The majority seeking to have their photo taken will say, with some foreboding, that they are not photogenic, or some variant. Alternatives include:
‘I hate getting my photo taken.’
‘l’ll break your camera.’
‘You can’t get a good photo out of me.’
Linda at her favourite place where she can stand and watch the world go by.
There is an exquisite theory that says whatever you place your attention on, magnifies it, and this is true when it comes to portrait photography.
When you come to your photo session, there is a choice to make about where you will put your attention. If you desire a great result, then it makes sense to start focusing your energy towards that well before the camera appears.
Why this matters…because what shows on the outside is a reflection of what’s happening on the inside.
Pictured here is Dr Linda Wilson. Linda is a stress specialist. She helps people to challenge and change the beliefs that no longer serve them and her mission is to make self-care easy. She has written a book ‘Stress Made Easy – peeling women off the ceiling’.
Linda points with a laugh to her space-ship like light in the living room.
If you bring dark thoughts into your photo session, they are guaranteed to appear in your photos. Your eyes might have a deer-in-headlights look. Your jaw might look tense. You might be slumping in the lower back, and dropping your shoulders. If it’s a fear of the camera, you may even be leaning back (a lot of people do this until coached out of it, it seems to be a sort of subconscious defense mechanism). You may have difficulty smiling, you may even be frowning or scowling.
A big laugh – her eyes are alive with child-like delight.
There’s another beautiful theory that says thoughts create your feelings which in turn create your reality. If you’re feeling it on the inside, it’s definitely showing on the outside. You may not be vocalizing it, but it still shows. That’s what others pick up on as a vibe.
If you genuinely feel comfortable, safe and happy, that will appear in your posturing. You’ll be straighter in the back and relaxed across your shoulders. Your eyes will twinkle when you smile. Your whole face will have warmth and softness. Your smile will be for real which means all the right muscles will be moving in your face and body.
Magnifying the problem will only serve to work against the objective of what your photographer (insert yours truly here!) is trying to do for you. It’s unrealistic to assume any photographer can mask that for you or somehow Photoshop it later. They literally can’t make that disappear.
So whilst it is part of a photographer’s job to do everything they can to encourage you to relax and have fun, and give you feedback if you are still holding some tension in your body, you still have to show up for your part of the equation.
So, now you know that the camera doesn’t lie, what can you do if you are nervous about being photographed?
Here’s a little test. Think of a moment where you had a confrontation with someone. Recall that event and play it out in your head as though it were yesterday. Now take a step back and observe. What can you feel in your body? Tension? Where? What’s your facial expression like right now? Tight jaw?
Linda is demonstrating Meridian Tapping, a stress-relief technique.
OK, now think of an event that gave you a real thrill, a great conversation with a client you loved helping, or a person you love that you had a wonderful experience with. Really step into the memory and relive it. Now, what’s going on in your body? Can you feel warmth or softness in your heart? Do you feel a relaxing in your jaw and maybe even a smile creeping in? Do you feel relaxed in your upper body?
Your thoughts will directly influence how you feel. How you feel will manifest in your body, posture and expression.
When you go into your photo session, the single and incredibly powerful thing you can do is think about where you are focusing your attention, and correct accordingly if you are wandering into negative territory. Honestly, that’s it. It’s surprisingly simple.
Linda admitted to feeling a few jitters in the lead up to having her photo taken. However, she knew being relaxed and happy would contribute towards a great result, and so that is what she did.
Think happy, positive thoughts and it creates such a beautiful vibe which in turn gives fodder to your photographer to play and create with.
What can you think about to take your mind off the camera? Something that really matters to you.
The things that matter are important, they are worth your time, energy and love. They give back to you in spades and they make you feel good and draw a smile. Pour your thoughts into that before and during your photo session, and then you can be confident you’ll have the best chance of creating photos you love and feel proud to show.
If you would like to explore how to capture who you really are in pictures, then get in touch.
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