It’s ok, I understand. I’m an introvert and I hate having my photograph taken too.
That may sound strange to you but as a photographer I am much happier behind the camera than in front of it.
However, as a photographer it is my job to make people feel comfortable in front of my lens, especially the imposing 70-200mm. I hope that these tips below will give you some confidence in going for a photography session.
Find a photographer you trust
You want a photographer who understands you and wants to help you through the traumatic (ok, maybe challenging) experience of having your photograph taken and make you look beautiful!
You want someone who knows that soft light flatters you more than harsh, contrasty shadows and that maybe you don’t want to do a Wonder Woman pose no matter how empowering it’s supposed to feel.
Tell them your favourite features you want highlighting and the features you don’t want to draw attention to. Usually they will find at least one of your features incredibly photogenic and focus on that, but it helps if they know your preference if you feel self conscious.
On the flip side, trust your photographer to take you out of your comfort zone, even a little. You may think one (or more!) of their suggestions for a pose or image sounds crazy, but as long as no one is watching and you don’t have any major concerns about your health and safety, go for it! If the image doesn’t work out then no one needs to know or see it!
Find a reason to be photographed
This was the best motive for me in New Zealand. I have no idea whether I’ll get to visit the amazing places I did in April so I made the most of it. While some photos of me were inopportune moments at various scenic lookouts, the Hobbiton photo had been a no-brainer from the start.
Obviously I was going to have my photo taken outside Bag End or what was the point of travelling to the other side of the planet?! Which brings me nicely to my next point:
Choose a place that means something to you to as the location for your photo shoot
Alright, so we don’t have to go all the way to Hobbiton for a photography session (but I’m game if you are!). It can be the garden where you enjoy relaxing with a glass of wine on the two days a year when the sun shines, the seafront where you walk the dog, the park bench where you met your significant other.
As long as it is somewhere that you have fond memories and feel at ease it will come through in your images.
Wear clothes that you feel most comfortable in
Please don’t go out and buy a sparkly new outfit that pinches in all the wrong places if it is not your usual style. It will make you feel and look uncomfortable and it will show. Wear your favourite outfit even if it is a white t-shirt and blue jeans. You will feel and look more like yourself and be more at ease in front of the camera.
Practise some poses!
I know this sounds cheesy, but try a few test poses in the privacy of your bedroom! Lock the door, silence your phone, put on your favourite clothes and work that mirror! I don’t like mirrors any more than you do but even I have tried this for a bit of fun!
To get started, try the following:
- Hands on hips.
- One hand on hip, put weight on one leg.
- Turn to a 45-degree angle from the mirror.
- Put your weight on your back leg.
- Raise a shoulder slightly and tip your head towards it.
- One hand on hip, other hand fiddles with a lock of your hair.
- Turn away from the mirror and look back over your shoulder.
- Rest your elbow on a surface and put your head in your hand.
- Sit on the floor with legs stretched out, reach your hands behind you on the floor and lean back into them.
- On a chair, sit with your legs curled up underneath you.
- On a chair, raise one foot up onto the chair and wrap your hands around your knee to hold your leg in place.
After you have tried these, experiment with what comes naturally when you move your limbs, waist and body. Decide which poses you like best and which suit your personality and shape. Take some selfies in the mirror for reference and show the photographer your favourites.
There we go! After taking into account my hints and working out your basic poses, hopefully you are ready to face the camera!
Do you have any other concerns you would like me to address or tips that could be of use to someone else? If so, please let me know in the comments below! :)