A couple of months ago I was out in town with my husband and he happened to take a few “snaps” on my mobile phone, when I checked through them I absolutely loved them. They were never meant to be for a blog post but everything felt right and I felt more confident than I had done for a while prior to taking them. They seemed such natural photo’s rather than posed, so before changing my mind I quickly typed up a post on How I Style A Pleated Midi Skirt. It’s now one of my favourite posts this year.
Considering I had always been a fairly confident person, I had always felt comforable in front of the camera, but last year a few things happened that really knocked my confidence. I stopped writing fashion posts and concentrated on Beauty and other kinds of posts. I desperately wanted to get back to sharing my outfits, which was one of the reasons I started my blog almost 3 years ago.
Slowly but surely my confidence has started to come back. Now I’m no expert when it comes to what you should or shouldn’t do in your photos. I only know what’s worked for me, so I thought I’d share a few things that have helped me when I’m in front of the camera.
What You Are Wearing
You’re outfit should never make you feel uncomfortable, you need to feel fabulous in what clothes you’re wearing. If it’s not your normal style then you won’t feel good about yourself and that will come across in any photos you take, we’re after confidence here. I made the mistake once of wearing an outfit just because everyone else was and it was “on trend”, I felt awkward all the way through having my photos taken and when I looked back at them I hated every single one. Pull items out of your wardrobe and try on every single piece of clothing you own, stand in front of the mirror, take a snap on your mobile and look back through them. If you feel 100% amazing in each outfit then those are the items you’ll feel good wearing for a photo session.
Know you best features and focus on them. Do you have amazing legs or do you love your beautiful cleavage? If you’re like me, then you’ll find it so much easier to point out areas of your body that you dislike.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Stand in front of a mirror, and practice different poses, yes you may feel strange at first, but believe me it works. Move about, find which angle you like best, we all have a side of our body that we feel more confident with. Practice with your mobile and take photos from different angles. Next time you’re in front of the camera you’ll start to feel much more confident, it’ll come naturally and you’ll just feel as though you’re taking a selfie.
Scroll through Pinterest and Instagram and check out some poses you’d like to try. I don’t mean the ones of models on magazine shoots, I’m talking about bloggers or maybe you have a super confident friend who always knows just how to stand in front of the camera. experiment in front of the mirror first until you find one that’s naturally you and makes you feel really confident. Create a board on Pinterest especially for poses you like, so it’s always there for inspiration if your mind goes blank.
I’d think nothing of having that family snap taken on a day out or busy town on holiday, yet as soon as I thought about an outfit photo my confidence just fizzled away. Find somewhere quite for your first few sessions, even your back garden if you have one. These photos were taken on a quiet afternoon at Broadway Gardens in Letchworth Garden City, so there was hardly anyone about to watch what I was doing and put to put me off having my photo taken.
For me, I need to not only think about the location itself, but also there needs to be somewhere for me to sit as well, such as a bench, wall or a place to lay a rug. I honestly don’t feel confident in photos where I’m sitting in my wheelchair and thankfully I have a husband who is able to assist me out of my wheelchair onto something else.
What About Those Hands?
I never knew quite what to do with my hands and very often ended up looking like I was trying swat a fly. I always had a laugh afterwards but they weren’t quite the look I was going for. I found holding some sort of prop made it much easier. Use whatever you’ve got, a bag, sunglasses, book, magazine, flowers, a coffee cup and even holding the loose folds of a skirt or casually placing your hands in the pockets of a pair of jeans will stop those arms flapping about all over the place.
Know Your Photographer
You wouldn’t have a photographer turn up on the morning of your wedding without getting to know them first. Research their work, scroll through the gallery of their website and meet up with them a few time to discuss what sort of photos you’re after. If it’s a friend, your mum, sister or partner who will be taking the photos explain to them what kind of photos you’d like. Maybe show them your Pinterest board and those angles you took of yourself on your mobile. Explain whether you’d like close ups of your bag or shoes and do you want to include more of the background in some of the photos. Most of all, trust them. They may take a few photos at angles you’d not thought of simply because you’re moving around naturally as they are snapping away. You might even come across some photos they’ve taken which you absolutely love and will want to share with the world.
Don’t be afraid to move about, turn around, move your head up, look over your shoulder towards the camera, walk about. Let the photographer take as many shots as they want with you moving around naturally, even if you end up deleting most of them, there’s bound to be some amazing shots in there and ones that you’ll look super confident in.
Some of my most favourite photos are ones where I’m doing something daft and it’s obvious I was having a great time, like this one below. There are photos on my blog where I’ve got the fit of giggles and Adrian’s taken a photo at that precise moment, it shows that I was really enjoying myself. If I get tired or start to feel uncomfortable, then I’ll have a break, go for lunch and a coffee and try again later.
Don’t Worry About Anyone Else
It’s so easy to think about what other people might be saying when you’re in public having your photo taken. You might feel like someone will judge you, even after you’ve posted the photos on your Instagram, Facebook or Blog. It’s easier said than done but wipe all those thoughts out of your mind. If you’re in a town or busy area having your photos taken, most people are just getting on with their own business. So what if couple of people stop to look, it’s only because you look absolutely amazing in your outfit, looking super confident and having the time of your life. Ignore and delete the odd negative comment you may get on social media and completely forget about it. Concentrate on the positive feedback people leave you so that the next time won’t be half as scary.
And remember, even if you end up with 10 photos after the photographer has taken 500, those are the ones you’ll look at and feel great about yourself. There may be some hilarious photos were the camera has gone click when you’re mid sentence or faffing around (his words) making sure everything is in place. I’ve kept some on my computer where I’m telling Adrian something and the expression on my face is priceless, it makes me laugh every time I see it. I won’t delete it, but I definitely won’t be sharing it either.
Do you have any tips on taking outfit photos? Are you super confident or a little on the shy side when it comes to having your photo taken?
Dress: River Island
Sunglasses: Coconut Lane
Umbrella: Free with a magazine many years ago