How to Enjoy Being Photographed

There’s nothing like the mood boost that comes with seeing a great photo of yourself, especially if you’re prone to disliking the way you look in pictures. But being in front of a camera and trying to appear relaxed—when you’re anything but relaxed—can make for some pretty awkward photos, all but ensuring you won’t end up looking anything like the real you. 

Chandler Bing

If that scenario sounds familiar, you’re not alone. Feeling uncomfortable the moment the camera turns toward you is so common, there’s even a term for it: camera-shy. But with a few tips and tricks, it’s possible to (finally) enjoy being photographed. Eventually you’ll get to a point where you may even forget that you’re being photographed. Suddenly, self-awareness dissipates, you’re having fun, and the whole experience is anything but awkward. Here’s how to get there.

1. Have someone you like—and trust—snap the pictures

It’s hard to appear relaxed with a stranger, especially if you already don’t enjoy being photographed. So, if you have a friend or family member who has photographic prowess, ask them to snap some pictures of you. If you don’t, get together with your photographer before your session so you’re not starting from scratch when you arrive. It’s easier to appear relaxed when you’re around familiar faces.

2. Wear something you love and feel good in

Sure, that princess gown you saw online might look great on the model—and perhaps even you—but if it’s too tight or poking you in the wrong places, the discomfort will show in your face and make it hard to stand or sit comfortably. Choose clothing that is tailored to your body but most of all, makes you feel like a million bucks. Everyone has that outfit or two that single-handedly raises your confidence level. So the next time you need your picture snapped, wear that!

3. Bring a prop or two

It’s hard to know what to do with your hands, for example, when you’re having your photo taken. Props can help with that by giving you something to hold. Holding something like a pillow or stuffed animal out of the frame might help your upper body relax and keep it from tensing up. Using fun props that make you smile can help you enjoy being photographed. Whatever makes you comfortable is key.

4. Angle your body instead of facing the camera directly

No matter how big or small you are, everyone looks better at an angle than when photographed straight on. Avoid squaring up to the camera and instead angle yourself about 45 degrees from the lens. This offers a more flattering body position. 

5. Don’t call them family pictures

Say “family photos” or “portraits,” and many people instantly cringe. As a result, these photos don’t bring out the best in everyone. Moms want everyone looking perfect, the kids grumble in clothes they don’t like, and the tension ramps up, making a good photo increasingly elusive.

6. Close your eyes and think of something sweet or funny

While your peepers are shut, tell your photographer what you’re thinking about. Include specific details, such as what it looks like, sounds like, and maybe even what it smells like. Tell them why that particular memory is a good one while you open your eyes. You’ll likely be a lot more relaxed than when all you could think about was the fact that someone was about to take your picture.

and lastly snap lots of pictures instead of just a precious few!

Sometimes the pictures we thought were outtakes turn out to be the best ones!