Sometimes it's hard to schedule those family photos because you don't feel quite yourself, quite thin enough or pretty enough or together enough. We, as a people, put so much pressure on ourselves to look perfect, especially in photos that people are going to look at for years to come, that we avoid it altogether. As a family photographer, I see it a lot.
I believe that every woman (and man too) should love their body, but let's face it, we are all guilty of being critical of ourselves at some point. I read this article on a while back that discusses using affirmations to boost self-confidence. Lucky for you, if you don't come in to your session feeling sky high about yourself, there are ways to get around it with posing too.
Hip bone to belly button.
I know how self conscious we can be about our weight or how "wide" we might appear. Turning toward your partner, so that your belly button is close to his hip bone will create dimension and flatter your waistline with the angle. It also feels more relaxed than shooting straight on to your squared shoulders. There are so many ways to change it up too, so that it doesn't feel that you are posing exactly the same way for every location.
Arm out and away.
Whenever I am doing portraits, I ask my clients to have at least one shot from every pose with their hand on their hip. Not because I want them to look sassy (though I love a good sass), but because it slims the upper arm, unlike poses that make the arm appear wider because it is pressed against her body. I have learned that the arms are the first thing a woman criticizes about herself.
Bend those legs!
Straight legs are boring and flat and look uncomfortable too. Put a little bend in that knee. Pop that hip. Give you some curves, and it makes the photo 10x better, I promise. it may feel awkward (doesn't posing always feel a little weird anyway?) but it will make the end result looks fab.
Be below the camera.
Looking up thins your neck and elongates your eyelashes too. It's such a simple way to pose and get a beautiful portrait that will be timeless and classy. I always think that portraits shot from above are a little flirty too (must be the eyelash thing), which makes them so fun too!
The goal of a portrait session, whether alone, with a partner or your family, is to create images that you can be proud of and love. The better you feel about yourself combined with posing that you know will bring out the best parts of you can make all the difference.
Wear clothes you are comfortable in!
I know that we want to look good, but you leave that up to me. You need to feel good too. My advice is to wear something comfortable but flattering. Usually long, flowy dresses check all the boxes. I know a lot of moms who are not into dresses, but isn't a family photo shoot a perfect time to dress up and pamper yourself a little bit? I think so!
What other tips do you have to help others feel good about themselves during a photo shoot?