Most people these days rely on their phone cameras more in capturing memories to share on social media. But, for photographs that they want to display on the wall of their offices or homes, a lot of them still prefer to have their pictures professionally taken.
The standard arrangement is they would choose a theme, hire a photographer, and have their pictures taken at the studio. It’s a more elaborate process, which is why some folks tend to tense up when getting their photos taken.
Judging by the sheer amount of hilarious headshots that have made their way to The Ellen Show, there’s no denying that most people are less at ease when getting their pictures taken professionally at a photo studio. However, you also cannot disregard the fact that you can get the best photographs of yourself in such an arrangement.
So, at the end of the day, the quality of your professionally taken pictures at the studio depends on you. Don’t you fret though because, with practice, you can look more natural in photographs. Plus, there are tips and tricks to help. Provided below are some shared by models and professional photographers.
For Solo Pictures or Headshots
Find your perfect angle.
You can do this by practicing in front of the mirror. Turn and tilt your face in different ways to find the most attractive side of your face. Replicate the angle several times until you learn to instantly move your face in that specific direction that makes you look good.
Practice your smile.
This is another thing that you can do in front of the mirror. Find the smile that looks most beautiful on you. It may not feel the most natural, which is why you need to train your mouth and eyes to break into that expression in a relaxed way. If you find your lips quivering, blow raspberries to relax them before smiling.
Relax your shoulders and back.
This will prevent tension lines on the sides of the neck, which are never nice to see. Before getting your pictures taken, roll your shoulders, and perform a few neck exercises for a flattering posture. Also, take deep breaths to calm your nerves.
Find a couple of flattering poses for your body.
For the ladies taking a full-body shot, it’s all about creating the soft S-line with your body. You can place one hand on your hip and one leg in front of the other. Meanwhile, for men, tilting the body to one side a bit and placing a hand in a pocket, and then letting the head face front looks rather dashing.
Use a prop.
It’s not always easy to make the hands look relaxed when posing. So, find something to do with them. Bring a few props that you can hold, such as a bouquet of flowers, a bag, or even a fan. Or, if you do not want to use any prop, try different poses with your hands holding your face, neck, or shoulders.
Look down and then up.
This is one of the most important tricks to learn, especially when you are taking headshots. Look down first and then look up when the photographer is ready to take the shot. This usually creates a relaxed expression, as if you’re just looking intently at someone you like.
For Group Shots
Establish a color palette for clothing.
Always coordinate outfits to prevent the pictures from looking too visually busy. Establish a theme and identify the best colors for everybody to wear. The style of clothes often does not matter in group shots as long as the colors are from the color scheme you have chosen.
Work with props to variate heights.
For group photos, differences in heights should always be played up, especially if you do not want to line everybody up like in a class picture. Work with chairs, stairs, or step platforms. Not only will this trick allow everybody to fit into the frame well, but it will create nicer dimensions too.
Make sure to create windows.
Making sure everybody fits into the frame can be quite tricky. But, one thing you definitely have to do is to create windows between two people so the person from the back can peek out of it. Windows are basically the spaces in between two people, and typically a much taller person is placed in that window, so he or she doesn’t look like a floating head.
Create a photo session music playlist.
Music playing in the background creates a chipper and friendlier vibe in the photo studio. When everybody’s generally in a good mood, the easier it will be to pose in front of the camera. So, bring a music player on the set, if there’s none and involve everyone in creating a music playlist that will play while photos are being taken.
Physical contact is a must.
For group photos, which are not for corporate purposes, it helps when all the subjects have physical contact with the person beside or in front of them. They can put an arm around the shoulder or waist. Rest a hand or head on someone’s shoulder. Put a smaller person on the lap. These types of physical contact depict a loving and intimate relationship among everyone in the group.
Opt for a triangular shape when grouping people.
According to a professional family portrait photographer, this composition is the most visually attractive because it works on both odd and even numbers of people. But, what’s particularly special about this shape is it achieves the look of complete togetherness.
Choose your smiling word.
Cheese, kimchi, or money (which Dame Julie Andrews prefers) are just some of the smiling words that you can use so everybody smiles in unison and in a comfortable way. It’s just a little trick that can add a bit more fun to the experience.
Extra Tip: Be playful. Whether you’re taking a picture by yourself or with a group, have fun. Dance if you want, laugh out loud, or play with the props available on the set.
So, there you have them – the best tips and tricks to use when you get your photos taken professionally at the studio. Not only will these help produce gorgeous images, but they can make the photo session a pleasantly memorable experience as well.
Adam Jacobs is the owner of Windsor Photo Studios in Melbourne, Australia and Managing Director of Bubblegum Casting, the country’s longest operating modelling, talent and casing agency for babies, children and teens. Adam is a creative digital marketer focused on growing companies’ online presence and performance using both tried and true as well as cutting-edge growth marketing and growth hacking tactics.