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Tips for a successful lifestyle photo session…from one blogger to another!

I absolutely LOVE shooting lifestyle portraits!  I had the pleasure for the second time, of photographing blogger and coach, Jordanna Nativ last weekend in her home.  Her blog, Inspired Diaries, was in need of some new imagery to accompany content on her blog and social media.

Our shoot went very well, largely due to Jordanna’s pre-planning.  When a shoot goes smoothly, you can get more done in the allotted time, which in turn means more time to be creative, and fine tuning details.  With a handful of professional photoshoots under her belt, I wanted to interview Jordanna, to share some invaluable tips on how to make the most of a lifestyle session.


Why do you feel this a good investment to accompany your words?

We, society, humans in general gravitate to imagery that
connects us to a greater meaning. My words only have power if someone actually
reads them. In order to do that I need an image that captures the essence of my
words and hooks in my readers. I can probably find some success on my own with
selfies and stock photography but there’s nothing like having professional
quality images accompany my words and perfectly bring to life the vision I have
for each piece.

What type of images do you need for your blog posts?

I need all types depending on the content being developed. I
mostly write about self-confidence, fitness, emotional eating and self-love.
Those are deeply personal topics and often stem from my own experiences.
Usually I need to be the subject of those images to make the most impact to
what I’m trying to convey to my readers.

How do you prepare and organize for the shoot day?

Your body- I eat well and stay hydrated which helps to ensure I
have the shape I want and glowing skin whether I’m prepping for a shoot or just
living life. I have a fitness coach, Coach JVB ( who helps me stay
in shape year round. The night before in the shower I will exfoliate my skin
and do a face mask again to make sure the headshots are as crisp and clean looking
as possible.

Your mind- I write a lot about mindset in general on my blog ( ). The night
before a shoot however, I’m usually really excited and have so many ideas about
how and what I’d like to capture. But in terms of prepping for a shoot my head
is in the game. I’m calm, cool and collected to make sure that I have a plan
going in to make most of the time.

Tell me about your clothing choices- I always think about having variety in my
image selection while staying true to my personal style and the style I have
developed for the blog and within social media. That being said I will always
choose items that make me feel confident, comfortable and just a little bit

Stylist- I have met an incredible boutique co-owner Maya of
Just Two Girls… (
we partnered on this last shoot to bring my vision to life while feeling out
some of her latest pieces. It was really fun and gave me a fresh take on

From your closet – I always start with what I already have
in my closet and use that as the foundational pieces for the shoot. A dark wash pair of skinny jeans, a white t-shirt can be repeated many times because these
are wardrobe staples. I then consider how the pieces look on me. There needs to
be thoughts about the patterns, colours and fabrics to make sure that they are
captured well on camera. Just because you like a certain dress doesn’t mean
it’s best suited to be captured on camera.

Shopping for new clothing and accessories – Shopping new for the shoot can
be expensive. I leave this to a minimum to fill in gaps for the shots I really
want to get. 

Hair/makeup -  Why do you choose to hire a professional for these?  What are the benefits? I
choose to invest in a professional here (Cherry Dolls Beauty) because I want my best self to shine
through in the images. With lights and various angles your face can easily be
washed out, hair goes flat and facial expressions lost. Not to mention when
switching outfits it’s easy to mess up the makeup so it’s nice to have someone
there to focus just on those details.  

Location- If you want to do a lifestyle photoshoot, then it should
be a place where you frequent and do things that you usually do.  

What is the benefit to your readers to shoot lifestyle (or studio images of yourself) as opposed to stock images or the like?

It’s important for your environment to feel authentic to
your content and have pieces of you and your life in it. If you are a fitness
blogger then I would want to see you in the gym and looking at fitness gear. If
you are a coffee blogger then perhaps coffee shop tours are in order or a sneak
peak to your coffee bean stash. Our environment creates authenticity to our
message and when that’s captured in imagery our words become more powerful!

Do you have any tips or advice for first timers?

Understand what you are purchasing from your
photographer – how much time, edited shots, what is included/not included.

Plan, Plan and then Plan some more. Make sure
your space is clean and organized, your outfits are pressed and laid out, which
shots are priority for you to get and which are nice to have if you have extra

Practice your posing. Look around social media
and see what looks appealing to you. Check out your angles, take some of your
own pictures to test out how you want to move and expressions you want to make.

Most of all…be yourself! The relationship you
are building with your audience should be real and that starts with you and
your writing but also you in the imagery.

How and why do you organize your shot list?

I’m an exceptionally organized person. Period. I feel more at peace and can be more present in the moment when I’m organized and have a plan. The way I organize my shoot list is as follows:

-       First how many ‘sets’ do I need – kitchen, sofa, bedroom, chair, outside space as examples

-       Then I assign a look for each set – which outfit, accessories are needed

-       Next I imagine the image I want and will either make a few notes on the vibe of the imagery or the theme – updated headshots, blogging with laptop, cutting veggies perhaps

-       Lastly I will prioritize the list from most important to least important so my photographer knows how to plan the time

How do you get comfortable in front of the lens?

I personally feel that getting comfortable come with a few key things. First and foremost confidence. Secondly, practice. Lastly, it’s building great rapport with your photographer. The more in sync you can get the more comfortable the shoot will be. If nerves do get in the way I usually will ask to see a few shots captured so I get a confidence boost and can see if I need to make any adjustments.

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