An Awkward Girl’s Guide to a Successful Photoshoot

Although my brilliant photographers would never admit it, I am so awkward to photograph. The tense shoulders, the you-think-it’s-normal smile, and the redundant “side profile” poses — all take up 799 of the 800 photos that I take on my shoots, excluding the 1 that I post for you lovely people on my blog/Instagram. I know what you all are thinking: “Deena, nobody likes their own photos, you ain’t the only one, girl.” Let me tell you how I know all of the above is true:

1. I am constantly asking my photographers what to do. You’ll see about 50 photos of me looking around trying way too hard to make my confused stature look cute or I’m just straight up in the midst of laughing awkwardly.

2. I have an expressive face and prominent smile lines to show for it. This means that there are a bunch of back-to-the-drawing-board pictures of me cheesing way too hard.

If any of the above relates to you, you’ve come to the right place!

I’ll be the first to admit: photos are hard work and slightly frustrating. You want to look good, you want to be different, you want to look professional — but most of all, you want to look & feel like you.

This may seem like a lot to keep track of for just one pose, but here are a few tips ‘n’ tricks that I think could help you out:

1) PRACTICEI know this might sound strange because I thought it was weird at first too, but practicing your smile and other facial expressions in the mirror actually does help. The more you practice, the more conditioned the muscles in your face become — making it look (& feel) more natural in your photos.

Pose with your feet one way, practice a calm face — learn to relax so the impressions you make come through naturally.

2) Work with people who you trust. The thing I love about my photographers is that I am 100% comfortable around them. I feel comfortable explaining to them my annoying wants & needs, whether I really like or really dislike (if you will) a burst of photos that they’ve taken, and they understand & deal with the mini moods I get in when a photo doesn’t come out the way I envisioned it to. These are also the people that won’t hesitate to tell you when you’re looking awkward too!

Now let’s say you aren’t familiar with your photographer: that’s okay too. Don’t hesitate to contact them beforehand to let them know what you want from your shoot.

This helps because now the photographer knows what your greatest moments are, what to avoid, and most importantly, why.

3) Dress comfortably. And by comfortably, I don’t mean in sweats (although who doesn’t love that?). I mean dress in something that makes you feel good. You all know one of my many hobbies: fashion. I’m always looking for the latest trends and even trends that aren’t in style just yet. I personally like outfits that coincide with minimalistic walls — white marbles, blacks, and the occasional gentle-colored walls.

Who knows! Maybe it is sweats that makes you feel this way, nothing wrong with that. The point I’m trying to make is that you should dress in something that you want and love to be captured in.

4) Don’t take it so seriously. This is something I hold true to myself. I’m way too detail-oriented of a person, and if I see one picture that doesn’t look good, it completely ruins my mood. I realized that this is the biggest reason why I get so tense and hence, my pictures come out tense.

So what I’m trying to tell you guys (and me) is don’t sweat every little picture. Not every one is going to come out perfect. When you review them, there are going to be a few bumps, but that’s where the trust in your photographer comes in. He/she’s going to know where you look the best and most confident.


I promise y’all, there will be one fantastic photo that shows your followers who you are and what makes you so amazing. So loosen your shoulders, have fun & say cheese!

I hope I helped & thanks for reading, loves!

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