“I don’t really love being photographed”

Jul 6, 2012


“I don’t really love being photographed”
(((Guess what! Me neither!)))
I hear it all the time, and I can totally relate.  In fact, I would say that about 80-90% of adults cringe at the thought of being in front of the camera.  I believe that that discomfort comes from years of being photographed badly, and as children being primped and posed and forced to say CHEESE which resulted in a goofy looking fake/forced smile.  I won’t even get into those horrible backgrounds at the studios.  It was an unpleasant experience, which yielded results that only a mother could love. I mean, we’re all happy that those photographs exist, but still we are scarred.  Am I right?
So here’s the thing: Myself and many many of my colleagues strive to create an experience that is nothing like that old school way of portraiture. We are changing the paradigm, but we need you on board.
When I spend time photographing a family (or a person), my main objective is to make you feel comfortable and seen. My sessions are a bit longer so that there is time for my clients to ease in.  Time to see that I am a very easygoing down to earth person, and that my work process goes with the flow and evolves naturally.  I do not want my clients to go into our time together striving for some kind of perceived perfection with styled coordinating outfits and forced highly posed vignettes. (if that’s what you want, there are lots of photographers who do that!)  All I really want from my clients is for you to be ready to RELAX, enjoy each other with no pressure to be anything but yourselves for a few hours, and most importantly to TRUST me – because I guarantee that I think you are beautiful and perfect in your own way, and my promise to you, my client, is that I will use my skills with my camera and the light to translate that beauty & love that I see in you into powerfully emotive, gorgeous images.  Images that you will treasure forever.  Photographs that will be on your short list of things to grab if your house was one fire. Pictures that tug at your heartstrings and make you laugh or cry or both every time you look at them.

And in the long run, it is my hope that our children will feel differently about being photographed as adults. That they will think of photo shoots as a fun and valuable memory preserving good time.  That they will LOVE the photos that their parents have invested in so much, that the desire to create these little memory holders will be be fueled with excitement rather than any fear or discomfort.  That they will seek out photographers who are a good fit for them and make them feel great!

So I want you to know that when you hire me to photograph your beautiful, unique family, it is ok that you don’t love being photographed.  I will not force you to change your mind, but I do hope to put you at ease. Thank you for being brave enough to work through it! Thank you for your trust! I guarantee that you will be so so glad that you did.

And between you and me, most of my sessions end with my clients saying “That was fun!”.



  1. kati says:

    word, jen! i agree with everything you just said. and in fact, i always recommend dads especially have a little sumpin sumpin to drink before a session if that will help 🙂 who LIKES a camera in their face? but i love how you said this.

  2. heather says:

    Couldn’t agree more! Changing the way we all think when it comes to images is a tall order, but one that I am so on board with 🙂

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