Photo credit: Yan Palmer – this is a photo of my daughter and the reason I love it is because Yan captured the love and admiration I feel about her. It’s bursting from the page.
My heart literally aches when someone sends me an email and tells me how hard it is to be photographed. Here are a few of the most common responses:
- They have never liked a photo of them – like. in. there. entire. life.
- They don’t like their teeth.
- They aren’t photogenic.
- They don’t want to see the side by side comparison of their younger self.
- They are overweight.
- They are underweight.
- They are awkward.
I get it. These are the tips I would give a friend or a client who is on the fence.
- Find a photographer you feel comfortable with – beyond that find a portrait photographer who likes people. This is obvious but stay with me. I made a joke a few weeks ago that I know my cameras so well I could probably fix it with a bobby pin if I needed to – but technical knowledge of your gear is the teeniest tiniest part of making a good portrait. Your photographer needs to make you feel good about yourself – otherwise you’re not going to look comfortable because you won’t feel comfortable. And, if you don’t look comfortable you’re going to feel instantly repelled by the image.
- It’s just a photo – of all the things we have to worry about in the grand scheme of life it’s just a photo. Take a big deep breath (don’t worry a good photographer will help you relax) and just go with it. I remind myself all time that I can do hard things – and making the decision to do it is likely the hardest.
- Be prepared – if a person comes to me and says they despise being photographed I tell them to do two things – 1. get their make up done (that’s why Shira is always at my headshot days and the reason they take only an hour from start to finish) and 2. find an outfit you feel good in- (many of my clients go to Smithery to choose an outfit before they are photographed by me)
Honestly my hands down number 1 piece of advice is to find a photographer who can lead you and guide you through the process. I hate going to the dentist. I dread it, I put it off and I even cry sometimes before I go. Anytime I move to a new city I make sure I find someone who has excellent reviews around client care and are genuinely nice people.
On a final note photographs are important. Life is sometimes tragic and unfair – last year I photographed a really lovely lady who told me that her husband passed away and they didn’t have one photo that really expressed who he was as a person. I hope you’ll take the plunge and get yourself photographed. If you want to jump on a call and see if we’re a good fit I’d love the opportunity.