No “Cheese” Allowed: How to Look Natural in Your Photos

Excitement and dread. That’s what we hear from most clients during session planning. They’re excited to celebrate a special time in their life, but dread it because they worry they’ll look awkward in front of the camera. We get it. All those forced, unflattering pi

ctures throughout child and teenage hood haven’t really set a great tone. Alyssa will be the first to admit that many pictures of her growing up look like she had just eaten a Warhead Sour Candy.

We don’t like Warhead Sour Candy pictures (breathe a sigh of relief). We’d much rather capture the dynamics between you and your loved one(s) that would happen whether our cameras were there or not. In fact, we love these shots so much that we don’t count to “1, 2, 3” or “say cheese.” Staged photos aren’t fun for anyone. And let’s face it…they’re not drawing out who you are or who you are together!

We want you to feel natural and at ease. So, from our own painful experiences in front of the camera and working with clients, we have a few tips to help us capture YOU.

1. Focus on each other!

Remain connected and engaged with one another. Be as affectionate as you are comfortable with. Laugh through the awkwardness. Tell each other a funny memory you have together. Keep your eyes locked on each other (unless of course, we get creative and encourage you to try something else ).

2. Don’t be afraid to dress it up, but be comfortable!

There is no such thing as “too dressed up” when it comes to your session, so don’t be afraid to have some fun! But…there are such things as wobbly runway models and split pants – yikes. We can’t have that. Wearing things you aren’t used to wearing, like 7” stilettos when the rest of your closet is filled with 2 ½” heels…is an instant recipe for awkward faces. Dress it up, but make sure you’re still going to feel attractive, safe (no rolled ankles allowed!), and able to have fun!

3. Do something you love during your shoot!

Be in your element, whether that means doing a special activity, like hiking, canoeing, dancing, picnicking, etc. Consider integrating a favorite item, like a pet, personalized sign, cool car (anyone got a Volkswagen Bus?!), etc. Shoot at a memorable location, like your first date, favorite place to escape to, hometown, etc.

4. Make our posing your own!

“Cheese” is not allowed to be said at our sessions. But, we’ll set you and your loved one(s) in a general pose. Puhhh-lease adjust these poses if you feel uncomfortable or awkward. Chances are, if you feel uncomfortable, you’ll look uncomfortable. After you’re settled in a general pose, we’ll encourage you to engage with each other and coach you on what to do with your hands and body. While you laugh and enjoy yourselves, we’ll be snapping away capturing your natural love.

5. Let’s get to know each other!

Nothing’s more nerve-racking than showing up for a session to work with people you don’t know. We LOVE to get to know our clients. You’re our friends. To help us get to know you better and learn how we can best serve you, we meet or chat on the phone before our time together. Nothing long. Just enough to learn how awesome you are!

All-in-all, we want you to look like you would in real life. Not like you’ve eaten a Warhead. Hope that’s alright! 🙂