*Sponsored content: This post contains a sponsored inclusion in collaboration with Clarks Shoes USA and their Willow Art Sandal, but all views are 100% my own.
Thanks to the art of “school picture day” photography, combined with years of saying “cheese” while holding an awkward pose for family photos…being comfortable in front of the camera isn’t the easiest. Granted it is quite unnatural to look as though you’re having the best time, when you’re really just sweating your butt off in 100 degree weather and your back is about to go out just to get the “perfect shot.”
Unnatural or not, it’s 2019 and it’s v normal to want a new cute profile picture, something fun for your feed or perhaps you just want to not get nervous when your Instagram obsessed friend shouts “group picture” at brunch next weekend. Regardless, I’m sharing a few tips that have helped me feel confident before the dreaded “3…2…1…click”.
The Good News
You have survived much worse, sis!
A picture is not worth a thousand words anymore because most people only look at a photo for 0.5 seconds, double tap and keep it moving. So, that thing that literally only you notice doesn’t even have a chance of being seen. Cheers!
You are beautiful and already have everything you need to be comfortable in front of the camera! These tips are just pointers to keep in mind, when the time comes.
The Power of Angles
Remember when you took geometry in 8th grade? It was ALL for this moment and that time was not wasted, hunty. It turns out that triangles don’t only look good on paper, but the human eye is naturally more drawn to lines. It also turns out that when we try to make these lines with our bodies, it feels awkward and a tad bit like a slow death. However, it’s flattering and COMPLETELY changed the game for me. The next time you don’t know what to do with your limbs, try creating space in-between them to make those lines and add dimension to the photo. Below are a few of my go-to’s.
The “Mysterious Floating Elbow + Arm Up” - Is she tucking her hair behind her ear? Is she scratching her head? WE DON’T KNOW, but we are here for these shapes.
The “Mysterious Floating Elbows + Both Arms Up” - This one elongates the body, adds movement and feels like you should be frolicking in Palm Springs with glitter on your face, but it is fun and adds character to the photo.
The “Casual Hand on Face or Holding Something” - This one has the same effects as the previously mentioned poses, but gives you something to hold for comfort (your face, coffee, flowers, fruit, any miscellaneous prop will do).
The Break a Leg - It’s official. The phrase “break a leg” has nothing to do with luck. It is the theatre world’s way of reminding thesbians to keep those leg angles in CHECK. Whether standing or sitting, it really helps to bend a knee (or both) when posing. Have fun with this one, play around and don’t be afraid to get on the ground or kick your leg in the air.
Embrace Being Playful
Ok. Serious photos are beautiful, can be v artsy and have their place in the world of posing. However, for the sake of simply getting comfortable in front of the camera, we are just going to focus on having fun. Being unsure what to do can quickly lead to a boring and flat photo. To give your capture more life, try using what is around you or bringing fun props to help tell your story.
Wearing a flowy dress? Twirl and play with it to add movement. Have a ribbon in your hair? Play with that. Take advantage of what’s on and around you to give your hands something to do and to add a story to your image.
Don’t have anything to play with? Simply make subtle movements, while fake-laugh-smiling. I guarantee that your fake laugh will turn into a real one because this one always feels ridiculous no matter what. It reminds me not to take myself too seriously and helps create a more natural/candid shot!
Lastly, not every photo has to be a direct eye contact shot. Those are amazing, but switch it up and slightly look to the left/right of the camera or slightly tilt your head up/down. It helps me to just gently move my head around while fake laughing. Anything for that “I’m just having the time of my life and you just happen to be here capturing it on camera” look.
Try wearing or packing versatile pieces for your shoot. Doing so allows you to pack light and have options for multiple looks. HELLO BATCH CONTENT! These Willow Art Sandals from Clarks Shoes are a great go to for comfortability and they pair well with so many outfits. Definitely a new fave in my line-up for shoots and just everyday style with ease. They’re currently 44% off too, sis! Click here or see below for the link.
Stick with Cute, Light and Comfortable
This is more of a life tip in general because who wants to be cute and uncomfortable?
Regarding posing, I can say that it is much more bearable when I feel good, look good and am genuinely comfortable from head to toe.
After many attempts to wear tight denim for photos, I eventually had to count the cost and PIVOT. That ish just does not work, unless they are v stretchy, you unbutton them or have -5% body fat. Side note: if you’re just taking a standing photo, tight jeans will do. However, if you want more movement or the ability to breathe, I recommend sticking to fabric pants, loose mom jeans, a skirt or a dress! Especially, if you plan on sitting down at all. Please trust me on this one. Your patience and your body will thank me later.
Practice and patience are EVERYTHING! Being more aware of what you’re doing with your body in photos and being prepared for shoots is going to take time and there will be AMPLE blooper shots. So be patient with yourself, seek inspiration often (Pinterest is great for this) and practice in the mirror. You will feel so bizarre at first, but it really does help to see what shapes and faces you can make. Trust yourself and have fun with it, love! I’m always here to help too!
*All images taken by Brittany Herbert Photography