I hate how I look in photos!

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"I hate how I look in photos so I don't want to book a session!"

John Doe

When I asked my Facebook community recently about what questions they had about working with me, this was one of them. It's a big question, and sadly very common. Interestingly, my answer to this isn't about photography but your mindset. 

My 5 tips to help you not hate how you look in photos

  1. Remember, you are your own worst critic. In everything we do we judge ourselves more than we should. I have taken photos of a LOT of women over the years and none were unattractive. Trust me, I look at people's faces closely when I edit - none were unattractive. Plenty thought they were, but, they weren't. 
  2. Put the negative thoughts in a pink balloon, and release that bastard to the sky. Yep - this is a tactic used in dealing with panic attacks but it works here as well. Visualise these limiting self beliefs, these criticisms and blow them into the balloon. If you hear 'who are you to get photos taken?' 'do you think you are an expert or something?' 'got tickets on yourself don't you?' 'who's going to take you seriously when you are 20kg over weight?' Exhale those revolting thoughts and blow them into that balloon. Then, imagine releasing the balloon and all its nasty contents into the sky and watch it float away. You don't need those thoughts, they aren't helping you. Do this exercise daily - hourly if you have to.
  3. Remember, the internet is not a glossy magazine, so you don't need to be a super model. In the past you rarely worked with a photographer and if you did it was for special occasions like weddings. Photo shoots were the domain of super models and movie stars in magazines. Many of my clients head into these sessions with the same mindset thinking they should look like a model. But let's be realistic. We aren't trying to sell clothes, make-up or fast cars we are selling YOU. It stands to reason that the most effective photos to use to sell your business are photos... you guessed it. Of YOU. The real you. 
  4. It's not your job to be photogenic it's my job to make you look great. There is a difference between having a friend snap your photo and engaging a pro photographer. My training has been in posing, lighting and of course the power of photoshop. Now, I am not a believer in heavy editing but you don't need to worry about blemishes or dark circles. I can take care of those. 
  5. Smile, it's easier than it looks. The stress of heading into a photo session makes people nervous, tense and uncomfortable. This is then reflected in the images. It's easier said than done, but the best way to look great in a photo is to relax. Get your hair and make-up professionally done or get advice on your wardrobe. Bring a friend along to your session. Do whatever it takes to help you relax and feel confident at your session. People know a genuine smile when they see one, and that's the best way to look good in a photo. 

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