Hands up if you're camera shy? If we were in a room full of women then I'd hazard a guess that most of them would have their hands up right about now. It's so common and it's often one of the biggest reasons we hesitate to book that family photoshoot.
Perhaps you aren't really feeling that pregnancy glow others wax lyrical about. Maybe you haven't quite lost all the baby weight yet. But you are your biggest critic and I can guarantee that your children won't see any of that when they're all grown up and they're flicking back through the photos. They'll just see you. Their mum.
Here are 5 of my top tips to overcome that pesky camera shyness.
1. Look and feel your best
You are much more likely to feel confident in front of the camera if you look and feel like your very best self. If you choose me to be your family photographer, then you will get access to my bespoke session guides. These include styling guides that are tailored to the season, and are packed full of advice on what to wear, colours, shoes, accessories, and makeup and hair tips. If you'd like a sneak peak at these guides, just <pop me a message> and I'll whizz one over to you.
How lovely do this little family look?
2. Preparation is key
It's all in the preparation. Along with a styling guide I will also give you access to my session guide which will give you advice on how to be as prepared as you possibly can be for your shoot. If you feel well prepared, you'll feel more relaxed, and if you're more relaxed, then you'll feel more confident in front of my lens.
This mummy was incredibly well prepared with a complete change of outfit so she wasn't at all fazed by how wet he got jumping in the puddles!
3. Allow plenty of time for your family photoshoot
Making sure that you have plenty of time for your photoshoot and that you don't feel rushed will also go along way to keeping you relaxed. Do you see a theme emerging here?!
No one will perform well when they are up against a ticking clock. My sessions are advertised as an hour for a <bespoke session> and half an hour for a <bitesize session>. But the difference with me is that I view those as a guide only. Sometimes we don't need that long, sometimes we need longer. But because I never book more than one shoot a day, and because I don't clock watch, there is no need for you to panic if it takes a while for you or the kids or your other half to warm up.
This mummy taking time out to feed their newborn, gave big sis the chance to have a sweet little snuggle with daddy. And gave me to opportunity to snap one of my favourite images from their session.
4. Give your hands something to do
Having something to do with your hands that takes your mind off the camera is a brilliant distractor. And with family photos that 'something' is your family. The great thing about the kind of photography I love is that it isn't forced or posed. I won't be needing you to keep looking at my camera and giving me those forced cheesy smiles. I want you to look at each other, play with the kids, tickle them, have big cuddle puddles with each other.
Instead of leaving your hands hanging by your side, just ruffle your child's hair, hold the baby, put an arm around your other half. If you're pregnant cradle your bump.
5. Ask for direction
If you are very camera shy, tell your photographer beforehand. Chances are they will chat to you throughout the session anyway, but if I know beforehand that a family is feeling particularly nervous about being in front of my camera, then I know to give more direction from the outset.
You'll soon forget all about your shyness when I'm randomly shouting stuff at you like 'Everyone look at the person with the stinkiest feet!'
There are many worries mums have about booking an outdoor family photoshoot. Now we've looked at what to do if you're camera shy, why not take a squizz at the posts below that cover other common queries I get?