But I'm Not Photogenic!!

09th January 2016

Of course you are photogenic, you are all amazing. I have taken hundreds and hundreds of boudoir and portrait images, and I have not seen one which is not beautiful. I work with fantastic looking people who trust me to take their photos, yet I hear far too often that "You'll have you work cut-out…I'm not photogenic at all."

What is Photogenic?
The Cambridge dictionary definition of photogenic is 'having a face that looks attractive in photographs'.
However, being photogenic (or otherwise) is not an affliction of certain individuals, pure and simply it's the responsibility of the photographer.

It won't be your fault!
Take landscape photography as an example. Given the huge variety of lighting conditions, a specific location can look completely different from day to day. This is why landscape photographers can spend many, many hours and several trips to a spot to capture the best shot. Dull, grey days are seldom inspiring, but a lively sunrise or sunset will lift the soul. It's their skill and experience which makes these shots a reality.
Photographing people is no different. There are a plethora of technical aspects to a portrait photograph that needs attention to create the most flattering images of a person.
Incorrect lenses, poor background, unsuitable lighting, badly timed shots and unflattering posing will make anyone look awful in a shot. A good photographer will ensure all these elements are the best they can be to capture the beauty of the subject.

It's a matter of comfort
Photogenic subjects are simply those that are happy to be in front of the lens. As adults, we are conditioned to 'pose' for photographs, forced smiles and false expressions are used to hide our discomfort whilst being photographed. Actors, models and celebrities are all very comfortable and relaxed in front of a camera, so it's no surprise their photos regularly look fantastic is it? This relaxed look isn't solely reserved for the rich and famous, a good photographer will, once again, be able to achieve this for the subject by doing their job well.
Making people feel comfortable is a skill in itself, one which will set someone apart great photographers from just technically gifted ones.

Who do you compare yourself too...?
As a footnote, it should be mentioned that fashion or promotional shoots recording images of celebs, models and actors will have many, many hours spent on their photo shoots, with a bewildering array of editing techniques to fine tune and hone them. Many of which (if I may be so bold) result in a false reflection of the real person. This is the polar opposite of the purpose of portrait photography, which should capture the real person in front of the lens. So don't beat yourself up because you think you don't look like Major Celeb, you are beautiful, and if you don't' across that way in photos, it's the photographer, not you.

Read through our Boudoir Client Love section and you will see mentions of our ladies being 'relaxed', 'comfortable', and 'at ease' during their shoots. It's something we pride ourselves on and not just in the Boudoir genre either. Location portraits are equally laid back and fun, for obvious reasons.
So next time you begin to tell someone they you're "not photogenic", stop and think about where that thought came from. It's more to do with the bad photographer, than the way you look!

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