When it comes to professional photos, too many people shy away from ONE key element that can give a photo so much more character, expression, and value:
Being your natural self, in your natural environment (yep, even if there’s a bit of mess.)
Here’s what I mean:
Too often, the words “professional portrait photography” conjure up images of a family with their hands on each other’s shoulders, smiling in front of a colored backdrop.
While this kind of portrait photography certainly has its merits, I find more and more clients want pictures that go beyond just recording the way their family looks in a studio.
They want to preserve the way their kids play in the living room, or the walk to their favorite ice cream shop in the summer. Instead of formal poses and settings, they want shoots done in their favorite scenic spots, where they love to take in the gorgeous fall leaves or winter snows every year.
This family vacations in Door County every year and wanted to capture the last time they would be staying at the Applewood Cottage.
Why the shift? Because these elements make for beautifully authentic photos.
They don’t just preserve the smiling faces of the subjects, but the overall feeling of the time, place, and personalities standing in front of the lens. They capture a beautiful story… not simply a scene.
That makes photography so much more powerful..
If you’re curious about a few ways to add in more authentic YOU flare to your next pro photo shoot – I’ve got a few ideas for you.
3 ways to create a photo shoot that feels like you
1. Don’t sweat a little clutter.
Not all photos have to be “clean”, meaning a white wall with only you and the backdrop. Sometimes, keeping a few key items in the shot can add to your story, and help you remember what the moment of the photo was really like.
For example, maybe you leave in the blanket you made with your grandmother, or the teddy bear your son carries with him everywhere. Can you feel what that would add to a photo?
But don’t forget: there’s no need for of unmeaningful things in the frame, like a trashcan or dirty dishes. Whatever you decide to keep, make sure it adds something to the picture!
Even though this photo is full of clutter in the foreground, it gives insight into where we were. I can tell we were at Chuck E. Cheese and he wanted to quick eat so he could get back to the games.
This is an especially great tip for family shoots. Click HERE to book yours.
2. Choose locations you really love
Photos are a wonderful way to jog your memory of the fun you had, and your connections to the people around you during your day-to-day, or a special family trip.
So when you’re choosing locations for your portraits, don’t hesitate to pick locations that have a lot of meaning to you.
A few ideas: inside your own home or backyard, at your favorite spot to go on family trips, or with your boat if you sail, or plane if you fly.
Being in these locations evokes natural emotion in you, so while you’re having your photo taken, the meaning behind those locations truly shines through.
This is important even in your personal photos. My grandpa loved to fly and you can see how happy he and my grandma are to be in a plane, ready to take off.
Curious about an on-location shoot with me? Click HERE to learn more!
3. Don’t be too worried about poses
While having a few basic, flattering positions in the back of your mind is ideal for taking a photo shoot you’ll love, it’s important to show emotions and connections too.
When someone looks at your photos, they want to learn about who you are, and what you felt at this place and time in your life. So don’t feel obligated to stand in one place looking straight ahead. Allow yourself to interact with whoever’s in the shot with you naturally – and your photographer will do the rest!
So – feeling inspired and ready to rock? It’s time for your closeup.
Click HERE to head to my offerings page to read more about my process, and how we can make some seriously magical, natural images for you.