Photo Ops! (How to Relax When You Feel Weird)

by Lauren Coffey

 Happy Tuesday, everyone! This is Lauren Coffey, with my inaugural post to the DARING DELPHIA BLOG! Aren't you excited?! You should be and here's why: today, I'm going to wax lyrical (or not) about that fickle beast,  the camera (wailing violins!) and more importantly, about how to beat it at its own tricksy game. Whether you're preparing for your engagement shoot or the big day, hopefully you'll find a nugget of wisdom or two to help you keep on shining (in a good way.) 
    Now, if any of you are like me, you get a little nervous when anyone whips out their iPhone/DSLR/Samsung Galaxy/old school flip phone (the horror! I mean, those pixels.) Sure, you'll smile obligingly to keep the fans happy, but inside you recoil, wondering "Are my nostrils flaring like a bull on speed?" In my case, inevitably so.  

However, rest assured! There are a few tried and true tricks that the photogenically challenged among us have found to be successful. Yes, yes, there's always makeup and I'm assuming many of you know to at least powder that nose, enhance those eyes, and define those brows to ensure that you don't look washed out on camera (notice that I did not say to apply enough makeup to make RuPaul do a double take, unless that's how you roll on the daily.) 

  Nevertheless, what good is coming armed with only makeup if you're screaming on the inside?  So, without further ado: 

Six Tips For Stellar Photos

PRACTICE MAKES PURRFECT - Most of us probably would love to imitate the effortless poise and confidence of a supermodel when working it (woo!) during a photo shoot.  However, some of us (or maybe just me) are a little more C-3P0 and less Alessandra Ambrosio in front of the camera.  

I know it may sound super weird or vain but if you're feeling jittery, practice some looks in front of a mirror! You'll gain a little bit of muscle memory and figure out what looks best. After all, having a decent idea of what looks sweet and alluring versus what is slightly reminiscent of a drunk co-ed can make all the difference.

THINK HAPPY THOUGHTS - That's right, any happy little thought. While it may not enable you to fly in the style of Peter Pan, it will create a lovely warm expression on your face and, being the little know-it-all that it is, the camera will capture everything from the gleam in your eyes to the gentle upturn of your lips. 

 So, picture laying on a beach way down in Kokomo with your honey, daydream of Paris or bounce along (mentally) to a sweet melody in your head. Chances are you'll look much more serene and joyful than if you're worried about angling your face just right or if you're holding your hand like a claw; rather, you'll simply exude naturally blissful beauty.  Ahh, perfection!   

SMILE - Some photographic occasions call for a brooding look. However, those occasions usually don't include your engagement shoot/wedding day unless you're going for an American Gothic feel.  That said, don't be afraid to smile! If you want to switch it up or don't want to flash a full set of your pearly whites in every shot, remember what Tyra taught you and SMIZE for all you're worth, people!

SHOW SOME LOVE (TO YOUR SKIN) - Most of you may or may not have had someone harassing you to wash your face before bed throughout your teen years. While possibly annoying at the time, it was definitely good advice! After all, even if you're a mole person or a vampire, you still need to get rid of those itty bitty particles of environmental stressors such as dust, pollution and free radicals.

Leaving makeup on while you sleep can be damaging to your skin by stretching your pores, inciting acne and creating fine lines, things that should definitely be avoided when possible. After all, you probably won't feel your best with a zit happily swelling to the size of Mount Olympus nestled right between your beautifully defined eyebrows on photo day.

CRASH EARLY -  I know it sounds terribly beyond cliché to say "get some sleep!" but it is so true. Don't believe me?  Think about how you looked after your last all nighter studying/partying/binging on Netflix/whatever.  Would the walking dead have cheerfully claimed you as one of their own? If the answer is yes, then sit up and pay attention. 

 No matter how many more DIYs you have left to do, seating charts you have to arrange or episodes of House of Cards you have to watch, please go to sleep! Try to get at least six to seven hours of sleep before your photo shoot; how else will people believe that bluebirds helped you get ready that morning? 

KICK UP THOSE HEELS - Lastly, just do you. It won't matter how much sleep you've gotten, how many skin peels you've suffered through or how much face time with the mirror you've had, what matters most is that you're true to who you are.  If there's one thing I've learned about the camera, it's that the little snap-happy shutter critter loves CONFIDENCE above all.

   Of course, it doesn't hurt to find your light (while trying not to squint like a bear coming fresh out of hibernation) and have a decent idea of your angles but if you're trying to be someone you're not, it will more than likely be evident in your photos. Taking photos should be fun, after all, without being stiff or rehearsed. Relax, kick up your heels and enjoy it!

  So, when that camera goes snapping and flashing, just smile, think happy thoughts and be yourself because you've already done all you can do. It may sound cheesy but you'll always be the most beautiful you. Happy picture takin'! 



How do you loosen up and show some love to the camera?  Let us know in the comments below!