by Britney Gardner | Featured Contributor
As a photographer of woman, I hear a fair amount of excuses as to why you’re not yet ready for a photo shoot. When out in public, I’m sure you hear variations of the same.
“Oh, you’ll have your work cut out for you, I’m so unphotogenic!”
“I’m going to ruin the photo. I don’t look good in pictures.”
“I hate being in photos, they always catch my bad side.”
In the beginning of my professional photography days, I didn’t hear these comments nearly as often. Now I hear them at every event I attend. Thinking back, the first time I heard a grouping of these comments was at a happy hour get-together for an old group of high school friends. Someone pulled out a cell phone and mushed everyone together for a group photo. I think it might even have been a flip phone, barely web resolution. The lighting in the restaurant was abysmal. I looked good that evening, but in that photo, you’d never know it.
And there it began. The era of the smart phone camera and dim bar lighting. The era of the horrid flash and bad color and Instagram filters that instantly sallow skin. The era in which nobody is photogenic.
On the one hand, it’s made my job much easier – people are shocked when they see how spectacular they look in proper lighting with a little posing help. On the other? Convincing them they need a photo of themselves has gotten a whole lot harder when every other image they’ve seen in the last ten years is unflattering at best, green, glowing cat-eyed with a dazed expression at worst.
So what’s a socially-savvy, often-networking, out-in-public woman to do? Someone will inevitably pull out a camera. Hopefully it’s last year’s model with a decent camera. Either way, how do you look your best?
- Learn how to quickly pose: stick your chin out, give the biggest, most genuine smile you can, and side angle your body to the camera
- Control who can tag you on social media (always, always require approval in your profile!)
- Flood your social media with great photos of yourself to outweigh those few bad images that sneak through occasionally
- If it’s going to be awkward, play it up. Own it!
Note: Only one of those options involves the actual photo! If you’re looking for more tips on how to look great in non-professional photos, I spent a bit of time creating a free pocket guide to help you. The more you know before they take the photo, the less you’ll have to deal with after. Take control back: don’t let the camera phones stop you from having a great time!
On a mission to change the world one woman at a time, Britney aids women in helping feel great about themselves through modern women’s portraits so they can take that confidence and apply it to every area of their lives. From not-so-corporate headshots that help in branding your business to beauty portraits for every woman, we all need to up our investment in ourselves.
And really, who says you can’t mix business with pleasure?
After leaving behind a genetics major at UCLA, Britney started her first photography business at the age of 20 and hasn’t looked back. In addition to helping women feel beautiful in all they do, Britney is wife to another photographer entrepreneur and mother to a toddler complete strangers label both as “cute” and a “go-getter that must keep you on your toes” in the same breath.