photo shoot…

* Dark skinny jeans
* Simple classic t-shirt or blouse
* Flattering dress
* Jacket (to go with dress and jeans)
* Textured or detailed top
* Silk cami
* Stylish statement skirt

4. Don’t forget shoes and accessories

These details are important… and a great way to show your unique personal brand. Change up your accessories for each outfit, but ensure that you have something special that reflects your personal style. This might be fun, colourful shoes that you love, a statement necklace, a pair of fun earrings or an awesome watch, such as the ones found at This is the look that speaks who you are!

5. Have your hair styled and put on some lipstick

I’m someone who doesn’t wake up with perfect hair… and I don’t really know how to get it to look good on my own… so I had a professional blow dry a day before the shoot and it made such a big difference to just wake up and just have a quick brush for my hair to look decent! It took masses of stress off my shoulders. Fortunately I feel fairly confident in doing my own makeup now but if this had been a few years ago I would have said “I don’t wear much makeup, I prefer the natural look” and then looked like a total wash out in the photos. I recommend that you wear makeup and if you aren’t sure what you are doing ask a friend or get a professional to help you for this one. These are the photos that represent your brand and will do for at least a year or two so you want them to look good! When you are taking all the steps to create the perfect lifestyle photoshoot you don’t want to be disappointed when you get the photos back to notice your hair isn’t right or the light has washed out the definition of your cheekbones.

6. Choose a location you feel comfortable in

I work from home so it made sense that the first location I choose to do my lifestyle photo shoot at was my own home. Marike first came to my home and snapped a few photos of me in my lounge, kitchen and dining room (these areas all have good lighting which is what photographers are looking for!) Shooting in my own home first allowed me to warm up to the process of posing for photos without an audience and helped me connect with Marike again one-on-one so I was more relaxed when we moved to the second location.

7. Get out to somewhere you love

After the mini lifestyle shoot at my home we moved on to my favourite work-from-home spot, a local coffee shop that I escape to when I need to get out the house. I chose this spot as it’s a place that makes me happy and I felt it would be good to feature a few photos in a second location. Some people choose a coffee shop like me, others their office or a favourite spot in nature. Think about what you are wanting these lifestyle photos to represent for your business or brand and try to incorporate that into way you choose your location. For me I want to represent my flexibility as it’s an aspect of my job that I love. Fortunately the coffee shop was fairly quiet as it was mid-morning mid-week and I was very grateful for this as we were able to go about our business without disrupting anyone (and it was FAR less embarrassing with no one around watching me!!)

8. Show your personality

It took a few shots to get myself relaxed in front of the camera, but with the expert guidance of Marike and a few laughs I was good to go… and near the end of the shoot I was actually having fun! This meant I was more inclined to laugh on camera or share a more “me” look rather than the posed smile that we’ve all come to hate about ourselves!

9. Let the photographer do their thing

Professional photographers are just that – professionals. Don’t stress about a messy home or how to pose or what your hair looks like. A good photographer will look past the mess, get you to relax in a pose that looks natural and will tell you when a stray hair is not behaving. Let them lead you and trust them to do their job. You’ll be amazed at how quickly they can capture your vision.

10. Have fun!

Once the shoot starts just go with it… you may feel like you are faking it initially, but sooner you’ll be laughing and enjoying it for real so rather than stressing out about every aspect of the shoot, ease into the awkward situation of having someone take photos of you and focus on the end result. You’re doing this for a purpose and the photos of you having fun will be far more worth the effort than those of you looking stiff and anxious!


Here are some more of the best photos from my Lifestyle Photo Shoot with Marike Herselman

So, what do you think? I had a fun morning doing this shoot with Marike and feel these pics reflect me and my brand.


If you enjoyed these tips please consider pinning this post to Pinterest using the graphic below…


Contact Marike Herselman Photography


Cell: 082 255 2741
Images: Marike Herselman

Kathryn Rossiter

Kathryn is a South African lifestyle blogger and mom of 2 who has been blogging daily for over 9 years! She writes about travel, health, beauty, fashion, decor and family... but not food (unless it's food she's eaten made by someone else) as she is a hopeless cook. She only wakes up early for 2 things... a red-eye flight to somewhere exotic and early morning game drives. She has just finished an extensive home renovation and would prefer to never see another box again. She's never met a chocolate or glass of bubbles that she didn't like!


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