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You may have noticed that I recently got my headshots done for my website and all my social media. The process put me on the receiving of the camera for a change, and it TOTALLY freaked me out. As I reflect on the experience I can easily break it down to three things that I probably should have considered to pre-empt the situation. I thought it would be useful to share them in case you have booked a session in the near future and for lack of a better term are TOTALLY freaking out too!
(photo by Nechama Photography)
My first thought was ‘OMG is the photographer going to ‘get’ me and what I want as a final product?’
So I have to say, in this area I think I was on the money to be worried about this but I take full blame for it. I wanted a unique headshot that resonated with an artistic field. I wanted it to look professional but also have an organic, easy feeling (I hope I’m describing this well!). I researched headshot photographers in the New York area and was at a bit of a loss because of the sheer amount of choice that I had. The photographer that I decided on does really beautiful, technically accurate, and amazingly edited work which is why I chose her. I knew going in exactly what I was going to get because she SHOWED me from her vast portfolio of headshots. Was she what I wanted? Really no, but I can’t really fault her for that!
My second thought was ‘Holy crap I look like a hot mess rocking a mom bod. What do I freak’n wear that doesn’t make me look like I’m half way through a weight loss journey??’
I was half way through a weight loss journey that I’m still on. I probably will be for a long time. I can probably safely say that most of us are. I was worrying about something that was seemingly out of my control unless I waited until the exact perfect time in my life where I felt completely confident and amazing.
This brought me to my third thought which was ‘OMG I’m spending so much money on this snapshot in time that has to represent me for a LONG time. How do I make sure this happens?!’
This one is a toughy. I have so much to say about it that goes beyond a photo session but I’ll keep it concise and save you a rant. In Short you are beautiful in every single way:]…..which brings me to some practical tips on how to make sure these thoughts don’t enter your mind in the days coming up to your shoot:
WILL MY PHOTOGRAPHER GET ME (or my family)?
Short answer, no she won’t. It’s unrealistic to assume that a person that you never met is going to ‘get’ you. Your photographer is offering you their artistic services. He/she hopefully has a website, instagram, facebook. This is where they show you what they do. Any photos you see in their portfolio will be similar to the photos that you will have taken of your family in variation. Your photographer has a style and probably an artistic philosophy to what they produce. LOOK at it and get a feel for it. I always send out a questionnaire to families so I get an idea of what they’re like and what their family makeup is. Aside from that I really don’t know them! This question should really be answered by the photographer that you hire. Does her portfolio make you say ‘I want those kinds of pictures of me with my family’? If it does then you’ve hit the nail on the head. If not, keep on searching.
HOW DO I MAKE SURE I LOOK AMAZING WITH A MOM BOD??
I really stressed out about this big time so I can imagine how stressful doing this with, say, a family of five would be. I have a few tips for this concern. Keep it simple. Solids, small patterns, classic cuts, avoid loud neon colors, the key is to make sure you feel comfortable in whatever you choose. Start with mom first and work around her. Most importantly TALK TO YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER! I offer to help with wardrobe as much as I can. I tell clients to text me pics of what they are thinking of wearing so I can give them input. Most families surprisingly do not take me up on this! I also offer a styling service FREE with every booking that helps you organize, buy or fill in wardrobe with every session. I have used it myself and it really helps keep the stress levels at bay. I would also recommend talking as much as you can with photographer about what you’re insecure about. Chances are they probably have a few tricks up their sleeve to help keep the focus on what you want.
I’M SPENDING SO MUCH MONEY, HOW DO I MAKE THIS TIMELESS??
So firstly, see above for choosing the right photographer and getting your wardrobe right, and secondly, just let it go…There really isn’t a best time to take family photos. The pictures aren’t to show how amazing we look, it’s to have a memory and keepsake of how you were as a family. The photos are for your kids and grandkids to look at and reminisce over, so give them something to do that with! Mom bod and all you’re your kids all-time person! So get in the frame, take those selfies, and book family session as much as you practically can!
Chana Grossman of Carrot Seed Photography is a natural light, emotive, lifestyle photographer located in Oceanside, New York and services the greater New York Area. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out her Facebook/Instagram @carrotseedphotography for more information or to inquire about booking a session.