Guide To Finding Calm On Shoot Day

Guest Post from Talesha Savage from Mothering Tea. Talesha helps us replenish ourselves with empowering tea rituals, restore and create calm moments for ourselves. As Photo Stylists traveling and styling long days in the studio and on locations and having those stressful moments that we sometimes have, like not being able to find a prop or wardrobe, creative directors or photographers "waiting" for us to finish styling the set, etc., we NEED that. We need to learn to decompress, find our peace and make time for ourselves ~ Talesha shows us how.


It’s shoot day, which means it is super early, the van is packed, and your calm guide is in tow.

That’s right! In addition to having all the props, wardrobe pieces, and extras, you are also equipped with your personal guide of quick ways to find your calm and peaceful self on one of the busiest shoot days of your year.

Now, you may be wondering who has time for that? I have a whole team of people waiting for me. There is a photographer eager to capture their greatest work, an art director ensuring every detail is just right for the perfect shot, a creative director who is trying to tell a complete story with one image, models waiting to be styled, and others awaiting their opportunity to participate in the creation of an amazing project. But the great news is all the people kind of must wait for you to allow your magic to make its presence be known. It is easy to get yourself in a rush as no one wants people waiting on them. I get that. However, when it is your time to shine and work on your piece of the puzzle, it is very important to do so with gentleness. One of the most impactful ways to be gentle is to be gentle with yourself. So in the throughs of all that is happening or getting ready to happen, remember, you have already earned your spot at the shoot. Take your time and rely on your calm guide to carry you throughout the day.

Here are 4 quick, easy, and in the moment ways to execute as a photo stylist while also maintaining the ability to intentionally inhale deeply and find your calm.

1.  Your Wardrobe

I’m pretty sure you have heard, “If you look good, you feel good,” right?! Now, this doesn’t mean you have to be in high fashion, and it also doesn’t mean you have to wear sweats and hoodies. Instead, try wearing functional wardrobe pieces that are of your favorite color, pieces that make you feel confident, happy, and relaxed. The way we style ourselves plays a lot into our mood for the day.

2.  Early Morning Ritual

Starting the day with intention can set the tone for your day. If possible, get to sleep 10 minutes early the night before so you can wake ten minutes early. Once you are dressed and almost ready to tackle the day, pause with the intention of doing a quick body scan to acknowledge yourself in the space. Take a few minutes to sit or stand as you focus your attention on each part of your body starting with your feet and ending with the top of your head. And to keep it simple, focus on what you feel as you bring your attention to each area. Perhaps you feel the cool wooden floor beneath your feet, or your cozy shirt draped around your shoulders. Whatever it is, just feel. When you reach your heart ask yourself, “What do you need of me on this day? Is it peace, joy, calm, trust, compassion, etc.? Take that desire with you into the remainder of the day as you vow to try to focus on that simple request. This mindful practice can also be done throughout the day.

3.  Microbreak

There are many moving pieces on shoot day, and you may feel like there is absolutely no time to break for ten minutes. And to be honest, you are probably correct! There is so much to get done with so little time to do it. With the hustle and bustle having a cup of warm tea in a thermal container is the way to go. When you do find a minute or two, grab your thermal, feel the warmth radiating from it, slowly sip the tea and reflect on what your heart said it needed earlier in the day. Acknowledge yourself with each sip by focusing on that request (tip #2). This intentional practice elevates your calm, centers you with everything going on around you, and helps you stay on top of your game with the work you are doing. You can intentionally enjoy the entire cup at once or take a few sips here and there being sure to reflect on your desired emotion of the day. 

 4.  Password Mantras

Mantras are those sayings we often repeat to ourselves to keep us motivated, encouraged, and calm. One way to keep the mantra top of mind is to use one of your favorite mantras as your password on your phone. Many of us keep our phones locked for added security of our information stored within the phone. So, instead of the password being a combination of random letters, numbers, and symbols, make it one of your mantras. For example, “I can do hard things” might become 01#IcDhT$. So, take a moment to create your own password mantra.

Bonus: Pay It Forward

Who doesn’t enjoy receiving a hand-written note? One way to help you release is to show appreciation. If someone made you laugh, complimented you on something you were a little unsure about, acknowledged your effort, etc. write them a quick note to say thank you. It brightens your day and the receiver’s day.

Creating a Calm Guide

Creating a calm guide is a fun and simple activity where you reflect on all your favorite things before the busy day. It involves taking about ten minutes to craft a quick reference guide that you can use during shoot day and beyond. The guide could be a digital photo you store in your phone, a post-it note you stick to the top of your tool kit; a voice note you create to listen to during stressful moments, etc. You can use whatever medium you desire to craft your calm guide. The guide itself can also have anything on it. You might include your mantra for the day, favorite laugh-inducing memory, microbreak beverage, or favorite song. You can include anything on it that makes you take a moment to center yourself.

Finding your calm moments can happen at any moment throughout the day and can take 30 seconds to 15 minutes or longer. It is up to you to decide what you need so you will be overflowing with creativity, calm, and joy.  

Talesha Savage

Mothering Tea



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