25 February 2015

Tips for you when being photographed

You will see many posts about how to take good portrait photos - I know I offer them myself when training people. Any good photographer will absorb and learn from these tips to develop their own style. However it occurred to me the other day that there are never any tips for what to do when you are the subject. You need to get the very best out of your session and have confidence as you meet with your photographer. They should be considering and planning for all of these things - but it is worth having them in your head - that way you will go home with some great images from your shoot.

If these are a bit too much for you then let me take the hassle away and come to me. I always consider all of these points and I will definitely put you at your ease.

If you are using a different photographer then please take with you my top tips for things to do, look out for and ask about during your head and shoulder portrait shoot:

Top tips for Great Portraits

And getting the best out of your photographer

Stand with your feet at 45 degree angle to the camera and turn at the waist towards the camera. This gives a more flattering body shape – for men and women. Even if you are just doing head and shoulder shots. 

Do not stand close to the backdrop/background/wall stand at least 1 metre away - more if possible. This will avoid nasty shadows being cast particularly if your photographer is using flash. 

Don't look down at the photographer. If they are shorter than you then you need to sit or get them to stand on a chair or ladder or up some steps - whatever is available.

Back lighting is very flattering so if you can position yourself with the main source of light being behind you that always looks good and provides a highlight on your hair.

Find out how they like to shoot – do they prefer shallow depth of field using a large aperture – ask them because if they do then this will nicely blur out the background and make sure the focus is all on you. Your eyes, or the leading eye, must be in focus. The danger with large aperture and extremely shallow depth of field is that your nose might be in focus but the 2cm to get to your eyes and they are out of focus. So if they are showing you images as they work always check the focus on your eyes is sharp and crisp.

Don't let them use on-camera flash pointing straight at you – there-in lies red eye – not a good look. Make sure they have a swivel head flash and bounce it off wall or ceiling or they are using an alternate light source.

Look at the camera but look just above the lens not straight down the barrel of the lens.

Try some shots where you are looking off camera - perhaps laughing or chatting with someone standing to the side of the photographer. Some candid shots can be really quite lovely.

Remember to get some where you are smiling: teeth showing. And some where you are being approachable but not with a toothy smile. Also have a couple of different jackets or scarves so that you can have different looks. This way you get more out of your shoot.

Ask if you can have your images processed in colour and black and white – this way you can have many different looks and styles all from one shoot. 

If you are sitting remember to lean forward slightly so that your chest is over your belt buckle. Don't overdo the movement just make subtle adjustments.

It's always better to have a slight double chin rather than look down your nose. That way you look snooty. Looking up through your eyelashes is must nicer, glamorous and quite sexy. This is why your photographer needs to have their camera at least at your eye level, if not higher.

Make sure your photographer cares you want someone who will straighten a tie, adjust a jacket, flick dandruff off your shoulder or smooth down your hair. It shows they are bothered about how you are going to look and it will put you at your ease. The more time they spend with the camera away from their face the more you will relax.

Make sure you like your photographer. If you love your images make sure you tell everyone who captured them for you.  

. . . o O o . . .