I can't think of a single person who has never struggled with not even a little bit of self doubt. At one point or another, we've all wondered how to look confident in photos, even if we don't feel that confident on the inside.
As a professional photographer that still struggles with self-confidence, I'm going to guide you on how to be your truest self in front of a camera.
Whether this lack of self-confidence is a thing of the past, or you still struggle with your self-image today, we're going to talk about how to ditch those camera-shy anxieties and truly let yourself shine in photos.
Step 1: Remember that You Are In Control of the Photoshoot
Photoshoots can feel overwhelming. There's so much to plan, and it feels like a lot of it is out of your control. The key to curbing this anxiety is remembering that you truly are in control of this shoot. Let's talk about all the factors you have under your control when deciding how you want the shoot to go.
Choosing Your Location
Location, location, location. What type of environment do you want the shoot to take place in? Are you looking for a studio photoshoot? Beach photoshoot? Woodsy photoshoot? City photoshoot? Your photoshoot location not only impacts the photos because it appears in the backdrop, it will also influence how you feel. When thinking how to look confident in photos, think about what environment makes you feel safe and secure.
Does the city overwhelm you? Go with a woodsy shoot.
Do you really hate bugs? Opt for the cleanliness of a studio photoshoot.
One of my favorite things about beach family photoshoots is that the family thrives off the energy from the beach. The kids love the waves of the ocean and it brings out their joy. The adults love the sounds of the sea, and the serenity keeps them calm as the kids run amuck. It's really just a magical shooting location.
Need some photoshoot location ideas? Talk with your photographer to see if they have recommendations.
Choosing Your Outfit
There are the standard rules for photoshoot outfits, but ultimately, it's up to what makes you feel like you're you. If neutral, patternless clothing makes you feel lost and bland, shake it up! Wear whatever makes you feel bold, confident, and beautiful.
And don't forget comfort! If you're in the most stunning gown, make sure you choose a location where you can quickly change out of it. If you feel physically uncomfortable, that miserable look will show in the photos.
Stuck on outfit ideas for a photoshoot? Once again, check in with the photographer.
Choosing Your Photographer
One of the ways I struggle in front of the camera personally is trusting the person behind it to capture me the way I want to be represented. When listening to the B&H Photography podcast, one of the guests said that the way you photograph your subject says more about you than whatever you're photographing. It's completely shaped my philosophy and the way I work as a photographer. I really focus on making sure my clients feel valued and important, and I think that truly makes a difference in my photographs.
It's why some of my favorite photos I have of myself, other than my self-portraits, are the ones my husband takes of me. And I think it's why I am drawn to the work of women and queer photographers, as I appreciate their perspective on the world.
Step 2: Let Go Completely and Let the Photographer Work Their Magic
Remember what I said about you being in control? You certainly are before the camera starts flashing. But if you've chosen the right photographer, it's time to let go of that need for control. If they do their jobs correctly, they're going to guide you through every step of how to look good in pictures. Chances are you don't model for professional photographers often (and if you do, that's awesome!).
But this isn't you trying to coach your clueless boyfriend on how to get a cute shot of you while you're out at the club (he's doing his best). This person has made getting the perfect shot their profession. They know how to guide you when posing for a picture. They know how to find your angles.
You don't have to worry about how to pose for photos because they should walk you through every step. Your control over the situation comes from choosing the right person to entrust this confidence photoshoot with. And when you trust your photographer, you'll know how to look confident in photos, because they'll guide you the entire way.
How to Look Confident in Photos: Reject the Idea that You're Non-Photogenic
Repeat after me: there's no such thing as a non-photogenic person. It's all one big lie sold to us by make up, clothing, and quick fix companies that invent imaginary flaws so they can sell us the solution. You can't sell stretch mark cream unless you make people uncomfortable with having stretch marks. And that's while I'll never have to buy any, because no one can convince me that mine aren't super cute.
All bodies are beautiful. Yes, even yours.
The hardest and most important way to figure out how to look confident in photos is by truly believing that you're beautiful. You can perfectly pose for the camera for hours but if you feel less-than or inadequate, your photos will lack that spark in your eyes that tells the viewers "I'm beautiful and I know it." Whether you're doing a body confidence photoshoot or just doing a family session on the beach, your photographer's job is to hype you up, help you to let go of inhibitions, and let that special something about you get captured in pixels.
And whether you're looking for a New York photographer or a photographer in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, or anywhere in between, send us a message. Our number one job is making you feel beautiful. We just happen to capture amazing pictures at the same time.