People always tell me that they hate how they look in pictures. They say they “aren’t photogenic.” But I always disagree. Sure, we are all our own worst critics, but aside from changing your entire self-image there are some easy steps to take to make yourself feel more comfortable in front of the camera whether you’re being photographed for your wedding, your family, or your business.
1. Don’t let your arms hang down by your sides. Hanging-down-arms are one of my pet-peeves in portrait photography. They pull down on your shoulders and compromise your whole posture. Instead, put your hands in your pants pockets, cross your arms in front of your chest, or (ladies) put your hands on your hips. Keeping your hands up near your waist will raise your chest and help you look taller and slimmer in photos, especially portraits.
2. Laugh, don’t just smile. Smiling just for the sake of smiling is almost never flattering because when we we feel fake, we look fake. Instead of putting on a fake smile for the camera, try laughing instead. Even if it’s a fake laugh, it will usually lead into real laughter and then you will really get the ultimate real smile and a nice comfortable expression. I almost always invoke the “fake laugh” during portrait and wedding photography. It breaks the ice and gets those authentic smiles that I love.
3. Dress comfortably. A marathon-runner friend once told me that you don’t wear anything new on race day. Sure, it’s exciting to get brand new shoes and socks and spandex for the Big Race, but inevitably you end up chafed and uncomfortable. Portrait photography is not so different. It’s tempting to get a new wardrobe, but it’s far better to wear what you normally wear, what you know fits right, and what feels good. Nothing new on race day, and nothing new on picture day either.
4. Trust your photographer. Whether it’s photography for your wedding, family, or business, you have invested a great deal of money in hiring an expert photographer to make your images. So trust that we will make you look good! A lot of looking good in photos is about lighting, angles, and perspective; just some of the tools we use in professional photography. Take a deep breath and trust that we know what we’re doing and we’re worth every penny.