How to Feel Comfortable In Front of the Lens
by Samantha S. Marshall
Summer is here and that means memories are being made! But… Do you avoid being front of the camera? Have you looked back on family photos regretting that you are always the one taking the photos (on purpose)? Many times we don't "like" having our photos taken, but if you could learn how to feel more comfortable in front of the lens you may just invite the opportunity more often!
Practice in Front of the Mirror!
Practice does make perfect, or close to it and will also allow confidence to shine trough. Smiling in the mirror; learn to smile BIG (even open your mouth a little – a laughing smile is wonderful!) Notice where your chin should be, open your eyes: practice these while brushing your teeth... no one is watching but you!
Listen to the Professional!
Listening to the photographer is important. Since I work with all types of clients from families to corporate, I understand the nervous and worried looks, and I try and defuse this early in the session. I see what is going to be captured and can use light to help hid what you don't like about yourself or enhance the features you do like! Do you have a "best side"? I ask this to every person I photograph, and if they don't know which one they prefer, then we take photos of each side. I can usually tell immediately which one I prefer, and allow my client to peek at my viewfinder and see for themselves... 99% of the time we agree.
Shhhh – Here is a Modeling "Secret"
In front of the lens, you can use this in most photo opportunities, and it will help you to look more relaxed and confident. This trick can be used for headshots or full body photos. Basically, you turn 90 degrees showing your best side to the camera. Next, put your hand on your hip and twist at the waist leaving your feet planted. You can lean forward slightly, and tilt your head or look straight on. Leaning forward may feel unnatural, at first, but looks great on anyone! Once in place you can drop your arm, but keep the shoulder back and remember to stand up straight!
Relax Relax Relax!
Has anyone had to remind you to relax!? Allow the photographer to direct you, and to help with this process, here are a few things you can do:
1. Slow down! Don't move constantly. Listen to the photographer, strike a pose and HOLD it.
2. Laugh and have fun! Chatting about fun things also allows the photographer to capture your true reaction! Real laughter = real smile!
3. Limit distractions! If you can control your environment, it will allow for success at your photo session! Ask someone to watch the kids or pets. Keeping your focus on the photographer will help create positive results.
4. Focus! Remember the eyes are one of the more important parts of any portrait. Looking every which way will not get the photo you will cherish later!
Samantha S. Marshall is a natural light photographer and owner of Sweet Memories Photography based in Potomac Falls, Virginia. She is award winning and published regionally and internationally (recently featured in the August 2016 O, the Oprah Magazine). She specializes in family portraits and event/wedding photography and uses a documentary style approach to photography, while also making sure to capture unique and artistic opportunities in every image. To learn more about Samantha, look for her blog series "In Front of My Lens" and to book a session, visitwww.sweetmemphoto.com.