Today I have really something interesting to talk about. The topic of looking good in front of the camera. Yes everyone wants to look good in the pictures right. Quite a fair call I suppose.But not everyone is confident in front of the camera. “I am not photogenic” we get to hear this so many times. It is a common complaint we come across as wedding photographers. Honestly speaking, everyone is photogenic but I know many people won’t agree to this. But trust me this is a fact.
Ok ! so tell me why we need to look good in the pictures. Why it is so important that all our pictures should come out nice. Tell me tell me think about it why.?? It’s quite simple everyone wants to look good and everyone wants to present the best of themselves to the world. Pictures are like some water reflection of you. In this era of social media, whether we agree or not. We know we will be judged by people how will look in the pictures. Imagine a Facebook, without pictures, would you really like Facebook without pictures. Or let’s say Instagram, it is all about pictures. we use so many filters, skin smoothening apps, bokeh effect and those portrait modes of your mobile. So all these technology companies are investing so much in technology, just to make you look good.
I remember I was shooting a wedding in Delhi, it was a getting ready session of the bride. I with my co-shooter were shooting the bride in the hotel room. Let me first describe a typical scene of a hotel room where the bride get ready for a wedding. No matter how many beautiful pictures you see of a bride getting ready or any arty pictures from the session. The reality is totally different. The room is full of chaos and some anxious emotions. You will see open suitcases or luggage. Lot of clothes scattered. Couple of open makeup boxes with all the makeup stuff around the bride. Some used coffee mugs or tea bags. Running TV unit on the wall which no one is watching. And yes there is an open door of the bathroom which is in a mess. Again some clothes lying around. I will skip the detailing of what sort of clothes are lying. You need to use your own imagination. A tense bride running from makeup chair to the bathroom big mirror to see how her makeup looks in the big mirror and different lighting. Most of the times, the brides are running late. The family is pressurizing to get ready as fast as she can. Mobile phones ringing. Everyone wants to know how much more time she is going to take. Then there is one friend or cousin of the bride who is helping her take the most important decisions of a life right now. Obviously relate to make up our house she is looking. What could be more important then looking the best on your wedding day. So this is a quite a typical scenario of almost every wedding.
Coming back to that Delhi wedding. In all this chaos and frenzy, mother or the close aunt enters the room and wants us to click a picture of her. I really don’t remember whether it was the mum or the aunt. Anyways, she was adjusting herself to be clicked by my core shooter. She says to him or rather both of us – you have to make sure all my pictures in the wedding are perfect. Her tone was more of like ultimatum. You know how Indian aunties talk right but then there are some photographers like him who would take instructions very seriously. He was looking at me with a look in his eyes. Keep your calm and keep on shooting. Sometimes I really wish shooting wedding or any photography assignment should we all about photography and nothing else. But the fact is, managing people whether it’s your clients all team members, consume a lot of energy and time. Generally it goes unnoticed. For most of the people including some newbie photographers, shooting weddings is all about fun and masti. It’s like a mini holiday but it is not trust me.
I will not give you the those typical tips on how to pose or how to hide the so-called flow so that you look good or photogenic in your pictures. The easiest and the simple way to look good is to be yourself. Just The Way You Are, whether somebody is clicking you or not. It’s called being candid or what we call candid photography. This is the reason why so many people prefer or assume they look good in Candid pictures. The reason why you don’t look good in posed pictures is because you are too conscious to be clicked. It’s like losing yourself for few seconds just for that picture. That’s why when you see that picture you find yourself awkward and not photogenic. You just cannot relate yourself to that picture. The only way to avoid this is just be casual and normal in front of the camera. We just make it began our head that I am being clicked. Your eyes become freezed or stoned. Either you weirdly control your smile all just go all out with a smile which is not your. Do you feel anxious while being clicked. It is very similar to holding your pee. How can you look good holding your pee.
So next time when you are getting clicked or someone is pointing camera at you the only thing you need to do is be yourself. Feel nice about yourself don’t overcharge yourself. Don’t think how you are gonna look. Just smile or look at the camera as if you are looking at your loved one. For a starter, start tuning your mind, as if you are looking at your loved one. Slowly you will transform and adopt this way of being in front of the camera without an effort. Initially it will be an effort, to see results. But you will see results. Looking awkward in front of the camera is you, your current normal. It takes time to let go of your current normal and adopt a new normal. A new normal which is being pleasant and natural in front of the camera.
So how many of you can relate to my thoughts. how many of you feel. Anyways I hope you guys like these simple tips. Let me know your thoughts or any fun experiences you had I will be happy to share in my next episode. You can leave a voice message on if you are using anchor.FM. You can also mail me on navdeep at Navdeep Soni.com. Be sure to subscribe to my podcast if you haven’t already. The podcast is right now available on anchor.fm overcast, pocketcasts and stitcher. Over the next day or two, it will be available on iTunes as well as google podcasts.
You can listen to me about this topic on my podcast. Do listen to it below if you don’t want to read.