How Can I Look Natural in Photos? | Photography in Bend
One of the many things people say to me when they inquire about photography in Bend is, “I hate having my photo taken, and I never look natural.” Raise your hand if you feel the same way! I bet 60% of women reading this are likely raising their hands right now.
You are not alone. Fear, not my friends, I too was one of that 60 %, but have managed to overcome this fear and now love having photos taken! In fact, I seek out a photoshoot when I feel I need a little confidence boost. In this blog, I’m going to tell you five things that will help you show up authentically and beautifully in front of the camera.
1. Know Your Audience for Photography in Bend
Why are you doing this shoot? Who are you trying to invite into your business? Be sure to dress the part and chose a location that fits the image your potential client is looking for. Is this a corporate shoot, or a casual shoot? What do you sell, who is your ideal client? These questions will help answer the following two questions on how to prepare for your shoot and how to choose your location.
2. Prep For Photography in Bend
Why can’t you just show up and get a great shot? Well, if you are one of the lucky ones, you can. But most people are not so blessed. Some of us need to prepare for their shoot so that they show up as their very best selves.
So how do you prepare, you ask? Let’s first start by looking at your brand or your style. What colors do you use in your logo, your marketing and on your website? Do you have company colors? Pick clothing that matches your colors, and fits your style. You want to stick with neutral tones, whites, tans, gray, and jewel tones are ideal. But if your color is hot pink or red, throw in a splash of your favorite color.
A few things to note, patterns are a no-no. You want solid colors. You also want your clothing to fit well. Tailored, or well fit outfits photograph well, even if you feel you may have a little extra bulk around the top, a well-versed photographer can do a little post-production fix of any bumps and bulges you may not like. Fitted clothing looks better in photos, so don’t be afraid to strut your stuff.
Next, you want to make sure you either have your make up done by a professional, ideally one who is familiar with on-camera makeup. That means no shimmer or sparkles, my friend. They catch the light and create weird effects. So go for those fake eyelashes, add a little extra mascara and liner, and, most importantly, make sure that you use a good cover-up and foundation. Clean, smooth skin is paramount to a good image.
3. Choose a Location for Photography in Bend That Works
Now that you are dressed to impress and looking your best, you need a location that fits the bill. Choosing your location can be a big job, one you likely want to discuss with your photographer. Light is the most critical element in creating beautiful images, so you need to understand the light and what is required.
This is an essential phrase in the world of photography. Open shade is a location that is shaded – for example, the sidewalk next to a building that’s situated in the shade. However, this shady spot needs to be open to ample light.
The sidewalk is a perfect example because the shaded area is usually directly adjacent to the sunny side of the road. This bright side of the road, allows ample light to fill in the shaded areas. Why do we want to be in the shade? Let’s explore why we don’t want to be in the direct sun.
Have you ever looked at someone sitting under an oak tree, with dappled light shining through the branches, their face half shaded, half sunlit? Or, look at someone when the sun is directly overhead, notice the dark shadows under their eyes, created by their brows blocking the sun. Basically, it’s too contrasty in the sun, so we go to the shade to even out the skin tone, so am even light tone falls across the subject.
Opt for Shade or Backlighting
If you can’t find a shady street to use that positions the sun behind you, it also works to have your face in a shadow. It’s a little more complicated to set the camera up this way. However, any skilled photographer should be able to figure it out. Backlit light shades the subject which gives a beautiful hair light and that radiant sunshiny glow. Okay, now onto the tips of what to do when the camera is out, and you find yourself frozen!
This is essential. In fact, body language that is not aligned with your words will throw a viewer off. If you say you are open, trustworthy, and honest, yet you have your arms crossed and are leaning away from the subject, this body language speaks louder and indicates, closed off, and unapproachable. There are some great resources around this subject.
How Should I Position My Body in Photos?
I ask all my clients to always position their body towards me. Stand on your two feet with one foot closer to the subject than the other, first put your weight on your back foot, and cross your arms. Notice how you feel cool, unapproachable. Now, shift the weight from your back foot to your front foot, bringing your weight towards your subject. Notice how you seem to be saying, “Hi, I’m available.”
You can do this when sitting or standing. When seated, simply lean forward, maybe propping your arms on your knees with your body leaning towards your subject. Now you know your audience, you’re dressed for success, and you’ve found yourself in the perfect location, and you’re positioned. You’re ready to relate!
Relate with Your Photographer
Relate with your photographer as your million dollar client, not a camera: The final and probably one of the most important elements to a natural-looking photo. Now that you have it all pulled together, and are looking great, this is key! Now I’ve never taken acting classes, but I think it must be somewhat like this. Look at your photographer, and replace said photographer with someone you know or trust, or with a million-dollar investor. If you have to, you can turn your head, compose yourself, then turn around and say “hi” to your investors. How would you relate to this person? How would you show up for photography in Bend? This is how I want you to relate with your photographer.
Now that you have the tools to show up and look great for your photoshoot, I encourage you to start pulling together the pieces and nail your shoot. Now most importantly, go out there and have fun!