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  • Writer's pictureEmma Colton

CAPTURING THE REAL YOU

How I Make My Clients Feel Confident and Comfortable During A Photoshoot

A young women with blond hair and a paisley patterned dress is smiling widely and laughing. She is stood in a field, with sun shining through her hair.

As a brand and portraiture photographer, my mission is to empower individuals to embrace their true, authentic selves through my photography. I understand that not everyone feels comfortable in front of the camera (even I am camera shy!), and that's perfectly okay. It's my job to guide you through the process, ensuring you not only look great but also feel empowered, self-assured, and confident during our photoshoot and beyond.


Pre-Shoot Prep

Our journey to becoming less camera-shy actually begins before you even step foot in front of the camera.


When you contact me about capturing you, your family, or your business I set up an initial Ideas Call where we discuss your vision, your story, and your concerns. I want to get to know you, understand your personality, and tailor the photo session to reflect your unique identity.


Throughout the shoot planning process we will talk about locations, outfits, and any specific ideas you may have. I even have a series of simple but in-depth questionnaires that I use to get you thinking and give me a clear idea of who you and what you want.


I will also explain what you can expect on the day of the shoot, create a bespoke shoot plan with all of our inspiration to refer to on the day, and answer any questions that you may have before the day.


You become fully invested in this shoot and (dare I say it...) even look forward to shoot day!


A young woman with long brown hair is wearing an orange dress and is stood in a shaded woodland area. The leaves from the trees are creating shadows across her face and her hair is blowing in a slight breeze. She has a serene expression on her face.

Warm-Ups

On the day of the shoot, we will not dive start into taking photos.


First, I take the time to establish a connection with you, as this may be the first time I will see you in person (despite all of the pre-shoot prep). We'll chat, share stories, and build a rapport that will help you feel at ease.


Secondly, we'll get a little silly. I want to see your funniest faces. I want you to dance around and shake off those nerves Taylor Swift style (don't worry I'll join in). I want you to stretch and limber up. Movement is get for releasing nervous energy, and having a bit of fun helps you to relax and laugh... which brings me to my next point.


Focus On The Fun

Laughter makes people open-up and show more of their authentic self. I will tell jokes and be a little silly on occasion to get the real giggle, the true chuckle, the proper belly laugh. It is this side of you that your loved ones treasure the most, so even if you don't like your smile or hate your laugh, photos like this will prove to be uplifting.


Not only will we capture more of the real you, it also makes the shoot a much more enjoyable experience. Yes, we are there with a goal of obtaining X amount of images for Y purpose, but that does not mean that the process has to be rigid, clinical, or impersonal.


A young 9 year old girl is having fun in a playground setting. The sun behind her is shining through her messy hair which was caused by jumping on the climbing frames. Her face has a beaming smile, she is not worried about her appearance, just focusing on enjoying the moment.

It's A Partnership

We are here to capture you, and we will have shared numerous ideas back and forth before the shoot day. At this point, the shoot is our shared vision and I want you to be happy with the shots we take.


What this means is:

  • I will periodically review the shots I have taken with you. This way we can see what is working really well and what we want to do more of. We WON'T be scrutinising the shots, or you.

  • No negativity allowed. This is a space of safety, comfort, and pure creation. There will be no negative self-talk, only encouragement, creativity, and positive vibes.


Anti-Posing

This is exactly as it sounds. I love natural movement and will not contort you into positions that both look and feel unnatural to you. Trust me, if you are uncomfortable, the camera will see it!


Instead there will be gentle direction from me in the form of "look further towards me", "chin up slightly", or "place your hand under your chin". Easy, small movements that feel comfortable.


With that being said, if you are more comfortable throwing yourself around a forest and sprinting down a beach then I am more than down for that too (provided I can keep up!). We can work our way up to that and work in a way that is natural to you.


No Beauty Expectations

I do not believe that you need to show up to a shoot having made any extra effort than you usually would in your day to day life. After all, how you look on a regular basis is the you that people around you know and love.


So I only encourage you to attend the shoot wearing:

  • The same amount of make-up that you usually would (if any!)

  • Clothing that feels comfortable for you, both inside and out. Wear something that feels very "you" and fits well.

  • Your hair in it's usual style.

  • Comfortable shoes that are fit for the location (even if that means you get your wellies on).


A young man in a tight knit jumper stands with his arms crossed, leaning against a green wooden pillar. He is relaxed and confident as he looks offscreen.

Of course, if you want to make the extra effort for your shoot then I will 100% back you and chat to you about styling, colours palettes and themes.


The goal here is not to force you to show up in any particular way that is not authentic to you because of preconceived notions of what you should look like. My only goal is for you feel fantastic, whatever that looks like for you.


I Am An Open Book

Sharing is caring, and I should not expect you to open up and be comfortable with me if I am closed off and do not reciprocate. That is a very one-sided relationship.


I am very open about my journey, my mental health battles, and my passions in the hopes that it starts meaningful conversations with others and create long-lasting relationships. So drop me a line if you fancy a deep chit chat over a cuppa!


Music Is Key

Whenever I shoot in a studio location, I ALWAYS let my clients or models choose the music that we play.


I find that music is a deeply personal representation of a person's life and has the power to unlock a person's soul.


I love finding out what my clients love to dance to, meditate to, cry to. I will listen to anything you put on and we will jam the entire session.


Finally, Post Shoot Communication

I don't just pat you on your back and send you on your way! Many of my branding shoots include a workshop that helps you to understand how to use your imagery to it's full potential. This way you are equipped with the knowledge you need to take the world by storm.


A young 9 year old girl is dancing in a wooded area. She has her head leaned back to soak up the sun on her face, her hair is fanned across her shoulders. She has a happy expression on her face.

My photography isn't just about taking pictures; it's about creating a positive and empowering experience that leaves you feeling amazing.


I understand that stepping in front of the camera can be a vulnerable place to be, but rest assured, you'll be looked after throughout the entire process.


So let's capture you – confident, authentic, and utterly beautiful!


Thank you for joining me!

If you would like to work with a photographer who will be your own dedicated hype girl, then contact me here or email me at hello@emmaanniecolton.com


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© 2023 Emma Annie Colton

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