Monday, August 29, 2016


Have you ever posed in front of the camera? I received great feedback on my last post and the tips I provided on what to do with pics "after" the photo shoot. Click HERE to check it out. My readers appreciated the tips and they also loved the pics which drew to mind how important chemistry is when selecting a Photographer.

I'll ask again, have you ever posed in front of a camera that someone else is behind?

And I don't mean pose in front of your good good girlfriend's camera whose arm is extended so far it dang near breaks, all for the sake of getting a post-worthy selfie. If your answer is yes, how did that make you feel? Let me put on my Therapist hat for a sec. Were you comfortable? Were you nervous? Did you feel like the eyes of the entire world were upon you?
If you did, that doesn't have to be the case. Just like any relationship, chemistry is everything. Chemistry is defined as "the complex emotional or psychological interaction between two people" AKA rapport. It exists between you and your bestie, you and your bae, you and your hair stylist, you and your Boss even. Get the point? And whether its an engagement shoot, fashion shoot, family shoot or shoot for business/branding purposes, you should have chemistry with your Photographer.  

So here are five things to consider and/or do to ensure that you and your Photographer have the required "chemistry" to ensure you put your best face forward in your next shoot. 

Meet Face-to-Face 
Don't let the actual shoot be the first time you are coming face to face with your Photographer. Corresponding via email and talking on the phone is one thing but the same as if you are on a date and you sense a spark, applies to your Photographer. You should be excited about what the shoot will produce. You will likely know right off the bat upon meeting him/her if something is lacking. And mind you, that's not to say anything bad about the Photographer, he/she just may not be your cup of tea. 

Review Their Work
As much as possible, review their work. Don't just base selecting a Photographer on word of mouth or popularity. Of the Photographers I follow and engage with, there is something about the style in which they shoot that draws me in or speaks to me. If their work doesn't do sumpin for you or to you, then perhaps he/she is not the best fit and you will approach the shoot uncertain. Picture yourself uncertain, that doesn't yield good face.
Photog: @constantfocus / The Yards Park, WDC
When discussing your ideas or what you want, how willing is the Photographer to listen? Or does he/she shoot you down without any consideration. Of course you are hiring a Photographer for their expertise but they should not take the stance of a dictator and run the shoot entirely on their own. There is much to be gained from working in a collaborative effort. Don't be bullied into a shoot that may not fit your vision. You are likely to be a nervous, uncomfortable subject and that awkwardness will show.

Ask Questions
Don't be afraid to ask how the shoot will be choreographed, the location etc. Identify your Photographer's style of instructing you on how to engage during the shoot, what you should do, how should you move, etc. It can be very helpful to discuss prior to so you will already have a feel of what to expect from your Photographer during the shoot. It also helps to lighten the mood so the tone of the actual shoot is pleasant and you are laughing and smiling naturally versus being forced. 
Photog: @constantfocus / Union Market, WDC
BONUS: Practice
I can't stress this enough. This is really something you can take the initiative to do on your own to ensure the chemistry is even better. Practice being a subject particularly if this is your first shoot. Look at images you like from professional shoots. Who is the subject? What do you like about their body language, facial expressions, etc.? Identify your fave attributes. We all have them. For example I prefer my left profile because I have a dimple in my cheek. How do you most prefer your smile? Do you like to show teeth or no? Practice your posture and standing upright. Get in front of the mirror to take selfies of various expressions. Trust, this is a great way to not only build comfort but to get to know you.
Photog: @constantfocus / Union Market, WDC
Photography is an expression and the more comfortable you are, the more you will allow yourself to be vulnerable thus producing the most genuine and authentic moments which will hopefully be wonderfully captured. And in doing so, you might be surprised how therapeutic a shoot can actually be.


Follow me on IG/Twitter/Periscope/Snapchat and Vine @bagladies. 


OnDemand/iTunes are 24/7. Check out my fave show picks and access recent shows and the full archive at Follow on Twitter and Instagram.