HOW TO FEEL LESS AWKWARD IN FRONT OF THE CAMERA

I know this might seem hard to believe, especially seeing as taking photos and having my photo taken is a massive part of my blogging career, but there are times where I really despise having my photo taken. When people compliment me by saying that I'm photogenic, I genuinely have a little cackle to myself because truly, that is the last thing I am. And no, this isn't my way of fishing for compliments. But never forget that although you see a handful of okay-ish photos on this blog or on my other social platforms, you will never ever ever see the hundreds of real disaster photos that are stored in a password protected folder on my laptop!

A desire to look better in photos stems back years and years; as a teenager I read a book by good ol' Sussanah & Trinny (who remembers them?) called What Your Clothes Say About You and there was a whole section dedicated to photographing better. I remember analysing every single diagram and photograph that they showed and repeated their mantras every time a camera was in sight.

Sadly, it didn't help much and I spent my teenage years looking soul destroying levels of terrible in pretty much all of the photos taken of me. I'm not even exaggerating; you can ask the majority of my nearest and dearest because my shocking teenage photos are a big part of our daily entertainment - however, not sure how much the camera was a problem but more my whole image at the time haha. With age, I've learnt to accept that without thousands of £ worth of plastic surgery, I'm not going to become a fierce looking supermodel overnight, so we gotta work with what we've got! 

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There's a massive difference between taking a group shot with your group of gals on Friday night to photography used in editorial or for blogs etc. Mainly because the former doesn't include an old lady screaming angrily in your face due to the fact you're posing on her doorstep. Taking blog photography outdoors, especially in a busy place like London, can be pretty nuts and members of the public often look at you as if they've never seen a camera before. It's meant that I've had to practice a few things to speed up the process; I thought I'd share them with you:

KNOW YOUR ANGLES

People give me a bit of an eyebrow raise when I tell them that I have "a preferred side". Favouritism is definitely a thing and I can safely say that the left side of my face wins every time. You'll notice that in the majority of my photos, I'm looking out to the distance, showcasing my left side. Lots of people have 'studied' my face and don't see a real difference between the two sides, but I certainly do, and notice it even more so in photos so I make sure that that's the angle that's photographed most often. Practice, patience and begrudgingly analysing some bad shots of myself have led for me to realise which angles and poses I need to rock to minimise the double chin, elongate my legs and look overall just that bit better. Of course, your photographer should be able to guide you but it'll take half the time if you already know your angles. 

MOVE AROUND

Your whole body can become a bit rigid if you're stood around in one spot for too long so make sure you're moving around. Loosen up; play with your hair - in that way that all bloggers do - try the mid-step walk, take a seat on something. The more you keep moving and trying different things, the more likely you are to have a wider selection of great photos to choose from. If I ever start to feel a bit stiff during a shot, I make sure to channel my gal Taylor and SHAKE IT OFF!

SMILE YOUR REAL SMILE

There's nothing worse than a forced smile. Of course, we're all guilty of it and I look back to photos from when I first started blogging and I want to smack my head on my desk because they are just so bloody forced. I'm lucky to now work with photographers that I really like on a personal level, enjoy working with and they have the ability to make me feel at ease. All of which means that I spend a lot of time genuinely smiling and laughing. My favourite photos are always the ones where I have a great big smile on my face because that's when I feel the most 'me'. I actually wrote a whole post about this, which you can read here.

WEAR SOMETHING THAT MAKES YOU FEEL FAB

Trust me, the last thing you want to be doing during a shoot is stressing about what you're wearing. I've made the rookie error of just throwing something on last minute and then hating the outcome of the shots, so I now try and make sure that I've planned all of my outfits in advance and have studied myself in the mirror wearing the clothes. It sounds silly, I know, but I think we're all a bit guilty of thinking things look great when in reality, not so much. You don't want to spend your valuable time on a shoot sucking in your tummy, pulling that way-too-short skirt down or making sure that your left nipple hasn't slipped out again. Make sure you're firstly, comfortable but also wearing something that makes you feel super sexy and confident. That confidence will shine through!

BE IN THE ZONE

This can be a tricky one, especially when you're also having to work around a photographers schedule too but try and make sure you're feeeeelin' it, otherwise you won't ever be happy with the outcome. There are some mornings when I'm ready to smash out some outfit shots and there are others where I'm definitely not. Feeling bloated? Woken up with a maaaaasive spot on your chin? Just generally having an 'off day'? Well, in all likelihood, those are the days that end up in photos that never get used because your head isn't in the game. Avoid if possible. 

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It's definitely all a learning curve and I'm certainly still learning but I'm getting to the point where the ratio of photos I like vs photos I despise is levelling out a bit more. Never thought I'd see the day! Do any of you have any tips on how to have a successful photography shoot?

xo