We sure hope you've been doing great and are looking forward to having a productive week! We still can't believe it's March already! Our last few posts have been about the importance of photography (professional and using your phone) along with printing great quality photos (and it's not as expensive as you think!).
Today's blog post is in response to a couple clients we've had that have tried to shy out of being in pictures with their children simply because they are camera shy. How do you know when you're camera shy? If you make all sorts of excuses when it comes time to be the subject of a photo, duck behind the tall people in a group photo and rarely or never take selfies, you probably fall in this category. Well, everyone is not naturally photogenic, and we don't photograph models (yet). (We've thought about doing Modest Fashion photography, but haven't branched out yet.)
You know you need family portraits because the last ones are either non-existent or you're wearing goofy outdated clothes and missing your front teeth (which means you haven't taken photos since your mom and dad took some snapshots!). If you just can't convince yourself to calmly smile for the camera with your children, there's still hope. Relax, you don't have to just stand there awkwardly and say "cheese". Your story should be told the way your life really is, even if you get dressed up (or wear regular everyday clothes) and go to a favorite family hangout spot for your photo session.
Tip #1: Forget posing! See the picture at the top of this blog? We love that pose because even though you can't see mom's face, it's evident she loves her son and gets to be in the pose without having to look at the camera. Photos with hands holding, taking a stroll, doing an activity take the tension of camera shy people, and give you a reason to participate with your family doing the things you love - interacting. Instead of thinking about posing, focus on your relationship with your son, daughter, spouse, grandchildren or whomever your loved ones are, and the love you share can be shown in your story.
Tip #2: Think "comfortable location". Yes, this could even be your home. Stop thinking your home is not good enough. It's where you experience your family each day. Photos and video showing you cooking and eating dinner together are wonderful memories to have as keepsakes! Perhaps there's a lake, camp ground or park you frequent. (It would be nice if we had beaches here in Ohio, but we don't know of any!) Try looking through the Family magazine that's free in your local grocery store for location ideas. Look at your county's park website to find out about events that you may want to have family portraits taken at (such as a Christmas tree farm, a place like Entertrainment Junction, Hueston Woods or Hamilton County's Parky's Farm.
Tip #3: Bring something familiar. Although this works for children, it can be helpful for adults too. Perhaps you are a musician. If you can bring the instrument to your session, that would give you something to focus on. Of course, if you play piano, we might encourage you to find a location where a piano is available (your church, your home, a community arts building are a few examples). Do you enjoy flowers? Bring a bouquet with you and make it a part of your session. Portraits aren't meant to be rigid and stoic. You should enjoy your portrait session. Most importantly, you should be visible in it. This is not the time to hide on the sidelines. Talk with your photographer about your fears, likes and dislikes, so he or she (or us, if you choose) can help answer questions. After all, this season is the best time in your life, right? Even if you're hoping for a situation to turn around for the better, there's no shame in struggle. If you've ever heard the story of a butterfly coming out of it's cocoon, you'll remember that it's only chance for survival is to struggle without interference. Perhaps you have battled a job loss or news of an illness. Don't let this season make you bitter. Use it as a stepping stone to build more tenacity. You are a conqueror! Apostle Paul penned the words best in Romans 8:37, "Nay, we are more than conquerors through him that loved us." (KJV)
Being shy in front of the camera when it comes to family portraits is in the past, right? Kind of like Rafiki in The Lion King's mantra, "Hakuna Matata, it's in the past"! You can do this! We believe in you! Trust us, it's not as hard as you think to do.
We hope this post has been helpful to you in some way, because we sincerely believe that portraits tell the story of your life. This is your life, love and legacy. Cherish it. It's a God-given blessing.
Until next time, be encouraged and hold your head high in the difficult times. Looking up reminds us that God is in control and has all power to fix our small problems.