Do you get nervous before a pORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHY session?!? That’s totally normal! Feeling comfortable in front of the camera is a common challenge for many people, but there are several strategies you can try to help overcome this discomfort. READ TO FIND OUT MORE!

1. Practice at Home

Spend some time in front of a mirror practicing different poses and expressions. Experiment with angles, body positioning, and facial expressions to find what feels most natural and flattering for you.  Also, you can use social media to find some inspiration for posing prior to your next professional portrait photography session! Instagram, Pinterest, and Tik Tok are all great resources to see poses that others have done and you can use them to your advantage.  By practicing your posing before your shoot, you’ll discover your strengths and weaknesses, and you’ll be more prepared when your photographer asks you to pose. Most importantly, you’ll feel and appear more confident!

2. Relaxation Techniques

Before any photo shoot, practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or progressive muscle relaxation to help calm your nerves and reduce tension in your body.  One of my favorite techniques to relax is box breathing.  This practice consists of taking in a deep breath for 4 seconds, holding for 4 seconds, releasing for 4 seconds, and then holding for 4 more seconds.  Then you repeat the process over and over again until you feel relaxed and calm! It works like magic!

3. Focus on the Photographer

Instead of thinking about the camera, focus on the photographer behind it. Imagine you're having a conversation with them or engaging with them in some way to create a more relaxed and natural connection.  You can stare into the camera lens and try to count how many times the camera shutter opens and closes.  Also, if your photographer has you looking away from the camera, you can count how many fence posts or bricks you see, or count the branches on a tree. All of these exercises help get your mind off of the camera pointed at you, which will lead to a more relaxed state.

4. Visualize Success

Visualize yourself feeling confident and comfortable during the photo shoot. Imagine yourself posing effortlessly and smiling genuinely, reinforcing positive thoughts and feelings.  Whatever we manifest becomes our reality.  This includes feelings of confidence and comfort.  Imagine you are a supermodel and posing is effortless for you.  You are absolutely slaying this shoot.  Own it!

5. Choose the Right Portrait Photographer in San Marcos, TX

Work with a photographer who makes you feel comfortable and at ease. A supportive and encouraging professional photographer can help create a relaxed atmosphere and provide guidance to help you feel more confident in front of the camera.  I like to have my clients imagine they are at the beach or they are walking alone in nature. This helps my clients to relax.  I also try not to have clients posed too rigidly. Essentially, I allow you to be your true self in front of the camera.  Finally, I encourage you along the way by complimenting you and giving you positive feedback.  You’ll also get to view each set of photos on the back of the camera to make sure you’re happy with the photos as we’re capturing them!  My approach is more laid-back and relaxed than other photographers and I truly believe that it creates more flattering and authentic photos!

6. Wear Comfortable Clothing

Choose clothing that you feel comfortable and confident in. Avoid outfits that are too tight, restrictive, or uncomfortable, as this can add to feelings of self-consciousness.  If you bought a new outfit specifically for this portrait session, make sure you wear it at home several times before the shoot to get an idea of how it will look and make you feel, within the comfort of your home. This way, there are no wardrobe surprises on the day of our shoot!

7. Engage in Conversation

Strike up a conversation with the photographer or anyone else present during the photo shoot. Engaging in conversation can help distract you from any feelings of self-consciousness and create a more relaxed atmosphere.  I’m an introvert myself and I tend to really get focused in on my photographic process and ensuring that the photos come out beautiful.  That doesn’t mean I don’t like conversation though!  I love chatting and joking around with my clients!  I’ll always do my best to talk to you during our shoot and ask you questions about your likes and dislikes, hobbies, etc. Also, if you think of anything you want to ask me, go right ahead! I promise I won't bite!

8. Take Breaks

If you start to feel overwhelmed or anxious during the photo shoot, don't hesitate to take short breaks to regroup and relax. Stepping away from the camera for a moment can help reset your mindset and alleviate any tension.  Also, make sure to drink plenty of water if it’s hot out and sit down if you’ve been standing for awhile.  I'll do my best to anticipate when you'll need a break and can usually tell when my clients need one. However, if you're feeling tired or overwhelmed, please let me know and we can absolutely take as many breaks as you need!

9. Focus on the Moment

Instead of worrying about how you'll look in the photos, focus (no pun intended!) on being present in the moment and enjoying the experience. Trust that as your photographer, I will capture your best moments and expressions.  You’re working with a professional who knows how to capture the best in you! As cliche as it sounds, all you have to do is be yourself!

10. Practice Self-Compassion

Be kind to yourself and practice self-compassion throughout the photo shoot. Remember that it's okay to feel nervous or self-conscious, and acknowledge any negative thoughts or feelings with kindness and understanding. 

By implementing these strategies and approaches, you can gradually build your confidence and feel more comfortable in front of the camera. Over time, you may find that posing for photos becomes a more enjoyable and empowering experience.   You got this!