Let's face it, getting a professional portrait taken can be nerve-wracking. It is completely normal to feel a little awkward in front of the camera. Below are my top five tips for taking on your portrait session with grace and confidence, resulting in photos you will love for years to come.
Use Your Eyes
Use your eyes to express emotion. When you smile naturally your whole face lights up and your eyes look bright and awake. Before the photo session practice smiling in the mirror and use different expressions to see what looks best.
Great photos happen when the subject is relaxed and confident. Let the excitement of your photo session show through the lens as you take a moment and breathe, relax and just have fun. You may feel silly during this process but I will do everything I can to help you feel more comfortable.
This may sound obvious but breathing is key to capturing a natural look. Take time to practice taking a deep breath while smiling in front of the mirror. Slowly release the air while holding the smile and notice how your face and eyes settle into a natural and relaxed expression. Allow your eyes to “smile” by focusing on the apples of your cheeks pressing upwards. When in doubt, just breathe.
Staying stationary can sometimes produce a very staged and cheesy look. Just because you are sitting or standing still doesn’t mean you can’t change the angle of your body to create a look that is fresh and inspired. Try leaning into the camera slightly to appear more engaged, shift your weight from left to right, or simply move your chin slightly up and down for different shots as this gives me a variety of facial expressions to work with.
This goes for everyone. Spend some extra time getting your hair blown out or curled, get your makeup done. Choose an outfit that makes you look and feel your best - maybe even splurge for a new outfit for your portraits. When you look your best, you feel your best and when you feel your best, you are naturally more confident. Go the extra mile to walk into your portrait session feeling confident, attractive, prepared, and inspired.
If you have any questions about how to take a sensational portrait, let me know and I will be happy to assist you with additional tips.
Award-winning portrait photographer Shannon Edney's photos have been featured on multiple magazine covers with photos published in print and digital advertisements around the world. Based out of Missoula, Montana, Shannon specializes in portrait photography showcasing people, dogs, and horses (all breeds, with a focus on the Arabian horse). Shannon is known for her ability to catch the perfect expression and capture her subjects in unique lighting, resulting in portraits rich in artistry that will be treasured for years to come.