I’m so fortunate to complete another year of business. I’ve photographed so many amazing families this year! Thank you to EVERYONE who trusted me to photograph them! I am so fortunate to be able to do what I love and to meet so many beautiful and fabulous people. This year marked a year of firsts!!! [...]
I’m so fortunate to complete another year of business. I’ve photographed so many amazing families this year! Thank you to EVERYONE who trusted me to photograph them! I am so fortunate to be able to do what I love and to meet so many beautiful and fabulous people.
This year marked a year of firsts!!! I went to my first workshops, photographed my first set of seniors, photographed a bunch of new and growing families, completed my very first wedding season, and taught my very own Intro to DSLR workshop! I’m looking forward to many more firsts next year. This next year I will be bringing even more amazing and high quality products to my clients and brand new packages with more options to choose from! Stay tuned for all the exciting stuff. Oh, and you’re probably going to get a few more catch up blog posts from 2012! ;) I just have so many more photos to share with you!!
These are just a few of the fabulous people that helped me through this year! Thank you so much for your support!!!
Thank you again everyone! I wish you all a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!!!! May 2013 be even more amazing than 2012!!!
I recently did a shoot with a local actor. She posed a question that a lot of her colleagues were curious about — “How do you pose to get a good photo?”. So, today, I’m going to try and address this issue. Please know that I know I’m no expert. I am just trying to [...]
I recently did a shoot with a local actor. She posed a question that a lot of her colleagues were curious about — “How do you pose to get a good photo?”. So, today, I’m going to try and address this issue. Please know that I know I’m no expert. I am just trying to offer some advice that has worked for me in the past as a client and from my own experiences as a photographer. If this helps anyone, AWESOME!!! If it doesn’t, I apologize and perhaps I’ll be able to assist another time.
First of all, as a photographer, I don’t expect anyone to know how to act in front of the camera unless you’ve done modeling in the past. Most are unsure of what to do in front of the camera and that’s totally fine. How do I know? Because I’m one of those people who just freezes in front of the camera. Have you guys ever seen that episode of Friends where Chandler does that weird smile for his engagement session? The One with The Engagement Picture. I think this explains how some of us feel in front of the camera pretty well!
So, one of the important things you’ll need to do is to find a photographer you can trust. Here’s the thing, to get a phenomenal photo, you have to let your guard down. It’s hard for us to let our guard down in front of complete strangers. I know that we get self conscious and we worry that the person behind the camera will judge us. I’m here to tell you that I don’t ever judge my clients. I try to create a safe environment for folks to let their walls come down. Make sure whoever you choose to be your photographer, that you like them and that you feel comfortable with them. Does it mean that if you’re not comfortable you won’t get good photos? No, but I think if you’re comfortable you’ll get GREAT photos. If a photographer is doing mini sessions, this is a great way to test them out. Mini sessions are usually on a set day and last about 20-30 minutes in length. It’s a quick way to figure out if you jive with a photographer.
Second, learn how to sparkle. Now, I use this term with women. To be honest, I haven’t photographed very many men, so I’m not sure what I would call the male version of sparkle. All this means is that you totally drop your defenses and you work it. Have you ever looked in the mirror and smiled? Then, have you ever looked in the mirror and after you put on make up and then you saw your eyes “smile” or “sparkle”? That’s what I’m looking for. That moment when you just bring it and are completely relaxed. Part of my job is to help you find that. When we do headshot and glamour photography, I work A LOT with my clients on that sparkle. I keep trying to tease that look out to see if I can get that sparkle. Once I get it, I keep clicking away at photos. When I lose it, we reset and try again. What might be helpful is to practice in the mirror. I know, I know! You think I’m totally crazy. The easier it is for you to call that sparkle out on demand, the more amazing photos you’ll have. Can you have good photos without a sparkle, sure. Will you have great photos? I don’t think so. Everyone’s sparkle is a little different. But, you know the exact moment someone sparkles!
This is LK and I did a shoot with her last month (I’ll blog on this one soon!). She is definitely sparkling here.
The third thing to think about is the shoulders. A lot of times when we get nervous or we’re anxious or stressed our shoulders pop up. Sometimes I ask for the shoulders to come up, but sometimes it just looks like my subject is too tense when their shoulders are up by their ears. To help combat this, many times, I’ll ask for my clients to take a deep breath and let it out. This just helps the whole body relax some. I’m not a fan of saying “Relax” when I’m shooting. Some clients don’t realize just how tense they are. So, I provide cues for actions that actually help the client relax. Taking a deep breath is one of them. Sometimes I’ll ask them to shrug their shoulders to their ears and then let them go. This movement also helps us elongate our necks too.
The fourth thing to think about is your weight on your feet. For women, usually, you want your weight on your back leg. This helps give us more of a slender look. I will ask my clients to shift their weight to their back leg. This just makes everything move away from the lens and we all look a little more slender. Another thing that helps us look more slender is to turn your shoulders opposite your hips a little. We all do this to some degree when we take a photo. You turn your hips one direction, let’s say to the right. Your feet will point in that same direction. Next, you’ll turn your shoulders slightly to the left. I usually let my clients know how far to turn. This is a tricky one and you’ll need a mirror.
The next thing I want to talk about is hands. One of my pet peeves as a photographer are hands that aren’t doing anything. I hate dangling hands. I’m not sure why. They just bother me, so I always have the hands doing something (unless they’re out of the frame). So, I’ll hang thumps in pockets, I’ll put hands on the waist, hands behind the back, hands holding on to jackets, hands holding onto people. hands holding on to hands, and whatever else I can do with them so that they’re not dangling around doing nothing. Usually, I’m pretty mindful of the hands, but I know clients are too. They sometimes will ask me about their hands and what to do with them. For all you folks that don’t know, I love television and movies, so here’s another entertaining clip that makes me laugh..
Sorry, I can’t help it. I love funny movies….Okay, back to the task at hand.
Now on to the actual poses. What I like to do is have clients do something rather than sit and look straight ahead. Sometimes I’ll give clients a list of actions to do. I’ll tell the clients to look to the left and put their chin down toward their shoulder and count to 3 and then look up at me or something to that effect. What I basically do is I coach my client through different actions. When you give the brain something to do, it forgets that it’s actually freaked out about photos. So, this helps in getting true emotion and distraction. The same goes for laughs. I get true genuine happy laughs when I actually make people laugh. So, I work really hard to try and catch those real emotions as they are occurring. An example of an action I would call out is, I’ll say something like walk towards me looking down for a few steps than look up at me. Or I might ask them to run their fingers through their hair or for a male to fix their tie.
Now, for boudoir and headshots, it’s not always those true emotions you’re trying to capture. So, then I’ll coach on the actual smile itself. I’ll tell people to smile more or less and I’ll try and provide visuals – like a photo that was taken, or I try and mirror an action for them. In the midst of a shoot, I’m not great with words. I’m much better at showing a client what to do then trying to explain it. I also think that seeing what to do helps us know what we’re doing vs what we’re being asked to do.
Another thing that will help is to do something that helps lift your confidence. For me, when I get my hair and make up done, I stand a little taller and I feel a little better about being in front of the camera. I strongly encourage my glamour girls to have their hair and make-up professionally done for this reason. That extra glam factor helps us all feel a little more confident about ourselves.
I don’t ever really expect the client to know how to pose and some of these little details. I feel like it’s my job to try and help coach them through the process. So, if after these few hints, you’re still having a hard time, make sure you find a good photographer that will help direct you during your shoot. Make sure they put you at ease and you’re comfortable around them. I seem to feel like my shoots are not really shoots. I feel like my shoots seem to feel like it is a bunch of friends hanging out for a few hours.
Thanks so much for reading this pretty long post! Please don’t hesitate to request any other posts on photography related topics! I’m always happy to help!!
T + A are about a decade in the making, I think. T and V (me)’s story began about 13 years ago. We were freshman in college. I remember the day I met this girl! It was SuperBowl Sunday in 1999. We met because our boyfriends at the time were friends with each other. It [...]
T + A are about a decade in the making, I think. T and V (me)’s story began about 13 years ago. We were freshman in college. I remember the day I met this girl! It was SuperBowl Sunday in 1999. We met because our boyfriends at the time were friends with each other. It was the typical, “Hi, my name is…”. I don’t think we spoke the rest of that day. You see, T always credits me with having a good memory — I don’t — I just remember important memories to me. It just so happens, the day I would meet my best friend and matron of honor was that day. I don’t think we spoke much in 1999. In 2000, our boyfriends had become roommates. That summer, they left – one to fight fires with the Fire Crew and the other to go surfing with friends down south. So, we girls took over the home. It was at this time we bonded, got to know each other, and became close friends. T is great — no — AMAZING!!!! We would make sure that we each woke up early in the morning to go running. She would smoke me everytime! We would cook dinners together — she taught me how to barbeque. She even got me a job working at Starbucks. We ended up working together and were even supervisors together. We had a blast – she taught me all she knew about being a good Barista. A couple years later, I hit a rough patch in my life — a REALLY rough patch. She was there for me. Day or night — I could count on her. She put a roof over my head and food in my belly for many nights — not once complaining or asking for anything in return. Til this day, I get teary eyed thinking about all she’s done for me. She literally picked me up every day and helped me get through the darkness over to bright sunny skies. I am lucky — no blessed — to call this girl one of my best friends! I don’t know if I’ve actually said this to you, T, but THANK YOU. From the very bottom of my heart, thank you for everything!
So, enter A. She met A through a family member at their annual family party. It’s fun and people travel from all over to come to this thing. It’s an entire weekend of fun! I have to say that A could not be a better match for T. A is so kind, super smart, and hilarious! He treats me like part of the clan and I am so grateful for that. When I visit, it’s usually an entire day. T and I will girl talk all day long laughing and talking about anything and everything. So, I’m glad A doesn’t mind me stealing his wife for the day!!! So, A is sweet – we can all agree on that, but when I say he’s a genuinely good person, I don’t mean, he just helps elderly women cross the street. This guy does that AND he donates his time to many charities and I think it’s so awesome! He and T together have done work for many organizations including the Big Brothers and Big Sisters organization. They’ve inspired me to be a lot more philanthropic (well, and my mom).
So, T is also super creative! She basically thought of everything for her maternity shoot, so I can’t take full credit for her images. She came up with a lot of these ideas and they are just brilliant!
These two together are creating good juju big time! Now, they’re gearing up for a little one to come as we speak. They decided not to find out the sex of their little peanut, so I’m sure the anticipation is just unbareable right now!
They’re such wonderful people I have no doubt that they’ll be even better parents. I got a sneak peek at the baby’s room and it is absolutely gorgeous. They did such a wonderful job decorating. They have such great colors and a mural painted on their wall by a local artist. This artist did an AMAZING job — really phenomenal.
I thought this was such a cute idea of T’s. We tooled around at Bidwell Park in Chico and got some fun shots! They are such an easy couple to photograph. They played along with me and my crazy ideas! Hahahah — if I could have had them do the Toyota jump (please tell me I’m not the only one old enough to know what this is), they totally would have!
So, T has been keeping track of her belly throughout pregnancy. I thought we definitely had to add one more belly shot into the mix.
Okay, just one more…
Congratulations T+A!!! Your little one is so lucky to have such beautiful and kind parents. This world is definitely better for having you two in it and we’re getting a bonus today! I love you guys and can’t wait to hear from you!