I so I hear a lot from people that they’re not ‘photogenic’. Have you said that?

I feel like every time I walk in a room, especially for corporate headshots where there’s a group of people, who do not necessarily want to get their picture taken, but their bosses said they had to. Or maybe you just don’t have a lot of experience being photographed or haven’t done a lot of coaching on your mindset around being photographed. It can be uncomfortable, I don’t necessarily want to be photographed either because we have all these thoughts about ourselves, like, we’ve seen a lot of photos of ourselves that we didn’t think looked amazing. I just hear it all the time, ‘I’m not photogenic.’

I feel like you’re wrong.

And the reason is because as the photographer it is my job to make you look amazing. So my philosophy is if you don’t like a photo of yourself, it’s most likely for two reasons.

You Didn’t Hire the Right Photographer

Number one, the photographer didn’t do their job well, or number two, you don’t like any photo of yourself. If the latter is the case, you might have to do a little mindset work. Put aside your ego a little and look at your photo objectively. But more often than not it’s because the photographer did not do a good job of creating a good image of you. A photograph is not you, it’s an image of you. It’s a likeness of you, it could almost be a painting of you. As the artist is my job to make it look good. 

How We Make You Look Amazing

So I thought I’d just tell you a few of the things that I do to ensure that you’re going to look great in your photo. Number one: Pre planning. Now, in the case of the corporate headshots, a lot of times we don’t get this luxury. So, you’re kind of out of luck, but I generally will do some pre planning with your art director or your manager about the photo background, what the clients will wear, that kind of thing. I do tend to send out a document regarding what to wear and how best to groom for your headshot.

How to Prepare for Your Photo Session

For my WorkStory clients, we will do a considerable amount of planning in advance. That way you are prepared, what clothes look good on you and if you’re not sure I have you bring a whole bunch of outfit choices. Or if you’re a team, we discuss whether you should wear a uniform, certain colors, should you all shave the day before or get your roots touched up, that kind of thing. A lot of times people have chipped nail polish and I tell you to look out for that. Make sure your clothes are ironed. If you forget, I have a little steamer that I bring, but it will save time if you’ll take care of that beforehand. We talk about all of that so you’re prepared, so you’re not freaking out. 

Professional Hair & Makeup Styling

Another thing that I offer is hair and makeup styling. If you’re not confident with doing your own hair and makeup or you’d rather just show up, sit in the chair and let someone beautify you, that’s something that I offer. Then, during the process of being photographed, I am very trained in posing you in a flattering way. So no matter what your body type, I photograph all types of body types, I can make you look great. You know tall, shorter, very thin, which actually is a bigger challenge than for people who are a little overweight. It doesn’t matter, it’s you as you are now and I’m going to make sure that you look the best that you possibly can. 

Mindset is Key

I think giving up on the judgment of ourselves, because we’re our own worst critics, giving that up as you go into your photoshoot can really help.

So, for my second thing, I actually found that mindset coaching can really help. If you tend to hate every picture of yourself, reach out because I have some coaches in my back pocket that would be willing to coach you before your session. Otherwise, I can pose you in a flattering way, which may feel weird or unnatural but you’ll love the way you look. 

The Right Lighting is a Must

Also lighting: the right lighting or the wrong lighting can make a huge difference in how you look in your photos. So that’s something I’m paying attention to – what kind of shadows are being created on your face, or on your body. Is that slimming you? Is that  making you look older? Lighting is huge, if you watch movies and pay attention to the lighting, it affects how we perceive the characters and it affects how we feel. In magazine ads as well, the lighting can really change what is being portrayed. Do you want to look soft and bright, or do you want more dramatic angles in your lighting? Those are things that we might talk about.

There’s Always Photoshop…

The final touch is retouching. This is something we’ll talk about as well because some of my clients don’t want any retouching and others do. Some people want everything to show up, and not to get rid of anything. Which is totally fine. Other people want to get rid of anything that could be perceived as a flaw or a blemish, they want me to sneak off 20 pounds. They want me to fluff up their hair or they want me to smooth the clothing. That’s why I will do whatever you want. My general philosophy about retouching, especially for commercial images, is that I want to remove anything that is distracting from your main message. So if you are selling weight loss products, and in the photo it looks like your arm is fat, I’m gonna slim it down. I have no problem with that. A lot of times, items in photos are an illusion. The outside edges of a photo, depending on the lens, is going to make things look bigger. I will slim that down, not because you’re fat but because the lens distortion made it look bigger.  So a lot of times, the retouching I’m doing is corrective, based on what the camera or lighting created. So that is something we can discuss.

Usually, I want you to look natural. I don’t want you to look plastic, you should look as you are, and I’m just polishing up what is there. So that you can look your absolute best and so that people aren’t distracted from your message. That’s my philosophy about retouching.

Decide to Love Your Photos No Matter What

My last tip for you as far as not feeling photogenic, is that if you are being photographed to promote your business. And you know it’s important that your face is out there for the world to see. I encourage you to put your ego and vanity aside and just be out there. Let me photograph you, feel confident that I’m going to make the absolute best you can, and then commit to loving your photographs. That’s helped me as far as mindset goes, and I may not always feel that I look like I should look but in this moment we did everything that we could.

I put on my makeup, I wore a color that suits me, I show up with a smile and having that mindset that no matter what you’re gonna look amazing in your photos, that’s going to show up on your face. If you’re going to your photoshoot with the thought that I am going to look amazing in my photos, rather than the mindset of ‘I don’t look good in photos’. If you are thinking that, that’s what you’re going to manifest, and that’s how you’re going to show up in your photoshoot.

So keeping that in mind, maybe do a little pep talk for yourself before you come into your photoshoot that you’re going to look great in your photos and that I’m going to make every effort, use all my experience to make you look great. If there’s anything you’re unsure about or not confident about, tell me! I’ll make sure to keep an eye on that. Some people have mentioned ‘I don’t like this vein in my forehead!’ or ‘I don’t like my arms!’ Just tell me, I’m happy to do whatever it is so that you love your photos, so that you can confidently put your message and your image out there into the world and sell more of your services. I hope that was helpful. I’ll see you in the next video. 

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