Camera-shy people can create beautiful portraits,
5 easy ways to ensure your experience feels relaxed
Just the thought of having your photo taken can be a reason to grimace. The click of the shutter is enough to make you blink and stand rigid. But these days, professional photographers work hard to ensure your portrait session on the Isle of Wight is comfortable. And for some, even fun.
How to relax on your shoot – the easy way
It’s the weekend. You have to get ready for Sunday brunch or to take your children to soccer club in Appley Park. You arrive in a mad dash and decide a latte is all the breakfast you need.
The kids ask for a celebratory group photo or your friend decides to make your steaming latte the snap she needs for instagram. You grimace, jaw locked in a tight smile, all the while muttering, “I don’t photograph well”.
My approach to photographing people is a little bit different, if you’re the type of person that hates having your photograph taken, then I hope this article puts your mind at ease.
Talk about yourself
Most people are eager to share photos that bring out their true nature and natural features. Allowing the photographer to share your story is the quickest way to do this.
To feel relaxed in front of the camera, you need to talk about yourself – share your hopes and visions for the session. Try these:
“I don’t feel comfortable about my profile, can you photograph me from different angles?”
“I like the way my hair hangs to one side, can we get a shot of it looking good?”
“My friends say my eyes are my best feature, can we show the colour of my eyes?”
Chatting with the photographer ahead of time will give you a great idea of how they work and what will happen during your photo shoot. This will help you feel relaxed and you’ll know what to expect. Most photographers will also send you their welcome pack bursting with goodies (ask for your copy now). A good photographer will listen to your questions and seek to allay your fears ahead of time. Try these?
“How do you work?”
“How long will the session last?”
“Everyone has lovely smiles in their photos, how do you interact with people?”
Get involved in your photo session by showing an interest. To create that “long lost friend you never knew” energy – be brave and let go of your fears.
Lean forwards and maintain eye contact with the photographer, camera or lens – after the first round ask to view your photographs. This sets the mood for the type of portrait you are trying to create.
After the first hour you’ll want to feel reassured that you’ve captured a range of images – some where you are happy, bubbly and outgoing, whilst others will show your reflective or serious side.
Not knowing what to expect will create insecurity. Ask for clear and precise directions from your photographer.
Expect them to show or model each direction so you feel comfortable in reflecting a similar gesture. This is not the same as artificially posing in a cliche or formula.
Most people like to be told how to hold themselves in front of the camera, especially when they are in a new situation. Clear instructions avoid the risk of embarrassment.
Before you wrap things up, ask for some feedback on the images. Remember this is your session. Feel confident to ask for some changes if you’re about something.
Finding the balance between classic portraits, candid lifestyle images and traditional poses isn’t always easy. Your photographer will be happy to work with you to create pictures that suit your personality and reflect your outlook on life.
So there you go: interact with the photographer, ask questions, show an interest and copy the photographer’s directions will give you relaxed portraits, the easy way.
For more advice on natural portrait sessions or to book a natural portrait by a London photographer, get in touch and I’ll be happy to help.