One hesitation I often hear from clients before their Chattanooga photography session is that they don’t feel like they know how to look good in photos. They want to be in photos with their family, but they have never felt photogenic. Let’s discuss what I do as a Chattanooga photographer to help with capturing beautiful portraits of you.
Full confession, I don’t like posing for photos myself. We are all our own worst critic. I’m much happier being behind the camera. However, like many moms, I want my children to have mementos that prove that I was there and that I loved them through every stage of their lives. As much as I don’t always like pictures of myself, I view being a “hidden mother” as even more of a problem. I can honestly say that this year’s family album had more photos of me in in than ever! All this to say, I feel your pain, but I also see the value.
1) I will ask about what your physical insecurities.
As part of our pre-session planning, I will ask about physical insecurities in a questionnaire. You don’t have to bare your soul, but please give me a heads up if there’s something you’re worried about. I’m not going to see the flaws that you see. The chipped tooth, the new pimple, the extra curves after baby; I’m not going to notice them or view them as a problem. However, if you tell me that there is something you are specifically self-conscious about, I can make a mental note to be aware those characteristics as I’m posing you. If I don’t know about these concerns, I can’t be part of the solution.
2) At the start of the session, I will ask you about your favorite side.
You may not have a side you consider more photogenic, but a lot of us do. Personally, I prefer photos that are taken towards my left side. (Notice how all of the photos in this blog are taken of my left side?) Our faces aren’t symmetrical so each side does have a slightly different look. If you don’t have a preference, that’s ok! If you do, make sure you let me know about it.
3) I will encourage you to wear something you feel beautiful in.
As part of the session planning process, I like to help with the styling of your session. You are welcome to my assistance when choosing outfits and even have access to my client closet. While I certainly have thoughts on what styles and colors photograph best, ultimately, I want you to feel comfortable and beautiful in your session wardrobe. Let’s be honest, if you feel uncomfortable or self-conscious, it’s going to show all over your face.
4) I will coach you on how to pose.
I promise I won’t just tell you where to stand and start shooting. I have specifically sought out training about how to pose my subjects in a flattering manner to that they look good in photos. We will try a variety of poses so that you have plenty of photos to choose from. Granted, if spend the session chasing and bouncing children, sometimes posing goes out the window for portions of the session. You are always welcome to ask to see the back of the camera as well if you are concerned about how you look.
What I Won’t Do.
While I am always learning new skills and tricks in photoshop, you should know that I don’t do body altering edits. As a mother of three daughters, I am very concerned about the unrealistic beauty standards that are being pushed in the world and don’t want to be part of that problem. If a flaw can be gone in 2 weeks, then I am willing to edit it. For example, if you develop a pimple or your child gets a cut on his face, these I will correct. The same goes for baby acne which will heal in the very near future. I have no problem touching that up. I do not slim arms, waist lines, etc.
Ultimately, when your loved ones look at portraits of you, they aren’t going to see a list of flaws. They are going to see your smile that encouraged them, your arms that hugged them, and a body that cared for and played with them. So schedule the photos and proudly pose in them. Collaborate with your photographer and trust that they will guide you and teach you how to look good in photos.
If you are interested in learning more about scheduling a session with me in the Chattanooga, TN area, find more details here.