Everyone deals with being in front of the camera differently, and I totally get that for some people… it doesn’t feel easy. I’ve personally been getting better with it, and trying to set aside time in my schedule to have self-portrait sessions to help me feel more comfy. But that’s not an option for everyone, and you definitely want to be your best self for your family session!
When we’re uncomfortable, or nervous… it shows. And I work really hard during sessions to make sure that people feel as comfortable as possible! But there are always things we can do ahead of time to feel just a bit more prepared for a family photo session (or any photo session!).
So… how can you make sure you’re able to be yourself with the camera in your face? (I won’t ACTUALLY shove it in your face… but you know what I mean!!)
Talk to your photographer beforehand.
The biggest thing is to make sure you talk to your photographer (me!) beforehand! Get to know them a bit. If they’re not up for a conversation, that’s also fine!! Following them on social media, engaging with their posts, reading their blog… all of those things help you get a feel for how your photographer will be in person. At least, it is for me! And knowing who your photographer is behind the perfectly curated session images will help you feel more comfortable. And feeling more comfortable? It helps you be yourself! Knock-on effects at their best, right there.
Remember it’s about YOU.
One of the most awkward parts of a photo session for a lot of people is that the focus is on you. I mean, you’re the one who’s paid for the session (in like 99% of situations) so it makes sense that you’d be the center of attention! But it’s more than just remembering that you’re SUPPOSED to be the focus. It’s remembering that it’s not inconveniencing anyone, and that you’re the star during your session. The attention is on you because the session is ABOUT you. It’s about your love, your accomplishments, your magical family. Sometimes, it’s not just OK to be the focus, it’s NEEDED. And this is one of those times! So when it feels like the spotlight is unbearable, remember that everyone there is doing their job. From the photographer, to their assistant, to anyone else involved in the process. Let the focus fall on you.
Getting involved in session inspiration can help you be yourself in photos!
Being involved in the session inspiration and theme creation can help to make you feel more comfortable, too! Not just because it means you know it’s going to line up with your vision, but because it helps you know what’s going to be involved on the day.
If you’ve collected some posing inspiration and talked it through with your photographer, you’ll be able to remember what those poses looked like, and then posing will feel less awkward with the inspirational image in mind. Plus, being more involved in the inspiration behind the session can also help you feel more comfy in the limelight.
Wear things you’re comfortable in
I’ve kept the easiest tip for last – wear things you’re comfortable in!! And I don’t just mean things that feel cozy to wear. I mean things that you feel like YOU in! Obviously if you’re more of a sweatshirt and a tee kind of person, that might not be the vibe you’re going for with the session (or it could be! No judgment!) and there might be compromises to make.
But if you feel like you’re wearing a monkey suit for your whole session, then it’s not going to be super easy for you to be yourself. Mamas, the same goes for your makeup and hair! If you’re not someone who feels comfortable – feels like YOURSELF – wearing a full face of makeup… maybe your family photo session isn’t the best time to test out a full-glam makeup look. Feeling like yourself will help you BE yourself!
When all else fails, reach out!!
If you’re still feeling nervous about your session and are worried that you’re not going to come across as yourself… reach out to me. We should talk! I promise I make every effort for the session experience to be not only comfortable, but fun. And sometimes the best way to feel like that’s true, is to experience it firsthand!