... the ones that entertain, and the ones that observe.
Well Britney, you are definitely right. And I have to admit, I actually lean more on the side of observing!
Now I know that's a little hard to believe because I am usually the one modeling my own shirts, but to be quite frank, it took A LOT for me to even start getting in front of the camera. If you have been following along for a while now, you know that my friend, John (or @dizmagic for those of you on Instagram!), was helping me take my pictures. Having a friend as lively, active, and talented as he is, it was pretty easy to develop a friendship, and that made getting in front of the camera so much easier because I knew he would try to make me look good.
But the flip side of having a friend like that also meant that he would yell at me to loosen up, and to "do something different with your face!". Of course I didn't appreciate his loving remarks, but he called it! I was always so tense in front of the camera and it definitely showed in the pictures, so usually before one of our shoots we would go get some food and alcoholic beverages at Cove Bar (now it's the Lamplight Lounge). And let me tell you, the liquid courage found at the bottom of any one of those beverages is probably what made my face start to do some different things! But.. alcohol is not the best way to go for long-term solutions.
Fast forward a year and I met one of the most incredible human beings on the face of planet Earth, Ashley (or @ashhtaylor). She is an up and coming influencer for all things Disney and she was killing the picture game long before we met. Sooner or later we started having our own Disney days and she gave me some tips on how to feel more confident, more smiley, and less fake-feeling in front of the camera. With both John and Ashley's help, I have developed my own confidence in getting in front of the camera and it's not as scary as I once thought! But to be fair, any time I have to start "modeling" in front of an entire line waiting to get on a ride, it can still be fairly weird. I mean for reference, all of the pictures I took with this Dumbo statue right outside of the exit for the Dumbo ride were in front of the longest line for both Dumbo AND Casey Jr. (yay spring break!!).
Anyway, I know how hard it is to have that confidence to step in front of the camera. Especially when it feels like everyone you follow on Instagram is naturally photogenic! I've been there, and now I want to pass on my own little tips that I developed for getting in front of the camera more or to just make your picture-taking more fun:
- Wear what makes you feel beautiful or handsome! Whether that is makeup, no makeup, high heels, jeans, a bowtie - whatever! Wearing something that you don't feel comfortable or confident in will only result in a picture that you look uncomfortable in.
- Don't try to pose! Everyone you see on those posts or in magazines developed their personal style of posing for what feels natural to them. Don't go in front of the camera trying to mimic what someone else did. You're you! Act and react as YOU would! Otherwise it may look fake. Sooner or later you will develop your own natural way of posing that looks and feels 100% you.
- Play music! Honestly, I still play music when I have the chance to without disrupting other people's experience. I play music that makes me feel fierce, invincible, and what puts a smile on my face. My go-to is Sorry Not Sorry by Demi Lovato! Playing music will help loosen you up and it will help you have something to react to - pose wise and facial wise. (CLICK HERE for my full playlist of music that I use during a shoot)
- Get your photographer involved! This sounds weird, right? But trust me, if your photographer is having fun with it and being a dork or talking to you during it, you'll find that you don't feel so much like they are taking your picture as much as they are just hanging out with you. My boyfriend, Cody, loves doing this by saying things like "oh girl, get it. POSE POSE WORK IT! You fierce girl, you fierce!!" Having someone like this behind the camera definitely brings a smile to your face that is SO natural that it just radiates beauty for miles.
- Don't be afraid to dance! This kind of goes hand-in-hand with the music tip. I found it easier to pose when I was dancing at the same time because a lot of my poses were just dance moves that I stopped doing for a picture and then kept right on going! For example, the top right picture of this blog post montage is actually me dancing to Can't Stop the Feeling by Justin Timberlake!
See! It's not so scary and it's not that intimidating getting in front of the camera. I hope these tips help you take pictures like a freaking boss next time you need to take some pictures for your Instagram or Facebook! I'm not saying you'll feel great right off the bat (I know I didn't!), but it will definitely help. And I hope that you can tell me about your success soon and share some tips that you found helpful to do for yourself.
Email the pictures you take with these tips to BrandByYouDesigns@gmail.com. I don't care if you are wearing a BBY shirt or not - I just want to see your success! Now get our there and take some pics!!!