<h1>”I hate getting my picture taken.”</h1>
Photographers hear this often. It’s because being in front of the camera can be daunting. The moment a camera comes up, people can turn tense and awkward, even during happy occasions. I have raised my camera, only to have people practically leap out of sight like I’m about to take a swing at them. So today I’m sharing a few tips to help people see things in a new light. Some of these tips will be aimed for those getting professional photos taken, but they apply to any time someone is getting a picture done.
“Say stinky spaghetti!”
“No, that’s not your real smile, do a real smile!”
Personally, nothing makes me less inclined to smile than being ordered to do so. There is a misconception that photos have to have the subject(s) looking at the camera with great big grins. This is unnatural for many people. I often tell my clients “If you’re a big smiler, go for it. If you’re not, don’t feel like you have to be.” From my perspective, it’s better to have a more serious relaxed expression than to have a great big phony grin because that’s what’s expected.
<h2>2. No Costumes</h2>
‘Be yourself’ was good advice growing up and it still applies today. First off, wear comfortable clothing. A sharply dressed real estate agent came in for head shots and we could not settle on a photo that they liked. Seeing them fidget with their suit cuff, I asked “What do you wear when you’re working?” They replied “What I came in wearing.” Suddenly, inspiration hit. “Well why don’t you put that back on?” The agent’s posture relaxed and they were instantly more at ease. They decided on a photo with the more casual outfit. Like with smiling, don’t be someone you’re not.
<h2>3. Timing is Everything:</h2>
Firstly, be aware of everyone’s schedules; don’t schedule the photo session during the little one’s nap time and avoid coming immediately after work. Give everyone time to unwind before coming in for the portrait. Unless timing is crucial (i.e: someone leaving down shortly) don’t be shy about rescheduling. If someone is sick or exhausted, they won’t be in the mood for pictures.
<h2>4. Speak Up!</h2>
No face is symmetrical. Many people have a side they prefer. Discuss it with your photographer for a head shot and in casual group photos, don’t be shy about shifting to your better side. If you have a particular concern, speak with your photographer ahead of time so they can work with you to emphasize your best features or minimize any problematic areas. Your photographer will certainly appreciate it.