You are talking to the girl who hates having her photograph taken, with a passion! I feel like such a hypocrite saying that because it's my job to photograph people... but it also means that I'm able to empathise with my clients whenever they say to me "I feel so awkward in front of a camera" or "I hate photos of myself."
I know how important it is to share photos of myself with my prospective clients though. So, over the years, I've come up with tactics to help me overcome my fear of having my photo taken. Today I'm going to share those tactics with you!
1. Prep The Night Before:
Take some time for you on the evening before your shoot! Have a long bath or show, wash your hair, shave (if you're a lady), and just generally make yourself feel 100%. Do a face mask, make your skin feel super happy.
Eat a healthy meal that makes you feel super confident, and drink lots of peppermint tea (to help reduce any bloating - I swear by it), and then get an early night. The more you look after yourself the night before, the better you'll feel for the big day :) Make it a priority!
2. Pick a Photographer You Feel Comfortable With:
You're already going to feel nervous, so try to help yourself along by picking a photographer that you feel super comfortable with. Someone you feel like you know. They may be someone you've followed on social media for a while, or who's blog you've been reading. Or maybe someone who's work you just really love!
The important thing is that when you get to your shoot, you should feel like you can trust them 100%. There should be no doubt, and no fear of them! If you can't relax and trust your photographer, you're going to really struggle with feeling good about yourself. Want to be sure? Ask to meet up for coffee, or have a Skype call!
3. Don't Look At The Camera During The Shoot:
This is something I often tell people who aren't used to having their photo taken, or who really don't like photos of themselves. Photographers take a lot of photos these days (yay for digital!), but amongst them, there will be some awkward shots of you that your photographer accidentally captured, and they may not be the most flattering! I've found that sometimes people see that one shot and all they can then think about is "how bad their legs look at that angle." Don't do it to yourself! Its just a bad angle most of the time, and no one will ever see the image. Plus, your photographer would normally never send you a "bad photo" anyway, so unless you look at the back of the camera during a shoot, you'd never even know it ever existed.
So don't do it! Don't look at the images during the shoot. Wait till the end, or wait until your photographer has edited them and they're all done.
4. Hire Hair and Make Up:
Hiring a professional hair and make up artist for your photoshoot is expensive, but so 100% worth it! It is their job to make you look and feel your best. They are trained in this! So why not spend that money if it will make your headshots look incredible?
5. Spend Time on Your Hair and Make Up:
Can't afford the extra splurge on a professional? No worries, just make sure you spend time knowing what looks best on you! In photoshoots, you do generally need to wear more make up than you think (yes, like in the theatre when you see an actor close up and they have LOADS on - not quite that much, but you get the idea!). So if you can, spend some time the day before practicing your look and take some selfies until you're happy with it :)
6. Pick an Outfit You Feel Super Comfortable and Stylish In:
With clothes, its important that you pick an outfit that you love, but not one that makes you feel a bit self conscious. We've all been there, where we've put something on that we're told we look great in, but we can't help but feel a bit out of place. Pick something you love, your go to outfit!
Another word on clothes: try and think about your brand. This is a photoshoot for your business after all, so think of your brand colours and style! If your branding is very luxurious deep reds and oranges, try to pick an outfit which goes well with your brand colours. If it's more minimal, try sticking to neutral colours. You get the idea, but your images should try to be on brand as much as possible!
7. Find Photos of You That You Like and Analyse Them:
Head to Facebook and look at your profile pictures. What is it that you like about those images? Which side of your face is showing? Do you have side you prefer? Take some time to analyse them and know your angles and what you like! You can then apply those during your shoot.
8. Spend Time in Front of the Mirror:
After your Facebook analysis, spend time in front of the mirror. Try to recreate those images. Look at yourself at those angles. Pay attention to how your face feels. Make note of those and then recreate them on your shoot!
9. Look at Poses on Pinterest:
Sometimes during a shoot we can go blank, and have no new ideas for poses. So I recommend spending some time on Pinterest and looking at how other people have posed during their shoots! Save your favourites and then print them out so that you can have them as reference when you feel stuck. Your photographer will be able to help you with poses, but it's always better if you also have an idea of how you'd like to look!
10. Don't Over Think It:
Put your trust in the photographer. Let them guide you and tell you what to do. You (hopefully) spent the time picking a photographer you like and trust, so know that they will do their best to take incredible photos of you!
So there you have it! All of my top tips. I hope that those help you, and if you'd like to book me to take your business headshots, I'm available to work with you throughout Cornwall, and the rest of the UK! Just send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via the contact form below. And don't forget to check out Holly's (who features in the images of this post) beautiful work over on her website: hollyyoung.co.uk