Flattering Portraits for Shy People

Camera-shy people can create flattering portraits

It’s a Monday morning. You have to get ready for work or take your children to school. You arrive in a flurry and decide to skip breakfast again. Someone asks if they can grab a photograph of you for the corporate news sheet or school notice board. You grimace, jaw locked in a smile, and hurry along muttering to yourself. It’s a common refrain, “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.

Making portrait photography accessible to everyone, even those who are camera-shy or uncomfortable posing in front of the lens.

My approach focuses on building trust and rapport between client and photographer so that even the most camera-shy can create beautiful portraits. Through my techniques, I’ve helped countless individuals feel empowered by taking control of how they present themselves through images.


Step 1 – read books, magazines, and kindles

It might sound silly, but browsing for inspiration is a great way to choose what photographs you want. Tear out pages from a magazine, take a snapshot with your phone, or send a screenshot to your photographer. We learn a lot by doing, but collecting ideas ahead of time from a diverse range of sources increases the chances of success. Ask any photographer if they have a style book, posing guide, or lookbook of favourite poses that flatter female bodies.

Step 2 – talk to your photographer

The world is a noisy place – radios blaring, phones ringing and people chattering. Hopefully, you’ve chosen a photographer that will listen first and offer solutions later. Call your photographer the day before your shoot and just have a natter. Emails are not for conversations.  Most people enjoy talking about themselves – so share your hopes and fears for the session. You’ll have more confidence in your photographer and feel reassured they’ll capture your true personality.

Step 3 – have serious fun

Most photographers pride themselves on their ‘fun, relaxed sessions’. But what does this mean? A successful photo shoot takes patience and understanding. By talking with your photographer, you’ll help them understand the minds and needs of your family. And when they know your hobbies and interests, they’ll easily craft a more focused session to reflect the fun you have in your family.

Related: Modern Business Headshot

mature author headshot of a woman
“The photos look great, thank you. They are exactly what I was looking for.”

older lady blue top smiles author


Step 4 – be sensitive

A great portrait is one that reveals your thoughts, feelings, and experiences. Let your true personality shine through. During the shoot, talk to your photographer, and let them know your passions – you might just surprise yourself with how much these photographs mean to you. People love photographs with heart and emotion. It’s what makes the world go round – not static poses and taut grins.

Step 5 – ask the photographer to step back

People are drawn to clear, creative, and deep portraits. You don’t want a silent photographer snapping away in your face. Shy people will appreciate the space afforded by photographers that can create beautiful images by working in the background.  Call your photographer and have a conversation, do they inspire you with trust and confidence? Choosing a style that doesn’t reflect your dreams and aspirations is an injustice to yourself, you deserve quiet, contemplative, and gentle portraits that portray the very best of you.

Related: 10 things you shouldn’t worry about in your session

Amanda Herbert Photography

I’m an experienced photographer with a passion for capturing the beauty of life in all its forms. With over 10 years of experience, I specialize in creating stunning portraits that capture people at their best. I’m highly creative with a keen eye for detail and strive to provide my clients with photos they’ll cherish forever.

Due to my location on the Isle of Wight, I am also able to conduct business portraits outdoors around Ryde as well as in my Seaview home studio. I’m here to help.




Please contact the Isle of Wight Studio on +44 (0)1983 617383

or Mandy on +44 (0)7719316609 email info@amandaherbert.com or use the contact form below


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