Last year when I set up my shop on Etsy, I thought I would take some amazing photos of my beautiful products and that would be it…the sales would roll in and all my hard work would pay off.
It didn’t quite work out like that.
If you run your own business, then you know that in this age of digital marketing, you NEED to show up. You know that people buy from people, you know that YOU are the most powerful asset in your business! But the big question was how?! How do we become more visible, how do we attract more clients, how do I stand out from the competition, how do I make more sales?
All the questions that you might be facing in your business journey. You can invest a LOT of time and money in creating the perfect product or service, but if your potential clients or customers don’t see YOU, the face of the brand, its very difficult to get people to part their hard-earned money on what you have to offer.
It’s the simple truth, your clients need to Know, Like and Trust you. And for that, you need to show up, you need to let them see your energy, your positivity, your uniqueness…and your beautiful face! Ooh you might be cringing at the thought of that…what? They want to see me? I HATE getting my photos taken. I’d rather hide behind my kids, the wall, the tree…ANYTHING! And I understand that, I’m the same.
6 Tips to Make You Camera Confident
As a brand photographer for small businesses, a LOT of my clients face the same fears. And over the years I have learned some tricks that have taken them from feeling nervous and shy to striking a pose all on their own! These tips will help you if you take your own images or you can keep these in mind when you’re working with a professional photographer.
1. Wear your Favourite Outfit
If you have a dress or an outfit you love, now is the time to wear it. Same goes with the shoes and accessories. Style your hair the way you like it, put on your favourite makeup. If you can afford it, get a stylist for your shoot, or get your hair and makeup done the day before the shoot. It will boost your confidence and that will shine through…and while you’re looking gorgeous, go out to dinner with your girlfriends or partner! It’s a business investment after all!
2. Don’t forget to smile…just the right amount!
If you’re anything like me, I just don’t know how much to smile! If I smile too much, I look like I have a babyface, if I smile too less, I look really grumpy. The trick with this one is to just curl up your lips a tiny bit (what my yoga teacher says give a little inner smile to yourself) and slightly squint your eyes so it looks natural. This way the smile just reaches your eyes and you will look more natural.
3. Angle your Face and Body
I also advise my clients to Option A: look at 45 degrees to the right or left and then smile Option B: turn your body 45 degrees to the right or left and then look straight. It is even recognised by plastic surgeons as one of the most attractive and appealing looks. Professional photographers call it the Universally Flattering Angle. You can see what I mean in the image here – I turned my face 45 degrees to my right and then pretended to laugh! This was a self-portrait shoot so I could try different things and see what worked the best.
4. What's your body saying?
Body language is SO important for a shoot. If you look stiff or unhappy, it will show on camera. Untighten those shoulders, relax your hands (we often forget that we are clenching our fists when we are nervous) and sit up straight (but still comfortably). In this image, my hands were really tight at first, so I relaxed them over my knees and immediately I look more natural and relaxed. You can also grab something like your coffee mug, a notebook, anything to hold on to which will give your hands something to do and make you look more natural.
5. Calm your nerves
When you keep thinking about how you look, or you don’t look comfortable, the camera will pick it up. So just breathe, relax, put some calming music on, close your eyes, stretch…do anything that calms you down. I like to dance before a shoot, it gives me that boost of energy and excitement, for other people it is different. A friend likes to put on her favourite scent before she goes in for a personal branding shoot. Go with whatever works for you and your personality.
6. Practice, Practice & Practice
Put the phone on a selfie mode, set up a timer, and start shooting! The more you shoot, the easier it will get. The MOST important thing to look out for is really really good light. I love working with natural light, its easy, free and there is lots of it! Find that window in your home or workspace where you get the best light or go out into the garden under a shade and just start. I bought a small phone tripod off Amazon and placed it in front of a window where I get the best natural light. Then I just practiced…a LOT.
Remember people buy from people, so your clients and customers need to see you and all you have to offer. It doesn’t matter if you look perfect or not, they just want to get to know you more, like you more and trust you more…and that starts with showing up more in front of them as the beautiful positive you that you are. Have fun and good luck for your next shoot!
If you would like more tips on Growing Your Brand and Increasing Your Visibility, my Free Guide is packed with more tips and actionable steps that you can take right away. Click here: Visibility Guide to download and start growing your brand!