Have you ever said that? Or, maybe just thought it?
It always surprises me how many people say that; particularly women. But they are usually mistaken. A good and empathetic photographer can draw out the best in anybody.
When I offered to photograph my sister-in-law, she was not eager. That is to say the least. She began with that phrase: “I never look good in photographs.” Challenge accepted! I asked her to trust me and, to her eternal credit, she did. I promised to shoot a portrait that she would love. Did I manage? You be the judge.
I knew that she would be nervous, so I decided to be lightning fast. I posed her beside a large window. It was an overcast day and we had a beautiful natural light. I used an 85mm portrait lens and and a wide aperture. As soon as she got settled, we began shooting. As the session unfolded, she began to really relax. A few words of encouragement and some gentle direction and she realised that it was not going to be a painful experience. We got the shot I wanted within 10 minutes.
I began the post-processing with Siobhan with me in the room. When I had whittled down the photos, I invited her to look at the partly-processed photos. I listened to her wishes and concerns. Another 30 minutes enabled me to incorporate the changes she asked for. The post processing was much quicker than usual because she is actually very photogenic. Here is the photo I had promised.
And did she like it? Yes she did. She was surprised at how it turned out and thrilled. She was happy to come away with a 10” x 8” framed photo. One that she loves!
I always look bad in photographs.
No, you don't. You really don’t. We can all be nervous but actually we really look great. What we need is someone to help portray the real me. Or the real you.