Although I used the, “What do I do with my hands,” as a cute blog post title, it is actually a commonly stated concern for people when they are being photographed! Not only their hands, but, “Do you want me to smile?” “My hair is in my face; can I move it?” “What am I supposed to be thinking about?” “Do I look at the camera?”
As a photographer, my job is to make you feel comfortable in front of the camera. The poses, limb placement, facial expressions… all of these things will be addressed during the shoot. In this post I’ll give examples of ways I’ll be directing you, but I’ve gathered some fun ways for you to come into your shoot a little more comfortable as well! AND I’ve asked Jordan, a former bride [and my neighbor and lovely friend] to model for me to show examples, too! SO here we go!
If it bends, bend it. When you come into a shoot, don’t be afraid to put your hand on your waist. Pop a hip out. Reach up and grab your hair. Joints are so awesome and are meant to be used! Specifically, I’ll be directing you on what to put where especially if something isn’t working, but feel comfortable enough to at least move.
What DO I do with my hands? Here are a few options. Put your hands in your pockets. Place one hand on your waist. Run a hand through your hair. Have a hat or prop? Hold on to that! If you have a “tangable” environment, touch it! Grab a hold of your significant other. Hold THEIR hand. Wrap your hand around their neck.
Don’t forget about your shoulders. Put movement in your photos by moving. Shoulders are a great way to start, especially if you’re like most of the world and uncomfortable being photographed.
Now I bet you’re overwhelmed. There is so much to think about, but if you’re not a professional model, you really don’t have to think about any of this. Because lucky for you, if you’re being photographed, there is a photographer who knows what photographs well and is going to tell you what to do! The more comfortable you are in front of the camera, the less they’ll have to tell you. But no worries. Here are a few ways I’ll help you.
Do what I do. Sometimes, all the direction in the world can’t help a pose come to life unless the subject knows and SEE’S what you’re explaining. I’ll say, “Let’s try something like this.” Or, “Mirror me!” Usually it helps when the client sees what you’re doing. They can mirror you, and bam – they’ve connected with the feel and positioning of the pose and are able to mimic you.
Words, actions, and store references. This is usually really helpful with groups and couples. If things are getting a little repetitious, and I’m getting the same look over and over, I’ll try and give you something to DO! Usually it’s not the action I’m looking for, it’s the moment when you realize you feel silly and then laugh and smile. “Spin her around!” “Dip her!” “Walk away and look back at me.” “Run toward me!” “Tell her a secret.” Words and store references can help to. Rather than saying, “Be serious,” which usually makes people bust out laughing, say, “Give me J.Crew.” “Anthropologie.” “Give me, Proud. Silly. Romantic.” I’ll get a fun series that will loosen up the mood and let you get comfortable.
Pinterest. One of my most beneficial Pinterest boards I have is my Directing School board. I pin photos of poses that I love and are flattering, my style, and easy to work you into. Here are some examples with Jordan.
HOPEFULLY, this was helpful. What are your fears of being photographed?