Getting in front of a camera can be uncomfortable. I get it. I really do. It’s akin to giving a presentation or onstage performance. Those things don’t bother me, but I know they’re usually not a favorite for most people. Can I let you in on my photography secret? A quick way to solve that problem?
My Photography Secret
My photography secret isn’t novel. It won’t blow you away, astonish or shock you. It’s really quite simple. Ready for it?
Yes, that’s really it. Be yourself.
Don’t fret over how you think you look on camera. You hired a professional photographer for a reason, and part of that is allowing said photographer to do what they do best. I want you to be in love with your portraits and walk away from your session feeling comfortable and confident and having enjoyed yourself. I will handle the lighting and composition, you bring yourself.
Comparison is the Thief of Joy
Don’t worry about what you think any passersby may be thinking. If you’re anything like me, your self-talk can often be much worse than what anyone else would ever think about you. I could write a whole other blog post about the importance of being kind to yourself, but for now I’ll say this – comparison is the thief of joy. Please don’t compare yourself to professional images your friend had taken, to who you want to be, or to whatever you usually compare yourself.
You are enough.
It took several years of physically and mentally beating myself up with an eating disorder to understand that speaking kindly to myself, affirming the positive, and being constructive about the negative things about myself is vital to a healthy self-image. I am enough. I don’t need to be anyone else, dress like anyone else, or act like anyone else. My family, my friends love me for me, and your family, your friends love you for you.
Be yourself. I don’t want to photograph you trying to be anyone else but yourself, because truthfully, you won’t love those images, and my job is to help you see the beauty in who you are right now. Yes, there are things you may want or need to work on about yourself, but there is beauty in who you are right now. If I can learn to appreciate who I am, you can do the same for yourself.
Have a big laugh and a quirky personality? Rock that. If you are quiet and reserved, relax and smile; pictures don’t have sound, so don’t feel the need to talk. If you like to dance and move, be proud of that. Whatever it is, be yourself. That’s all we want to see anyway.