In no way am I saying I’m a supermodel, but blogging for the last seven years has taught me so much about feeling confident in front of the camera. For so many years I had my then-boyfriend (the poor guy) taking all my pictures, I would hastily put together an outfit and make him rush out the door camera in hand to shoot some pictures in front of our apartment or some deserted alley I HATED even the possibility of one person watching me and if I saw someone walk down the street that would be, my concentration was gone and I was instantly nervous and uncomfortable. Finding my confidence was no easy task but there were a few things I’ve learned on this journey.
Connect with Your Photographer
Sometimes it’s best to separate business from pleasure… as convenient as working with your significant other can be some times it’s best to keep your work separate from your relationship. I learned that the hard way. There were many fights about how the shot really wasn’t the way I envisioned or simply he didn’t want to play photographer that day. When I moved to the city and didn’t have a boyfriend to take out on shoots I had to look to local photographers for help and honestly, it has helped me grow so much. When you work with like-minded and creative individuals it was not only a challenge but has been so fun to collaborate on a vision and has also made my life easier because they understand angels and I can focus on the outfit and getting the right shots for my blog posts. Now I’m not saying working with your significant other will never work out, if your significant other is a wiz behind the camera and also loves photography then it’s the perfect scenario. But I’ve found working with others to be such a refreshing experience and keeps me creative.
Get Out Of Your Head
Shooting in public is probably the scariest thing in the world, sometimes I like to equate the feeling of showing up to class in your underwear. But it doesn’t have to be! Try putting on some music to dance around to if you can, I’ve gotten to the point were while my photographer gets the settings right on the camera I will dance around and act silly. This couple minute gives me some time to get out any jitters I may have and allows me to focus on my mission of getting the perfect shot.
Have a Thought
I mean literally… think while you shoot. I love creating a story in my mind to evoke an emotion. If I have my favorite power suit on I’m a boss babe walking into a big board meeting. Or if I’m dressed in a sweet spring dress maybe I’m running uptown to meet some friends for drinks at a cute hotel. Whatever your story is it helps you create authentic facial expressions and like Tyra says helps you “smize.”
Not only do I dance to get my nerve out but I will also dance while we shoot. These fluid and graceful movements translate so well in a photograph. Luckily I have years of ballet training in my back pocket so I can move very easily but just have fun with your movements! I love playing with my hair flipping my hair over. moving my arms around and hopping those in between action shots sometimes are the best shots. I also find using your surroundings can also help you get creative. Any bench or flowerbed can become a runway. Lean against a wall or even sit on the ground.
Practice Makes Perfect
This may feel silly but knowing your best angles is half the battle. Working with a photographer is helpful because they can help you learn your best angles but the other way to do this is by practicing. sit in front of a mirror and practice, smile, laugh, make your serious face, practice the directions you place your body in front of a mirror. When posing my body I always keep angles in my mind. Creating triangles with your body is so important and creates long lines. bend a knee or your arm slightly to create soft long lines. Doing this in front of a mirror helps you visualize it before you’re out on the street.
If I’m in need to change up my poses, I’ve definitely noticed the hands in hair pose is somewhat of a signature move of mine, I turn to Pinterest for inspiration. I think I have about three boards of poses, concepts, and location inspiration. I also let the outfit I’m shooting gives me inspiration for the storyline or location I want to shoot in. Again, bringing this inspiration to a photographer is like bringing photos to your hairdresser it makes explaining your vision that much easier.
I think my number one tips is, if modeling, or blogging, or becoming an influencer is your goal then treat it like a job. Be proud of your work, and your dream. The worst that could happen is someone comes up to you and asks what you’re doing and from there you get to tell them about your passion project. So be confident and have fun, once you’re out of your head you can accomplish anything.