How To: Know if You Are Comfortable with a Photographer
Awhile ago I wrote an Instagram post about being comfortable in your body and in front of the camera. A lot of you guys were interested to know how I pose so comfortably and 'naturally'. I can tell you one thing, there is nothing natural or comfortable about being in front of the camera.
BUT, there is one thing that can make being in front of the camera easier, and that's the photographer!
Although realistically, you don't need a photographer even. Just spend money on a tripod and call it a day.
BUT, if you have someone you trust and can rely on to take decent photos of you, then that's always a bonus.
Even then though, there are certain characteristics of good photographers that you may not think about, but is actually really important when you do any sort of a photoshoot. Let me explain to you what they are!
They actively try to make you laugh/not think about the fact that you are doing a photoshoot
I've noticed that the photographer's photos that I enjoy the most are the photographer's who make me have fun while doing it. If they make a funny joke at you to get you to laugh, or make it seem like the photoshoot location is an adventure, then it makes it all the more fun, and all the more natural.
FOR EXAMPLE: My boyfriend always tries to make me feel sexy by saying 'you look so good!', 'oh, do more of that' but instead of making me feel sexy he just make's me laugh instead. Even then though, those photos are the ones I love the most.
they move around you, rather than expecting you to move around
If being in front of the camera isn't nerve wracking enough, being expected to move around can be even more disheartening. I mean, don't get me wrong, photographers shouldn't be doing all the work! You can't just be sitting/standing still and expect to get gorgeous photos. BUT, a good photographer will help you rather than expect you to do all the work.
FOR EXAMPLE: My sister, whenever she is taking my photos, she will ALWAYS move. Whether that's to get a different angle (bending down) or from another perspective (on the other side of a tree). Those photos always offer me different views, and make an outfit look more functional, which is always what I go for.
they help you learn good photography/posing skills
Okay, I think one of the biggest misconceptions about bloggers like me is that we were 'born to do this'. That's BS. You have no idea how many photo sessions I trashed because as soon as I got the photos back from the photographer I immediately was like 'no, not posting these.'
It takes work! It takes effort! But, in that photo session, what I didn't like most about it was that the photographer never told me how to pose! Or what angles were flattering (to be fair, they also barely moved around me so there's a two-sided argument to this...). After that session, all I learned is how NOT to pose. Which, is a start for sure.
FOR EXAMPLE (other than the one I just gave): one of my friend's photos I almost always love, because she will actively tell me which leg to put how, or how much more I should tilt my head, etc. Whenever I get those photos back, I'm always so in love with myself (as narcissistic as that sounds!) because of how good she made me look.
they ask for your opinion on a certain environment/pose/angle
If the photographer takes at least 5-10 photos of you and don't show you what they've taken so far, you can almost be certain that you won't really like 80% of the photos that you end up getting post-session. The other 20% of photos will make you go 'meh'. Or that's an exaggeration...there may be 1-2 that you really love (if there isn't then I'm really worried about the photographic career!).
Make sure you find a photographer who is willing to share with you what they've taken so far. OR, a photographer you feel comfortable asking to see the photos they've taken. Basically, don't leave the session without seeing the photos. If the photographer makes you really uncomfortable and you don't feel like asking them to see the photos, then maybe that's just a sign to never go back to them again.
FOR EXAMPLE: In the previous note I shared with you the example about that one photographer's photos that I never even posted. Well, that photographer was also so protective over her camera that I hesitated to even ask to look...even though she was my peer, after that session, and after receiving the photos, I told myself to never go back to her.
they are transparent with their edits
Okay, I hope I'm not the only person who does this but I actually ask all my photographers (except my bf and sister because they shoot on my camera/phone respectively) for every single original photo. They can edit how they see fit on a particular photo, but I ALWAYS ask for the original. Having the original helps you see what they have changed. Even if it's lighting, sometimes my eye for lighting is to prefer darker lighting, but they want lighter. Little things make a difference.
FOR EXAMPLE: Not really a bad example but I recently took my headshot for LinkedIn and when my friend gave me the original + her edits, she had made the entire photo look so much brighter than the original. To her credit, I used the brighter one because it make my skin look brighter, but I still want the original to compare.
in the end, trust your gut!
Like I said in the second to last point, at the end of a particular photoshoot, I knew I didn't have a good time. And then I got the photos back and it basically confirmed it for me.
In the end, knowing whether you are comfortable with someone is like falling in love: you can tell in your gut if you're really in love with someone, and that's the same with photographers.
Trust your gut. It's the best measure.
What are some of your go to moves to see if you're comfortable with a particular photographer?