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Getting comfy on the other side of the lens…

I don’t mind getting my photo taken – at the right angle, on my good side, under the perfect light setting and when I’ve lost that elusive, hard-to-target 10 lbs. You get the drift…

As part photographer, I feel best when I’m behind the camera and lightening up others for the photo shoot. But being self-employed means promoting yourself, your brand, your skills and YOU! It also means putting your face in front of your prospects, connecting with them, hoping to convey your personality through a photo of yourself…the good best one 🙂

So, off I go taking selfies – they suck. I had a photo shoot to prep with a friend for an event and hinted at wanting an updated profile photo…friend didn’t bite (I get it, we’re all busy). I felt a bit egocentric about wanting that photo. I finally bite the bullet and asked point blank another friend, Dawn, who offers photography as one of her business services at Hip Mama Communications. We swapped service time, my web service for her photog service.

Date is set. I sit on it, slowly mulling over ideas, tucking them away on my Pinterest board. A head cold from beloved hubby is brewing but I shrug it off (got no time for this joy-sucking malady). I’m actually looking forward to it.

The day before the shoot, I get a reminder email along with a text…’no SPF make-up!’ (something to do with ingredients in sunscreen can really affect how the flash washes you out in pictures) gasp…I’m almost out of foundation, so I mentally stock this purchase along with potential outfits to try out…planned out my flex workday to shop for some tops and possible jewelry to wear.

After a few purchases (thank goodness for xmas/bday gift card $ I didn’t get to spend yet), quite proud of myself, back home I show it off to hubby. Got a few comments that I chose to ignore (‘that necklace is too big for your neck, the cami is too revealing, the scarf is great & better, what are you worried about anyways? It’s just a photo shoot, etc). All this, just an hour before I need to leave the house.

I panic, rush through shower, prep for make-up (no SPF!), packed my tops & scooted over for the shoot. I totally did not anticipate the panic I was feeling. I get it – that feeling when people obsess while getting ready for something big. Doing a photo shoot with the family is different; you’re so caught up focusing on everybody lookin’ good, colour-coordinated, hair cut and styled just right, being on best behavior – despite all this, the feeling is mutual, you’re not alone, you share angst with everyone and laugh it off (or at least try not to sneer). Doing this for you is…well, I felt conceited and self-doubt crept in. I swallowed my pride, jumped in the car and with my tops I went.

Well…it. was. fun! We laughed, tried out various poses, cracked some jokes (“no, I didn’t sniff coke, it’s my cold and I won’t blow my nose – don’t want those tell tale red marks on it” “Whatever makes you go through the shoot, Nat”). Some tops looked fine when I tried them on but sucked in the photo. The necklace I purchased was gawdy (hubby was right!); others were bang on what I was looking for. The simpler, the better was the best bet.

The main thing I experienced was to get a feel for being on the other side of the lens.  Every photographer who is looking to connect with their subjects (family, person, kids, etc) needs to experience this feeling. Couple of things I also realized:

  • When you’re not sure about an outfit, take a selfie – it really narrows down the selection – that scarf I brought over (the one my hubby loved over my cami) – we ditched it…too overpowering for a tiny head
  • Do a few bloopers – it lightens up the mood 🙂
  • It can be disconcerting to look at yourself on the screen so let others look at them with you – they see a side of your personality that you may not see – ever watch that Dove Real Beauty video? Priceless. Leave the self-criticism at the door.
Blooper photo shoot

Blooper shots – don’t hold yourself back and lighten up the mood! :)


My friend gave me the best comment on the photos: “You look so vibrant and approachable!”

…that my friend, is exactly what I was ‘shooting’ for! 😉

Thanks Jeff & Dawn for making this a memorable, fun time, making me feel comfy about it!!

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