You either love them or hate them!
Most of the time people absolutely hate having their photograph taken, mostly because of lack of confidence or they just feel really uncomfortable around a camera, all of a sudden they become self conscious of how they look and start to notice flaws about themselves and as soon as they find one flaw, more just seem to appear!
As a professional photographer, I hear all sorts of issues people have with their bodies and it astounds me because they don’t know how beautiful or handsome they actually are, they just don’t see it yet or have never been photographed by a professional who can help them see beauty rather than flaws.
So, I decided to show you exactly what is possible with a little confidence, a photographer who knows you and what they are doing with a little imagination.
Meet Liam O’Callaghan.
Liam is a young, very successful entrepreneur.
I have known Liam for a few years now and he is one of the nicest, funniest young men I have ever met.
Last year I travelled to Paris, France with Liam and a team of people working on a project for the Oxford Fashion Show. The show was a HUGE success and afterwards the team headed back to the hotel.
I was shooting photography for a fashion designer at the show so had my camera with me.
It was the very early hours of the morning and the team had been all dressed up for the show. Liam was dressed very dapper, dressed all in black and wearing sunglasses. When he turned up to the show I was shocked, I had never seen Liam dressed like this in all the time I have known him. He usually rocks a cap, glasses and tracksuits. Picking my jaw up off the floor, I made the conscious effort to say how great he looked and the style really suited him.
Anyway back to the story, it was the early hours of the morning, I would say 2am. We decided to make the most out of the empty hotel lobby and him being dressed to the nines and do a mini photoshoot.
I only had my camera, one lens and an external flash with me, the hotel lobby was dark (middle of the night) and the hotel decor was also dark in general. In an ideal world I would have had more equipment but we made use of what we had.
We also did some shots outside, and as I had no external lighting triggers I had to use my imagination and use the street lights to light Liam and with a little bit of guidance, he looks like he was one of the models walking down the catwalk.
He looks smart, sophisticated, powerful and masculine, he has never posed for photos like this before and to look at him in these, you would definitely think otherwise.
So here are my top tips for getting the very best out of your wedding day photography or general photoshoot.
#1. Speak with your photographer and tell them your concerns.
This seems an obvious one, but believe it or not I usually have to ask clients about their fears, concerns and if they have a preferred side. I have had clients in the past tell me all sorts of things they are not comfortable with or don’t like about themselves, most of the time I think they’re crazy because I cannot see anything wrong at all! But, as a professional photographer, it’s my job to ensure I capture the very best in you from your point of view, telling me about anything can help me get the best images from you.
#2. Wear the right clothing.
Have you ever gone out to a job interview dressed in jeans and a t-shirt? If you did, what happened?
Well, I can guess what happened, you didn’t get the job and maybe the prospective employer didn’t even carry out the interview?
Clothing plays huge importance to loads of things especially when you are trying to be at your best, if you want to look the part, you need to dress the part, right? Or lets try this another way, you go out on a Saturday night to a nice restaurant, I bet you feel more confident and beautiful within yourself dressed in a gorgeous evening gown with a pair of shiny earrings and heels as opposed to wearing some jogging bottoms and hoodie with your hair tied back.
Speak to your photographer and come up with a pan of the style of clothing you should wear based on the look of the shoot you are trying to achieve. I tend to have a meeting with all my clients before the shoot to establish this.
#3. Wear the right make up.
Make up if applied right will make anyone feel like a million quid! It can create a whole different look to you and really bring out features you never saw in yourself before. I have worked with hundreds of couples at weddings and in the studio and come across thousands of different looks and approaches when it comes to wearing make up, trial different things and go with the one style that makes you feel amazing.
It is also very important you don’t use SPF as the flash from the photographer will bounce off your skin and can make you look washed out or even mutant!
Well, here we are. Most of the people I meet either run away or cringe when I say the word “posing”.
Nine out of Ten clients, whether it be weddings or general portraits will say they do not want to pose! Natural, candid and in the moment is what I get told most of the time by almost all of my clients. This is great because you do capture raw genuine emotions, but for formal and beauty shots posing is essential to getting the very best out of you, your appearance and that stunning wedding dress you spend over £2000 on.
Bad posture, “double chins”, slouching, forced smiles, squinting eyes and the dreaded duck face does not look good in photos and certainly does not look professional. No matter how amazing and advanced photoshop is, it cannot fix these things.
If you want formal beauty photographs, hire someone who can help with posing you in a way where it doesn’t look posed but brings out the very best in you and figure.
#5. Pose with other people
Having your photo taken when you the only person in the limelight can feel intimidating, by having someone else in the photo with you will ease some of that pressure.
#6. Smile Naturally.
A fake smile can make you look bad in a photo. I never tell my clients to say “cheese” or “big smiles everyone”. It doesn’t look good, they clients feel awkward and awkward really does not look good in a photo.
Before a shoot I like to get to know my clients and find out what makes them smile naturally or gives an expression to what I am trying to capture, when I feel the time is right, I will shout one of these words or stories and snap away when that raw emotion comes out.
#7. Have fun.
Last but by no means the least, my number one priority is to ensure my clients are having the best time ever!
If you are having fun, your are getting amazing photographs. If you are not, you’re generally looking miserable, forced, stiff and not going to enjoy the outcome of the photos.
If you are interested in having some professional photos taken whether it be for a wedding or a general photoshoot, please contact me. I would LOVE to speak with you and help you get the very best photos of you, photos you never thought would be possible, photos you would be proud to share and have showcased.