How to plan and prepare for a birthday photo shoot- Christina Adegbaju,Creative manager at Typearls Events

Happy birthday to me, 
Some describe me as an event planner, a serial entrepreneur and passionate about helping others discover their business Direction. However I describe myself as a product of God's grace. For 30 years and still counting, he has helped me thus far. 
Unfortunately, words usually fail me whenever I have so much to say, but the surest thing am grateful to you my readers who are my supporters and motivators. 
event planner  birthday photo  shootHow I planned and prepared for my birthday photo  shoot
There are various ways to celebrate birthdays, the most important thing is to be and remain a happy person. The best birthday gift you can reward yourself with is your own happiness. Always be cheerful. 
Every birthday is different for me, close to my birthday, a photographer friend (Joel and Blaiks) approached me to model some pictures for him as a Size 12 model, And I thought it was a good opportunity to also have a birthday shoot.  I have tried to capture my photo shoot moments as best as I can and give you the best tips on preparing for a great birthday shoot. 

Preparing for the shoot:
What I got 
1. Hair: Natural weave and human hair wig. 
2. Makeup : Done by a Makeup artist  (Pauline) who is also a friend. 
3. Costume: Clothes, shoes , belts.
4. Accessories: Earrings, neck pieces, beads
5. Props: Balloons and petals. 

During the shoot:
What I needed to be:
1. Calm , cool and collected
2. Playful 
3. Enthusiastic and flexible 

And to help me get in the mood, the photographer played different kinds of music (slow, ecstatic, hiphop) to suit the mood he wanted to capture. I Had to follow his directions, smiled, laughed an frowned when he wanted me to, though I did more of smiling,I think. 

After the shoot;
What I Did: 
1. I helped the photographer cleared the shoot area. 
2. Organised my personal effects 
3. Selected the best pictures depending on the pose, lighting that I liked. 

The total birthday shoot time lasted for about 6 hours : 4pm to 10pm: 
4pm-6pm: Makeup session and prep up
6pm-10pm: Actual shoot, with changes in between and each costume session lasting for about 1 hour. 

In preparing for a birthday shoot, what you need is to plan ahead, know before hand the following;
Date and Time of shoot: Choose the most convenient date  for you and the vendors involved. It is preferable to start the shoot early in the morning or early afternoon, as photo shoots usually takes considerable amount of time and there is enough natural light. Using natural light enhances the quality and loveliness of birthday pictures. 

Who you want to use: Vendors needed for a photo shoot include a photographer, makeup artist, accessories provider (jeweler, beader), a stylist and a personal assistant. Due to budget constraints, you can choose to get all you need before hand or apply your own makeup, but a photographer is non-negotiable, taking your own pictures by yourself is a no-no. Also, most photographers come with their own assistants. Just select a vendor you are most comfortable with and will give you the service you want. When in doubt, ask for referrals from trusted friends or professionals in the business. 

Location:The location is equally important, outdoors or indoors, mountain side or animal zoo, Hotel lobby or national park, football stadium or inside your room . The theme of the photo shoot will determine the location you choose. 

Theme: There are lots of innovative themes that can be used for a birthday photo shoot, the theme can be inspired by various sources. Most people choose their themes based on online research, favorite model/film show/celebrity/ Sportsman, profession, personal ideas and current trends. Example include dressing up as Kim Kardashian, Cinderella, Batman, Political activist, music star, lawyer e.t.c

Setting and background: The background of a photo shoot forms the canvas for the pictures, it can be picturesque, dark, light, black, white, snowy, full of colors. The background will be influenced by the theme of the photoshoot. The setting involves the use of props in and around the photo shoot area. Natural plants, balloons, confetti, flowers, paper petals are all form of props that can be used. 

Budget: This is the most important consideration of all, the cost of having a photoshoot will finally help you makeup your mind whether you should go ahead or not.  When you analyse what you need, how much you will be paying vendors and acquire the items for the photoshoot, compare it with your budget and money available. You can either decide to cut costs, consider alternatives to location/accessories  that's available at a cheaper rate, request for discounts from the vendors  or postpone the shoot till when it is economically viable for you to have it. Otherwise, start saving early and make up your mind on time. 
Another suggestion is to use a location and vendors near you,this will reduce transportation costs. Instead of having a mua / photographer come over, you can visit a makeup /photography studio instead. 

The key word is to be prepared, in planning for my shoot, I took up to 6 different outfits, as I didn't have a stylist, the photographer, mua and I had to eventually agree on what to wear Which was not more than 3 outfits eventually. 

P;s: In fact I was impressed by the photographer's assistant (an 11 year old boy) who stayed up throughout the shoot, helping in holding the reflector and lights, throwing up balloons and petals,  helping in getting items needed  and  also performing several menial tasks. His zeal and passion was commendable. At a time, he was the one taking the shots. 

I took some half nude pictures just to amuse myself, I may or not release them, considering my frame of mind and getting "appropriate" permission form the right quarters. 

See more pictures from my birthday photo shoot.