Why I fear Being Photographed
Oh hi, everyone, it has been a hot minute. Welcome to our first -ever- blog post.
Over the last few weeks of being quarantined to our home, Iain and I have made some investments in new lighting gear, and are using this time to learn new techniques - we cannot wait to photograph our upcoming weddings with them! However, among testing our new gear - and usually being the test subject for it - I have a little thought in the back of my mind that I can't get rid of.
I, Cassara Healey, have a fear of being photographed.
Most people's first reaction would be, "but you're a photographer, that doesn't make any sense!". While this is correct, being on the other side of the camera is a completely new feeling. Suddenly all of the small, unconscious things I worry about come to the front of my mind when I'm placed in front of the lens.
Do my forehead lines show up too much? My face is so round, how will this lighting look? My skin tone is so uneven and flaky, I hope it can be retouched.
There are many small details that both women and men think about while being photographed, and it is incredibly difficult to not overthink them - especially when the images will be used for things like Save The Dates, Wedding Invitations, Thank-Yous, and social media posts. We always want to look our best in photographs, and it is completely natural to feel this way!
So why does being photographed suck so much?
For starters, not everyone is an Instagram model (although, I honestly tried hard to be one at one point). Almost all of our clients have never been professionally photographed, and many of them need a lot of direction from the photographer. I am one of those many people. Iain gets the joy of me constantly asking "how do I look?", "should I do something else?", and, "what should I do with my hands?". His consistent feedback is important while going through this process - not only to give me self-confidence, but also to reassure me that I will have images that I will absolutely love. If he is quiet on the other side of the camera, I start to worry.
People need consistent reassurance and direction while having their photo taken.
It is imperative to have amazing communication with your photographer, and to trust that they will direct you in a way that will produce images you will love. If I had a photographer that says, "just do whatever", whatever might not actually look good. Photographers need to be a talking mirror (Iain is great at this); "tilt your head down a bit" and "adjust your shirt a little on the left side" - small things that they would have fixed if they had a mirror in front of them instead. Lack of communication is a reason why people have a fear of being photographed - they fear about how to pose or act in front of a camera and if their pose is good.
Never be afraid to ask
As a client, I feel like I am asking too much from my photographer - I am not a model and I honestly do not know what to do sometimes. However, if I can give one piece of advice to anyone having their photo taken: never be afraid to ask for anything. Need more direction? Your professional photographer should be able to direct you. Worried about how something looks? Your professional photographer should let you know their honest opinion. Want something retouched in post-processing? Your professional photographer should have the software and knowledge to properly retouch your image. As a client, the one thing I regret most while having my photo taken is being too afraid to ask about these small things. On the flip side, as a photographer, I love when clients ask these types of questions. I love working with them, and seeing their reactions when they see what we have created for them. To anyone reading this post... when you get married, do not be afraid to ask your photographer for anything.
If you cannot effectively communicate with your photographer, it might be time for a new one.
Not all photographers are equal, and there loads of them in the industry. Iain and I have met some of these photographers and we are happy to call them small-business friends. They are the photographers we would recommend to anyone - mainly because our communication with them has always been fantastic. You should always feel like you can talk openly with your photographer; if you feel like the communication might be lacking, or they cannot answer your questions properly, they might not be the photographer for you (and that's okay).
A photographers' portfolio might be filled with beautiful images, but these images can only be created by having a great connection with their subject.
Even as a professional photographer, I have been on the other side of the camera many times not knowing what to do. With the right amount of communication, I believe anyone can break out of their shell and feel natural & beautiful (or handsome). Iain and I believe strongly in open communication and providing as much direction as possible for all of our clients. As a real life couple and experienced photographers, we see both sides of the fence. When we start looking for wedding photography - much like many of our clients have already done - effective communication will be at the top of our "must need" list.
xx Iain & Cass