How To Deal With Having Your Photo Taken
For those that hate it and are camera shy
If you’ve clicked on this post I presume you understand how I feel in this. When it comes to how I look in person, I feel content. However, whenever I have my picture taken where I know about it and have to pose. I hate the photo. I look anxious, pose awkwardly and when I see the picture afterward I hate it as I see someone completely different.
It’s probably a psychological thing. We’re so used to the way we look in the mirror that pictures of what we actually look like look weird to us. It doesn’t feel like us and we prefer what we look like in the mirror. This is a ‘how to deal with this issue practically’ blog post, not some waffle about having better self-esteem or loving your flaws. Since I find those about as useful as a paper-mache canoe.
First of all, don’t be so hard on yourself
Obviously, professional photographers know how to get the good shots of people; they know how to deal with a subject, how to get them to move when they feel awkward, and what poses to suggest so that you look relaxed and normal rather than a robot. Your friends in a club, your family taking random snapshots, your partner who you’ve cajoled into taking outfit of the day photos? Probably not.
Nobody looks good every time – take multiple photos
If you’ve ever seen a photo shoot or one of those ‘top model’ programmes you will notice they take hundreds of photos to get just one good shot. Taking 20 selfies and picking the best one, that’s totally fine! If you’ve got the option on your phone or camera, ask whoever is taking the picture to use the ‘burst’ feature. This will take a bunch of photos at once, so if you blink it won’t show up in all of them etc. You are much more likely to find 1 out of 50 photos that you like than just like 1 random photo.
Get used to photos by looking away from the camera
I hate photos but want to be in my travel photos in a small way as looking back on them reminds me of all the great times I had. My friend Sophia was so patient with me recently on holiday taking pictures. She suggested I look away from the camera directly, so it wasn’t so stressful. This was so much easier for me, the photo is of the view and you looking at the view, you can just pretend it was an arty photo choice and not cos you’re a weirdo.
Alternatively, you could just look slightly to the side or above/below the lens which tends to avoid the terror-smile look of frozen horror. After having a few photos done like this and looking at them you realise you can actually look normal in a photo, which in turn makes you more relaxed about having photos taken.
How to stand in photos (so you don’t look like that chick from The Ring)
It’s definitely not a good idea to stand face on directly towards the camera. This only works if you’re Justin Bieber or a supermodel, love yourself as much as Kanye loves himself and are addicted to photos. For everyone else, a 45-degree angle is a lot better. Keep your feet at an angle to the side of you, put more weight on the back leg and turn your body and face backward a bit to face the camera more. Still not directly at it if you can’t manage that yet.
Keep your shoulders back so you don’t look hunched and lift your chin so you don’t look like Chinny von Chin chin. Ta da, someone who looks relaxed, confident and nowhere near as horrified as they feel inside.
What to do with your flipping arms!
Arms are great until you’re having a photo and have no idea what to do with them. When you’re with someone else, always put your arm around them, hold their hand etc. If you’re in a line of people, put your hand on the arm of the person in front of you. If you’re in a picture alone put your hands in your pockets, put one hand on your hip, hold something, put your hands in the air or one hand (if it’s a funny ta-da photo), or rest your arm on something nearby. Basically anything rather than letting them just hang by your sides. You can see from the pictures above I am either holding my camera, resting my hand on some railings or doing some random hair flip.
How to not look like you’re having the worst day of your life
Even when I’ve practiced all the tips above my face often gives me away. Body fine, face looks like I am clenching my teeth and praying for this to be over…oh wait I am. To smile in a photo without looking super cheesy instead of saying ‘cheeeeese’ as you smile say ‘yeesss’ instead, this opens your mouth but not as widely, resulting in a more normal smile. Photographer friend tip right there!
Another tip is to try and fake laugh, I don’t know abut you but as soon as I fake laugh, I then start actually laughing at how ridiculous fake laughing is. It will relax your face and the smile will be genuine.
Some controversial advice
I’m not suggesting you should get wasted just for a picture, but if you’re in need of a decent photo of yourself. Try and have one done at a party after you’ve had a little sippy sippy to loosen you up a bit. The rare few pictures of me where I am full on smiling right at the camera, looking like I’m having the time of my life (such as my profile picture on this blog). I was having the time of my life, I was at my birthday party, and had a few rose’s. I still had a full-blown moan at my friend for taking so many photos, but at least I didn’t look like a constipated alien when she won and ended up taking them! #drinkresponsibly
My final tip
Never give anyone your camera to take a photo of you who is shorter than you. It’s a bad angle, you’ll end up looking like you’re fatter, chinnier and worse than you can imagine. So if you’re a tall person and always find tourists asking you to take a picture, now you know why!
I hope you found some of these tips helpful!