"We are not photo people."
"I feel so awkward in front of the camera."
"I am so nervous."
These are usually some of the first things that people share with me when they book a session or when we meet up at the shoot. Guess what you guys.. That makes you totally normal. But here are some tips for you to let a few of those butterflies go before we get the camera snapping and during the shoot itself.
Location is key! When choosing a location for your shoot I always suggest somewhere where both of you are really comfortable spending time together. Your location can actually give you confidence! Personally, I feel most confident when I have a bit more privacy for more sessions so I choose a quieter, more rural space. But others feel their best away from the messiness of nature and in a more urban environment. It is totally up to you!
Your choice in clothing can definitely help give you confidence as well. Just be yourselves! If you love to glam it up and it makes you feel more confident and comfortable, then go for it! If you love to be a little more casual, then that is perfectly fine too. Some tips for outfits are to choose complimentary colours to each other without being "matchy" or to go for more neutral tones that will blend in well with any environment.
I usually suggest that if you are willing, the gals being featured in the shoot may want to have some photo make-up applied. It doesn't have to be anything fancy but a professional make-up artist will know how to highlight your best features for the perfect photo finish and know what is going to show on camera. Last time I had family photos, I hired a make-up artist because I know that make-up isn't my strength and it totally gave me that little boost of confidence for the shoot.
3. Focus on your partner or family!
One of the things I love to do is to distract my couple or family from me taking the photos. I give them an action or topic of conversation to draw real emotion and take their attention off of me. This usually works really well. When it doesn't work it is usually because one of the people are weary of me with the camera (I really am not that scary you guys!). Something that can prepare you to really get in the mindset before the shoot is to remember who you are there for. It isn't for me! It is for your partner or your family and to have an enjoyable (dare I say, fun) experience rather than model for a photographer. So, take a deep breath and appreciate the people who have been put in your life to love and care for.
4. Be on time!
Make sure that with all of your prep, that you are still there on time. You scheduled that time for a reason! Most of which has to do with the sun and the proper lighting for the shoot based on your location. It is a science and very important if you want to make your photos that much better. When you arrive on time, you can have more confidence knowing you will have the time and wont' be rushed through (no one likes that anxiety!)
5. Trust me. You got this.
Have confidence knowing that you have a guide there for you (AKA your photographer) to help put you in the most flattering light and positions. All photographers do this a little bit differently but I can say for me that I give you just enough direction that it still feels natural. I like to set you up for a good time and to feel even more connected with your partner or family than you did before you got there.
If you want more direction, communicate that with your photographer! I am usually pretty good at getting a feel for who needs a little more direction than others but there is no need to be embarrassed if you want a little more encouragement or direction! That is why you hired us.