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  • Writer's pictureSarah Tulej

Camera shy? How a professional photographer can help you get photos you love

Let's get this out of the way now. Pretty much every client I work with is a bit (or even a lot) camera shy. While it may seem that we live in an age of daily selfies and constant snapping on our phones, most of us (me included) feel a bit awkward having our photo taken.

So, I thought it would be useful to share with you how photographers work with their subjects to get great photos that are fresh, flattering and reflect your personality. When you invest in professional photography for your work or business yes, you are paying for the time of taking the photos and editing, but you are also paying for the photographer's skill in getting you looking great in front of the camera.

Here are some of the key ways that a professional photographer can get the best out of you on the day, so that you can get the best possible portraits of yourself...

1. Breaking the ice

When you get to the shoot, a good photographer will spend a bit of time getting to know you and building that all-important rapport with each other. In fact, in my case I always try to have a call ahead of the shoot to start the process before you even get to the shoot. You should expect a friendly welcome, maybe a few jokes and a chat before the photographer picks up the camera. My clients tell me that I am very relaxed and down to earth and

2. Encouragement

Once you get started, your photographer will offer encouragement - smiling, saying when things are looking really good, generally being reassuring and friendly and giving you continuous positive feedback. This should help to relax you and build your confidence that things are going well which, in turn, will affect how relaxed and natural you look in the photos. The vibe on the shoot should be relaxed and fluid.

3. Direction

Unless you have done modelling or spent lots of time in front of a camera already, you probably don't know the most natural looking and flattering way to position your body. You may be unsure what expression looks best. Again, the photographer should be helping you to 'tweak' how you position yourself, e.g. asking you to relax your hand, turn a shoulder or drop your chin. They should also interact with you to get natural smiles and then capture them in a way that, after a while, you are less acutely aware of being photographed.

4. Styling

Your photographer will also be keeping an eye on things that may detract from a great photo. For example, fly-away hairs, a crumpled shirt, or a smudge of makeup. Or indeed, things in the background like a stray cable or unnecessary object. Eagle eyes are the name of the game!

5. Editing

Rest assured that your photographer will take more than enough photos of you on the day. Then, after the shoot they will select the most flattering and natural looking ones, as well as the ones that meet whatever other criteria you have set, to share with you. I rarely need to use Photoshop as I work hard to get really nice looking photos there and then. The main thing I've needed to use it for is to maybe get rid of a bit of litter that I didn't spot at the time!

Hopefully that has reassured you that you absolutely can get a set of killer images where you are looking fresh, looking confident and, most importantly, looking yourself.

If you'd like to have an informal chat with me about taking photos for your work, business or brand, please drop me a message.

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