Being in front of a camera, can be awkward, uncomfortable or you might feel self-conscious. That’s completely normal! Doing a photoshoot with friends, there’s no pressure, but now you’ve invested in a professional and you want to look your best.
I love how The Everygirl stated their tips and I had to infuse them with my expertise. These are identical on what I try to teach my clients, but lets be honest, Cassandra Senior uses her own modeling experiences to explain. Excellent insight!
Cassandra recommends practicing in front of a mirror with a self-timer if you’re trying to get the flow of taking photos prior to your photoshoot. “This will allow you to see in real-time what angles you like, what poses you’re doing and how they translate on the camera. Once you know what works for you, you can emulate that during a shoot and build on it with small movements that give you a variety of good shots,” Cassandra said.
2. Get used to on lookers
Some locations that we’ll shoot at will have other people around. Since most locations are either downtown or in a public place, people will be curious on what we’re doing. To get used to the on lookers and not feeling awkward, take your friends to some public places and do a pre-photoshoot. Just make sure you get permission if it’s on private or business property. “If you’re just getting started, gaining confidence, really owning a shoot can be hard with a ton of people watching you. Once you get a few shoots under your belt, you start to get a feel for what works for you and confidence will start to grow organically. From there, it gets easier and easier to own the camera.”
3. Move around
This is so important! Instead of staying in one place the entire time, keep moving. Movement is what will create all the different looks. The Everygirl editors, Maddie and Josie, both said their biggest advice was moving around and laughing. “[The] in-between shots are often what looks better than just standing and smiling,”
Josie said to slowly walk in circles while the photographers takes the shot — although it feels awkward, the photos come out looking natural and actually candid (which is always the look we’re going for).
4. Don’t stick with just a smile
We want to capture all the sides of your personality and that comes with different facial expressions. I usually ask my seniors to give me a serious face, a smiling face, and they hear me say “giggle” constantly. You can go a step further and have some fun with winking, kissing, and surprise looks. Just as you practiced different angles in the mirror, practice different facial expressions so you know how they feel AND look.
Cassandra suggested to The Everygirl that opening your mouth slightly can make you look more natural. “Not to sound too Tyra Banks, but it really does help if you smile with your eyes. By doing so, you really look more natural and in the moment,” Cassandra said.
5. Change up your positions
To create variety in your images, you shouldn’t stay in the same pose for too long. The same pose can start to look unnatural and stale if you don’t shift your positions different ways. “Nothing looks more awkward than being so stiff that you look like a mannequin,” Cassandra said. Instead, she shifts the weight between both hips, moves her shoulders in different positions, and changes the direction and how she holds her neck.
6. Use props
The single most question I usually get is, “What do I do with my hands?”. Props can help with that by giving them something to do. According to Cassandra, they “provide an anchor for your hands” and “keep the shots feeling fresh and dynamic.” Props can be an item that is related to your high school career or personality, such as an instrument, sports related item, skate board or coffee cup. But they can also be an accessory you hold or wear. Maybe a purse, sunglasses or hat. Don’t forget about your pockets, belt loops, rings, earrings. Anything you can fidget with on your body or clothing.
A prop that The Everygirl editors love when taking photos is our hair! They state “Touching your hair is a natural movement we all do, so it looks breezy and candid in a photo. Doing a little root fluff, playing with the ends, or even adding a playful hair flip are easy ways to give your hands something to do and help you look more in-the-moment.” Just keep the hands moving through your hair. The worst is when your hand looks like a claw to your head.
7. Highlight the features you like
Rule of thumb, the part of your body that is closest to the camera will be more emphasized that the part that is furthest away. So as Abigail, The Everygirl’s social media goddess states, “I like my butt, so I’m always willing to do a looking-back pose or side angle.” Maybe your hips aren’t your favorite feature, you’ll want to adjust your weight on your hips away from me and the camera.
It’s also a good idea to be open with me on what you like or hate about yourself. If you love your eyes, I will do close up shots that will make your eyes “pop”. If you want to feel taller, I’ll shoot from the chest angle to elongate your body. Maybe you hate your toes, well, wear toes closed shoes. Ha!!
8. Talk to the photographer
Speaking of talk with your photographer, this is one of the most important part when getting your senior pictures taken. Not only will we talk prior during your pre-consult, but it makes a huge difference to keep talking during the shoot. If something feels uncomfortable or you really don’t like a specific pose, speak up! Neither of us want to waste each others time and I can’t get the images you want if you don’t tell me.
There might be times that I have you do something that might not feel 100% comfortable, It’s ok to give it a shot, it may surprise you. Sometimes the “awkward” can look oh so beautiful!