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Autumn Mooney Photography

Six ways to feel natural during a photoshoot

The most common question I’m asked by non professional models and actors, is how to pose in front of the camera. Where to place your hands, should you smile, where to look? Candid images are popular, though how can you emulate grace and authenticity in a stance you don’t usually hold?

Here are six techniques to feeling natural in front of the lens: 

  1. Forget everything you know about “Say cheese.” A sentence designed to make your mouth form a particular shape, your body will also respond by clenching hands, shoulders face straight-on to the lens, and while you say “cheeeeese” your arms drape the back of anyone nearby. Best obliterate this ideal from memory completely.
  2. Don’t look directly at the lens all the time. Looking away tricks your brain into a split-second reset mode; when you glance back at the lens the facial expression will be organic.
  3. Keep moving. Change where you place your hands, how you position your legs – without worrying about the results for each new position. Trust that if the pose doesn’t work, your photographer will suggest a new one.
  4. Exaggerate walking. This tip is specifically for the girls. We move quickly when walking, so simply slow down and exaggerate your hip movements – the body shows off beautiful figure lines this way, and the slower walk allows your photographer more time to secure a flattering frame.
  5. Pretend you’re alone. Not that easy, but if you can master this as state of mind for the small amount of time you’re in front of the lens, you’re winning. A photo doesn’t lie; when we feel diffident the emotion shows up.
  6. Pose, then trust your photographer to catch the little moments in between. The best human moments are usually taken in between orchestrated poses; exactly when you’re unaware. The photographer may re-create these by purposefully positioning you, sometimes dramatically, with the sole aim of capturing the minutes in-between.

Model: Rebecca Jayne Hall

Dress: Simona

Location: Freshwater Beach, Sydney, Australia

Photographer, photo editor, photoshoot director, image archivist.

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