Most people get nervous in front of a camera because everyone takes A bad picture. Period. Every single picture isn’t going to make the cut (Uh, HELLO!, we take close to 5000 photos combined and give you around 300) but that makes people think that they’re a ‘bad picture taker’ and shy away from the camera. That said, there are a few things that can help turn that flat, dull, double chinned photo into something that you’ll be proud to show your kids 15 years from now.
You’re holding your breath, your hands are stiff by your side and you’re trying to force a smile, it always reminds me of a 5-year-old on Christmas Eve that HAS to take family photos but he’d rather be outside playing in the mud. This is understandable, but I promise, I will not run at you will a butcher knife— so relax. Take a couple of deep breaths to relax and check-in with yourself every few minutes to make sure you’re breathing naturally. By breathing, you’ll naturally relax and make your smile more natural. Also, don’t be surprised if I start barking like a dog or quacking like a duck. I may look like a fool, but it makes you stop thinking about the photos and makes you relax.
Ok, kudos to you for not standing square to the camera, but you look like a beauty pageant contestant with your 11 and 6 footwork. Slightly bend a knee or cross your legs like you have to really go to the bathroom (without the dance, or on second thought, that may be a fun photo). If all of this is news to you, that’s a-okay. The biggest thing to remember is that you don’t ever want to look overly posed. So don’t stand straight to the camera, turn 45 degrees to the left or right and viola, your appearance will look lean and slim and give you some more depth. Final note, if you’re unsure what to do with your hands, stick them LOOSELY in your pockets.
Yeah, I know, we’re asking you to look into the sun. We are a pain. in. the. butt. BUT dusk and dawn gives the best natural light, thus giving you a radiant glow and great pictures. So, to avoid the squinty look, close your eyes or look at something dark until I count to three. When I get there open your eyes, look at me, and you won’t have the big squinty, squished face look. Again, you’ll have beautiful golden color photos that have a soft, glowing, light.
Patterns are cool, if you’re not being photographed. I can work with blacks and whites (although colors are more fun) but I can’t make your 1970’s orange and green Paisley’s stop vibrating in the photo. If you’re going to be in pictures, make sure to wear solid color shirts. If you want to add some pop to it, add some jewelry or rhinestones. Men, unbotton the top 3 buttons and let your chest hair stick out– it makes the ladies drool. But really, wear a nice watch or cufflinks to spice up a standard shirt.
Ok, this is similar to #1, but it’s really a biggin’. You need to smile like you mean it. Not that fake smile after you just got in a fight. Smile, with your teeth. With your eyes. With your face. People WILL be able to tell. Imagine something funny and don’t be afraid to laugh– laughing are some of my favorite photos! People are often photogenic because they like having their picture taken. They are therefore relaxed and happy when the camera appears. If you cannot muster up genuine love of the camera, pretend you like the camera. Imagine the camera is someone you love, a long lost friend, an old flame, your child at age three, or whatever you need to look at the camera lovingly.
Well there you have it. Five photo tips. These can help you any time you are taking photos, not just wedding or engagement photos. Just remember to look at the camera lovingly, I know I do.