When it comes to taking any sort of portrait, it is normal to feel a little awkward. Most people are self-conscious of how they will appear because being in front of a camera can feel uncomfortable. Below are my 5 easy steps to help you become comfortable and confident in front of any camera, regardless of who is taking the picture. In every session I do, I do my best to try and make sure that everyone is as comfortable as they can possibly be. I make sure to remind every client of these things whenever I do a photo session but these also apply to all other situations where you may find yourself in front of a camera.
- Use your eyes
Avoid awkward photos by using your eyes to express emotion. When a natural smile occurs the whole face lights up and the eyes look bright and awake. You can practice smiling in the mirror and working different expressions. You want the muscles in your face to contract and change the shape of your eyes to ensure your smile looks natural.
The best photos take place when the subject is relaxed and confident. Let the excitement of what these pictures mean to translate through the lens by taking a moment to relax, breathe, and have fun with it. You may feel silly. No, scratch that, you will almost certainly feel slightly silly, I know I do when I have my photo taken, but I am used to clients feeling like this and will do my absolute best to help you feel comfortable.
This may sounds like an obvious one, but breathing is a key aspect in capturing a natural look. You can practice taking a big breath while smiling in front of a mirror. Slowly release the air while holding the smile and notice how your face and eyes settle into a natural and relaxed expression. Allow your eyes to “smile” by focusing on the apples of your cheeks pressing upwards. When in doubt, just breathe.
Staying stationary can often times produce a very staged and cheesy look. Just because you are still, does not mean that you can’t change your angles to create a fresh and inspired look. Try leaning into the camera slightly to appear more engaged, shifting your weight from left to right, or simply moving your chin slightly up and down for different shots to get a variety of facial expressions to choose from. For families or groups, I often find having conversations and doing your best to make each other laugh works really well to get some lovely candid shots. When you are with your pets or horse, I find talking to them and being your normal self around them helps a lot as well. It’s easier said than done but as much as possible but as you are posing or moving around, try to pretend that the photographer isn’t there!
This goes for everyone. Ladies, spend the extra time getting your hair blown out, getting your makeup done and choosing that top that makes you look and feel your best. Fellas, take a shower and shave. If you look your best, you feel your best, and when you feel your best, you act more confidently. Go the extra mile to walk into your portrait session feeling confident, attractive, prepared, and inspired.
There are also plenty of other tips, but those will potentially be saved for other blog posts, or you’ll just have to find out by buying a photo shoot 😉 or taking part in a photography project (more on that will come within the next couple of days).
I hope you liked this and I’ll have another post up soon,
If you want to see some examples of photo shoots that I have done, please click on the following links:
- Sophie and Chimera
- Florence and Gus
- Megan and Eden
- Black Coffee (Jazz Band)
- Street Child United Fundraiser for Liz Diamond