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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at DESU chapter.

Her Campus DESU Board

In preparation for Her Week (a week of events to promote our Chapter on campus), the executive board of Her Campus at DESU decided to do what most boards do to create buzz for their upcoming academic year. The only problem? Our photographer canceled at the last minute. So, like any other person would, we definitely freaked out, and complained, before putting our heads together about what we could do to fix this. At the end of the day, we only had 2 options: to not do a photoshoot and risk ruining our amazing plans for Her Week, or put on our big girl pants and do it ourselves.

So here’s the un(official) Her Campus guide on how to do your own photoshoot with your friends.

  1. Have time to get ready. 

I know that we all think that we can get dressed and finish our hair and makeup in 60 minutes but…let’s be real: we can’t. Start getting ready as soon as you can! Even if it’s hours ahead of time — it’s not a crime to wrap your curls and let your setting powder sit while you run errands or do homework. 

During our shoot day, a couple of us were late because we were STILL getting ready hours later (and by us, I mean me). Due to the late start, we ran late, we got hungry, and we got tired. Once you’re tired, it shows. Nevertheless, we stayed positive and got it done. 

– Dapria Fell

  1. Start early!

Be sure to get an early start for your photoshoot. You never know exactly how long it will take to successfully capture your creative vision on camera, so it helps a ton to give yourself and your team enough time so location and outfit changes can happen way before everyone gets antsy. 

– Tamia Gregory

  1. Scope out the best location.

All great photoshoots require great locations. The location sets the vibe and plays an important role in storytelling. Our original spot for the shoot was the library, but that plan quickly dissolved once we realized there was nearly no crevice left untouched in our school library on a Thursday evening. 

Eventually, we chose the most aesthetically pleasing building on campus: the OSCAR building, its walls built with transparent and reflective glass, where students study optometry. The building has conference rooms where we could look professional in our super casual outfits. (When you see the pictures, you’ll understand!) 

– Tamia 

  1. It’s a team effort.

Being as though we were all flustered and a little nervous about having to do this whole project by ourselves, it really was a team effort to get everything done. The entire board played creative director, editor, photographer, and model, all while trying to get behind-the-scenes content. Having a team where everyone can lean on one another and know that where you lack someone can pick up is what takes the stress out of the situation. Instead, it seems more like a fun group project with friends. 

Alaysia Gregory

  1. Bring snacks!

Again, because you never know how long the shoot will take, don’t leave the snacks behind! When you’re not the one in front of the camera and waiting for things to wrap up, time can feel like it drags along, especially when the only thing on your mind is the bag of pizza rolls you have in your mini fridge. Trust, you’re really not yourself when you’re hungry. 


  1. Keep a positive attitude.

Try your best to stay positive! A good mindset leads to a good outcome. It’s really easy to feel thrown off your game and panic when your plans don’t go your way. But, we couldn’t not have a board shoot, so the only real option was squeezing into our big girl pants (no matter how tight!). We got to work, motivated one another through poses, and complained only a little bit. We had to remind ourselves that it would all work out in the end and that this would be the perfect experience to write about… 

Ciani Johnson

  1. Get creative.

Last but definitely not least, get creative! With the responsibility being dropped in your lap with limited time, you have to work with what you have and start with what you know. After the venting session, we rushed to Walmart to buy some lights to add to our DIY photography set.

Although it was a team effort, as the main photographer the pressure was on to bring our vision to life. I had to utilize the skills I taught myself from past photoshoots and trust that they would present themselves in the finished production.

During this process, we were completely stressed out, as you can imagine, but it was important that we remained patient and felt confident that we knew what we were doing. 

Tori Lofton

I am one of two Campus Correspondents and senior editors at the Her Campus at Delaware State University chapter. I oversee the day-to-day operations of our chapter, including event planning, content creation, editing, and more. My coverage areas include Black media and news. I serve as a writer for the DSU student newspaper, The Hornet, where I cover campus events and updates for the student body. I work for Allied Global Marketing as a Multicultural Publicity Intern, compiling press breaks, social media coverage, and completing guest lists for titles and their promotional events. I also am a freelance journalist with words and commentary in Essence Girls United. I am a senior at Delaware State University, majoring in Public Relations. Before transferring to DSU, I obtained an associate's degree in General Studies from the Community College of Baltimore County. In my free time, I enjoy reading books that amplify and celebrate the experience of the African diaspora, listening to podcasts, writing, and eating at new restaurants. I hope my writing inspires you in someway!
Hey everyone! I am Ciani Johnson, a 20-year-old junior from Philadelphia majoring in psychology at Delaware State University. I am one of the two campus correspondents and senior editors for Her Campus at DESU. I oversee the ins and outs of our day-to-day including event planning, content creation, programming, and writing, of course! My coverage includes black culture, lifestyle, and relationships. Outside of Her Campus, I am a writer for The Hornet Online, which is the online newspaper for Delaware State University. I also serve as the vice president for Delaware State's ELITE organization- Educated Ladies Igniting True Essence, focusing on sisterhood and community service. In addition, I am a member of Psi Chi- the International Society for Psychology. I enjoy reading, writing, and everything melanated! I am passionate about ensuring black women have a safe space to ignite their creativity and showcase their aspirations, life experiences, and truth. My career goals include counseling black teens through life in the inner city! Be sure to check out my articles! HCXO, Happy Writing!!
“She’s a 10 but she goes to DSU so she’s a 1891” Studying Mass Communications (PR & Advertising) at Delaware State University, I pride myself in being creative and innovative. I love to share my thoughts and listen to those of others. I find joy in Pinterest, online shopping, R&B music, animals and funny videos. Because I’m such a go-with-the-flow type of girl, or just indecisive, I don’t have a defined career goal; my dream job is a perfect balance of business and having fun. I’ve spent most of my time working as a server at a black-owned establishment, but my skills aren’t limited to just that. Oftentimes, I step in to help with expo, food running, bartending, hosting, and sometimes managing (that’s a joke.. kind of). We get our business, a.k.a our pay, through promoting our restaurant to people, so personal branding is one of my best skills. Growing up in Washington, D.C., I received the best education possible through DC Public Charter Schools and graduated in 2022 as Salutatorian of my senior class. I’m now attending college on a full ride scholarship and maintaining a steady GPA of 4.0.
Alaysia Gregory is the Marketing and Publicity Director at Her Campus at Delaware State University chapter. She oversees outreach, public relations, and all things publicity for the chapter. Beyond Her Campus, Alaysia is involved in campus. She serves as E.L.I.T.E.'s Corresponding Secretary, L.O.V.E.'s President, and as a Senior Resident Assistant on Campus. She is currently a junior at Delaware State University, majoring in Business Management with a concentration in Marketing. In her spare time, Alaysia loves vlogging, reading, and graphic design. She has recently taken up cooking with friends on weekends, or trying new restaurants in her area with her boyfriend. She's also a fan of watching youtube videos and playing the sims.
My name is Tori Lofton, and I am the Social Media Director at the Her Campus at Delaware state chapter. I oversee all social platforms including Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, YouTube, and Twitter. As a leader in this role, I direct my team on the content that best promotes the Delaware State chapter. Beyond Her Campus, I have built up a portfolio of creative photoshoots done by myself and with friends. As a self-taught creator, I have garnered many skills that aid me in my position at my chapter. Those skills are operating a camera, understanding composition and lighting, and I’d like to say I know my way around Photoshop. An experience I have gained Career-wise was the opportunity to intern at the City of Philadelphia district attorney's office. In this role, I was able to firsthand witness the criminal justice system and the people who contribute to it. I am currently a junior at Delaware State University majoring in criminal justice. When I do not have any responsibilities, I enjoy spending time with family and friends, listening to music(usually the same songs), and going out into nature. www.linkedin.com/in/tori-lofton-012993239