Help! I hate having my photo taken!!
Photography that makes you look good from Venture Studios…
In today’s digital world it seems like every moment of our lives is captured somewhere by either photography or video. It can often feel as if there is no privacy to be had anywhere.
For some of us that’s great. We really enjoy having our photo taken and are usually pleased with the result. But, for others, the prospect fills us with horror. We simply hate having our photo taken and always seem to be the one who just looks all wrong.
If that’s you, then you’re not alone in how you feel. Any fan of the TV series Friends will immediately think of the disastrous time that Chandler had at his engagement photoshoot with Monica: which eventually resulted in Joey substituting for him.
But is there anything you can do about this? If, like Chandler and Monica, you are ever in the situation of having a professional photoshoot done, then the photographer should take their time to get you to feel comfortable and relaxed before taking any photos. Certainly that’s how we roll at Venture Studios: no “Chandler substitutions” needed here!
But for the myriad of off-the-cuff photos that are taken in almost every social situation, there are indeed things that you can do to make everything a little less painful. So whilst you’ve got a bit of down time, why not put a bit of time and effort into learning how to relax in front of a camera or phone, so that when your social life starts up again people will see a whole new you?!
Try our five handy tips to see how you can make this work:
Deal with the awkwardness
Many people do feel awkward, it’s not just you. But see it as a necessary evil: a challenge to overcome rather than avoid. The more times you are photographed, the easier it will become. So don’t hide or run every time photographs are being taken. Use the opportunity to get used to it.
Like any learned behaviour, you will gradually feel more at ease in front of a camera. And by following the rest of our tips, hopefully you will also begin to like the results. The less stressed you are about it, the better they will be.
Check what you do like
So start by looking back at a wide range of different photos of yourself. Not easy to do, we know! But gather together those that you like better than the others. Work out what it is about those photos that you do like, as opposed to the others that you don’t. Is it the way you are posing, your facial expression or perhaps your interaction with others in the photo? Try to identify the positives and use those to build on for future shots.
It is also worth taking note of the clothes that do and don’t make you look good. Perhaps it’s time to do a drastic declutter of your wardrobe? You may have fallen into the habit of wearing certain things that really don’t flatter you. Maybe they used to, but since then your body or facial shape, or hairstyle or colour has changed, and they don’t really work any more.
So as part of the photography inventory, why not also take the opportunity for a complete overhaul of your image? If you are happy in general with the way you look and feel, this is half the battle towards being relaxed about having your photo taken.
Get the right angle
For facial shots, either on your own or with others, try to control the angle from which you will be photographed. Most faces look better photographed from slightly above, as your cheekbones will then give your face a more defined shape. Similarly if you lean slightly towards the camera this may capture the light better and achieve a more flattering result than leaning away.
Most people also have “a good side”, so make sure that you turn your face slightly with that side in the direction of the camera. And if you always seem to have your eyes shut in photos, try closing your eyes shortly before the photograph is taken and open them slowly just as the camera clicks.
Smile for the camera
Yes ok, that sounds cheesy! But don’t say “cheese”. Think of something genuinely funny, as a natural smile always looks so much better than a fake one. Find your happy place and make sure you smile as if you are having the best time of your life.
But if you’re worried about your smile being too wild or crazy, try containing it by putting your tongue behind your teeth.
Find a full-length pose that works for you
For full body photos you need to know what kind of pose is likely to give you a good result. So spend time trying out different poses in front of a full-length mirror, or ask a trusted friend to help.
The first thing is to make sure that your posture is the best it can be. So when being photographed, never slouch. Always take a deep breath, stand up straight and hold your shoulders back. Just the very act of doing this can help you to feel more confident and in control. You may even want to raise yourself slightly onto tip toe for an extra bit of boost.
You then need to find the best angle for your legs and hips. The “red carpet” pose works well for a lot of people: one hand on your hip, the body angled slightly in the other direction and your head turned towards the camera. Or try either crossing one foot in front of the other or pointing your front leg out at an angle, in both cases keeping your weight on the back leg. These can all be comfortable and flattering positions.
Regarding your hands, it’s a really good idea to have something in them, especially if you are still a bit nervous about having your photo taken. Any kind of prop is helpful, for example a bag or phone or drink. If you have nothing to hold, then try either hanging your arms naturally by your side, or using one hand to touch your hair.
Finally, if you find it really hard to pose then another option is to keep moving very slightly during the shot. Whether it’s subtle walking on the spot, or a bit of a hip wiggle, is up to you. But a bit of gentle fluidity can make you more comfortable and focused, and enable the photograph to capture you in action rather than standing awkwardly like a rabbit caught in headlights.
We hope that the above tips help you to enjoy having your photograph taken just that little bit more: and to be happier with the results.
Check back here soon for more photography and lifestyle tips from Venture Studios.