Not to sound too provocative, but if you're like I was then you're thinking about getting your picture taken all wrong. You may even be suffering from a few common but totally fallacious ways of looking at portrait photography.
And guess what? That's holding you back from something incredibly meaningful...something that could absolutely help you stand apart.
So let's unpack them and figure out what's going on; let's dive into the oh-so exciting world of high end portraiture!
Misconception 1: Only photogenic people have good portraits.
Why it's wrong: There's no such thing as "photogenic," only good or bad direction from the photographer. This is one of the biggest ways that we hold ourselves back from accepting that we're great. Every single person has equal ability to look terrible or amazing in their photos...it all depends on how the photographer is directing them.
Misconception 2: Posing looks so fake.
Why it's wrong: Bad posing looks fake. There are WAY TOO MANY images floating around of women in bizarre, contorted and over sexualized positions. Why? Because someone new to photography thinks it looks super "fashion." But here's the truth: every image is posed.
The goal to posing is to direct the subject into flattering, subtle positions that convey a sense of natural body language. This is how we have organic but professional and beautiful portraits.
Misconception 3: Portraits and headshots are the same thing.
Why it's wrong: A headshot is a straightforward, look at the camera (maybe at an angle if we're getting wild) take a picture sort of thing. In and out. But portraits are meant to convey something more impactful...a narrative. When you're having your portrait taken there's a whole process designed to empower, relax and encourage you. The point is to have an image that shows genuine, trusting expression in the eyes and smile...a natural connection. In many ways this is much more striking than a straightforward headshot.
We all have a million and one awful selfies on our phones. Chances are there's a fair number of really unfortunate candids of us too. But that doesn't mean that we're incapable of having a good picture...in fact it should encourage us to seek it out.
A portrait is so much more than just an image, it's a love poem to the self...a way of creating a positive feedback loop while simultaneously standing up to your fear, doubt and resignations in order to say, "this is me, I am beautiful and I will tell my story from here on out."
Every reason we make to avoid the camera is ultimately a reason why we don't value ourselves. So, before you run away from the camera as quickly as you would Fraser Crane in an art gallery take a moment to consider whether or not you're missing out on something...something that could help you fall in love with every bit of yourself.
That's what I did and it changed my life. That's what my husband did and it gave him strength. That's what every one of the amazing women I've worked with has done and without fail they've all walked away more confident and inspired. Because if we can't inspire ourselves then we're not ready to inspire others. It's simple as that.