5 Tips on Being in the Photo | jen faith brown photography

This year I have started a personal project '52 Weeks of Me'. I will take at least one photo a week with me in it. This is the third week in and so far so good! I am just like almost every woman in that there are plenty of times I am self conscious about being in the photos. However I am going to power through and be in the photos anyways! Today I am going to share 5 tips on getting in the photo either by yourself or along with loved ones.

1. Shoot in the Shadows
There are plenty of times that I don't feel 'photo ready'. My hair is a mess, I am still wearing my workout clothes from my 5am bootcamp, and I still haven't lost those last pesky 30 pounds. Well, one day I saw one of Blissful Maven's photos on facebook and realized since that particular boudoir photo was so moody and in the shadows that I thought to myself 'I would be comfortable having her take my photo in almost no clothes because most of my body would be hidden in the shadows anyways'. So I am taking that thought and applying it to my 52 Weeks of Me. Last week I knew I wanted a photo of Matthew giving me his usual hugs and cuddles but I was looking a hot mess. So I found a good spot in my bedroom that had shadows to hide most of myself and took the photo.

2. Take 3 Minutes to Throw on Some Make-up
Some of you are blessed to have gorgeous faces sans make-up. However, even though I usually wear very minimal make-up, I always feel prettier with it on and would be more willing to in the photo if I was wearing make-up. This past weekend we took a short hike to enjoy the great outdoors. I quickly filled in my brows (because they are a tad sparse from over plucking in my younger days!) and put on some mascara. Brad commented 'getting all gussied up for the trails?'. Um. No. I am making it so I am comfortable being in the photos instead of thinking to myself 'ugh. I look awful without a drop of make-up on so I am not even going to be in the pictures'. And you know what, if you don't have make-up on and you are super duper self conscious, don on a pair of sunglasses!

For quick make-up tips, I consulted with my friend Nicki of Nicki Marie Gazlay Hair and Make-up. According to the pro, she said to load up on mascara to make your eyes pop and throw on a quick application of fun lipstick (think hot pink, coral or red) to instantly brighten up your face. That sounds easy enough and surely we can all manage to do that minimal prep if it means we will feel more comfortable in front of the camera.  Plus, look how gorgeous she is in her family photo so she knows what she is talking about!

3. Wear your Favorite Clothes
If there is even a possibility that I might be in the photos, I try to wear some of my favorite clothes that I know are flattering, or at the very least don't make me look like I weigh 300 pounds or like a dorky mom. Going out with the family on the weekend? Skinny jeans and a cute top. Christmas morning? Wear the pjs without holes in them (and yes, wear a bra!). All else fails take a close up where you can't see that you are wearing a shirt smeared with your three year old's snot, tears, and lunch remnants.

3. Throw Your Hair in a Cute Bun
Once again Nicki has inspired me to do more with my hair than simply put it in a pony tail. She taught our MOMS Club how to do a messy bun and then I looked on Pinterest for ideas on curly hair up do's. Find a simple hair style that you can do in a matter of minutes (and with about 10 bobby pins!) for the days that you didn't wash or fix your hair. For me, curly hair isn't all that easy to do if it isn't wet. I can't exactly run a brush through it. So, Nicki's tips of twisting pieces back to a messy bun and really helped me look more put together for photos. Nicki is like a miracle worker for hair!

4. Give up Some Control
I can't always be the one taking the photos if I want to be in them. So, I have to give up some control by handing the camera over to my husband or even my sons. Will the photos be perfect? Probably not. Does it matter? Nope. If you shoot in manual, dial in the settings and accept that you get what you get and you don't throw a fit.

5. Make a List 
Lastly, keep a running list of things to photograph so you don't have to think about it and you don't have a chance to talk yourself out of it. On those days you aren't feeling inspired or creative, refer to your list and just take the photo. Here is a list I started that you are welcome to save and add your own ideas.

I hope these tips were helpful! I would love to know what you do to encourage yourself to be in the photos more often.

Jen Faith Brown is a family photographer specializing in storytelling family photography session, either in home or on location. Jen is married with three young sons who keep her quite busy and give her abundant practice in photographing always-moving children! Jen is now booking 2016 sessions in Flower Mound, Southlake, Highland Village, Lewisville, Coppell, Frisco, and surround DFW areas. Please visit for pricing and to view sample galleries.

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