“I hate having my picture taken!”

 

“I am not photogenic” or “I hate having my picture taken!”

So many of the photography requests that I receive include one or both of these lines. With photography being accessible to anyone, it makes me sad that many people feel this way, so I decided to use my blog to debunk these myths.

After spending years photographing people, I want you to know two important things: 

  • Everyone is photogenic. 

  • Having your picture taken is fun.

My wife, the model, loved the editing and insisted this to be the cover photo of this post. No, she is not a fan of Heavy Metal music.

My wife, the model, loved the editing and insisted this to be the cover photo of this post. No, she is not a fan of Heavy Metal music.

The only difference between a “photogenic person” and one who is not, is simply that the former worked with a professional photographer, and the latter did not.

Once you see yourself the way a professional photographer sees you, you will love having your picture taken and will take pleasure in the result.

This photo is bright, stylish and personal. The model looks exactly the way I was trying to make her to look..

This photo is bright, stylish and personal. The model looks exactly the way I was trying to make her to look..

Being photographed is unavoidable.  You are likely to need a professional headshot for your LinkedIn profile or a website, or find yourself in photos at a friend’s wedding, your kid’s selfies, or at family gatherings.


Everyone is snapping pictures with their phones , and as a result we do not look like the best versions of ourselves . Most of us are not professional models, so we jump to the conclusions that we are “not photogenic”.

However, unlike most problems, this one has a quick fix, actually two:

1)    Have your picture taken by a professional, who will invest the time in finding the look that works for you! 

2)    Learn a couple of simple fixes to make your snapped photos look better. 

Yes, it really is that simple!

Fix 1:  Have a professional photographer take your photo.

A professional photographer spent years learning the art of photography.  It’s someone who spends hours, every day, looking at the work of other photographers, who spends a lot of time in art museums, who is curious about all forms of art, not just the art of photography. These are all a must for a professional photographer.

These are just some of the photos I took during this shoot. The rest did not fit on the screen. I chose only 3 images for editing.

These are just some of the photos I took during this shoot. The rest did not fit on the screen. I chose only 3 images for editing.

Once you have decided to hire a professional, invest the time and study their portfolio.  See if their style works for you.  The only complaints I ever get from clients come from people who did not look at my work before the shoot.

Let the photographer do their job, trust them that they know what they are doing.  Don’t rush them or ask them to take more photos then needed.  I will often take as many as 200 photos for a “simple” professional headshot, or 50 for a complex art photography project. 

 I know what I need to make the photos work.  

This phone video of me working with my wife, who always says, that she is "non-photogenic".

After I get back to my computer, I will go through all the photos and delete most of them. I will usually keep only about 10% of the photos before I start editing.

The selection, the editing, as well as the photography is where all those hours spent studying art become vital.

If you like what you see on my website, trust me, you will discover the best side of yourself in my photos. It’s not a snapshot.  

You are photogenic.    

Fix 2:  How to take a good photo with your phone?

Know your camera. Yes, a smart phone is a camera.

This photo were taken with a phone against brightly lit background. You can’t see whether the model’s eyes are open. The horizon is not even, the model is “holding” the horizon with her head. The model’s legs are cut randomly.

This photo were taken with a phone against brightly lit background. You can’t see whether the model’s eyes are open. The horizon is not even, the model is “holding” the horizon with her head. The model’s legs are cut randomly.

Get the light right. Do not shoot against the light. Your subject should be lit from the front and the main source of light should be higher thaen the subject’s face.  
Remember, the best possible light is an overcast sky. If you need to shoot in direct sunlight, turn your flash on.

This photo looks better: the model is lit by the soft light from the sky in front and above her.

This photo looks better: the model is lit by the soft light from the sky in front and above her.

Most smart phones have a built in flash now. This will help to fill shadows in and around  the eyes.

Remember to make your subject comfortable, ideally make them forget that they are being photographed.

Encourage your subject to make eye contact with the lens and focus on subject’s eyes.

Frame your photo responsibly. Do not cut legs off, arms unless it’s part of your artistic vision and don’t forget to have fun!

 
Ivan Djikaev2 Comments