10 tricks to be relaxed in front of the camera.

There are so many different kinds of photographers. Portrait, Fine-art, lifestyle, documentary, but what most people don’t realize is the difference to all these is posed or unposed. I personally consider myself to be a lifestyle/documentary/fine art photographer. I love candid moments, but I also love to make moments look super beautiful and dramatic.

At a wedding, for example, everything happens naturally. The day is being set up, makeup gets put on, there is emotion everywhere so it's easy to capture people being candid. Then there are the bride and groom shots and the family portraits, which need to be set up and posed.

So Basically, what I am rambling on about is that I am confident I can help you feel natural in front of the camera, it's my job, I love to do it and I am pretty dang good at it…but also I have compiled these ten tips to help you feel more confident!

10. Take a hike.

At the start of each of my sessions, I have people meet me in a location that's about a ten-minute walk to the actual spot I want to photograph. I find that this casual stroll in the fresh air, chatting about things totally eases peoples nervousness! Nature has that magical power to let our stresses go, and its a fun way to get to know each other.

Napa wedding photographer

9. Alcohol- Good ole liquid courage.

I’ll let you in on a little secret. There is a pocket in my camera bag, full of shooters. Whiskey, tequila, vodka, even tiny little bottles of wine. There is another pocket full of gummy bears, for the kids. You want just enough to get a fun little buzz going, not enough to be sloppy drunk its called BALANCE. This little trick though makes you more comfortable, and even a bit giddy. If you don’t drink, I will totally let you have some gummy bears instead.

napa valley elopement

8. Music

Throw on your favorite playlist, focus on each other and the lyrics. We can play something funky and have a dance-off in the woods, or slow it down for a slow dance. Both of these make for some epic photos.

napa engagement photos

7. Keep moving

I will put you in a general pose, but once you’re in it you do not have to sit still! Put your foreheads together, touch each other's cheeks, play with your hair, get a little bit frisky. If you put all your focus on each other it’ll be easier to forget I am in your face with my camera.

Napa engagement photos

6. Wear your most badass outfit

Everyone has that outfit, the one you feel like a damn rock star in. WEAR IT. The more confident you feel, the better your photo shoot will turn out. If you don’t have a rockstar outfit, grab your best friend, head to the mall and let her dress you. I am a terrible shopper for myself, I never know what to try, but as Stitch Fix taught me, other people do! Listen to your friends, even if they suggest the weirdest stuff, it may look really fantastic on you!

napa family photographer

5. Bring snacks.

Fellow HANGRY PEOPLE unite! I don’t know about you, but I love eating. There is a reason I go to the gym for 7 hours a week and still look a bit fluffy. FOOD IS THE BEST. Bring your favorite snack, the gummy bears will only last so long. This is also super important, towards the end of the session, all our romping around will cause some hunger.

napa family photo

4. Bring your puppo

People always ask me if it's okay to bring your pet, and the answer is HECK YES. Your pet provides comfort and security, or maybe stress if he’s a total spaz (these make for funny photos anyway)…but either way, I am happy to help with the pets so they’re not in every shot. Then we can throw them back in the mix too.

napa wedding photo


Chances are, we are going to be somewhere really pretty. It's totally okay, and encouraged for you to look out at the view, and just breathe. Breathing makes you feel relaxed, gets your stress level down, and keeps you centered. Just take it all in, one breath at a time and let yourself enjoy the moment.

napa valley wedding

2. Be Weird

Chances are if you’re reading this, you know I am a silly person. I am all about the jokes and the silliness! So this is your chance to also be silly and weird, make jokes sing random songs that pop in your head, do some crazy ninja move on the beach, run like you did when you were a kid. Just let go and have fun!

napa valley photographer

1. Get a Photographer you vibe with.

If you are a wall street stock aficionado who enjoys talking about politics and the New York times…I am probably not for you. If my tip about drinking a shot of whiskey before a session made you uncomfortable, again…not for you! That's totally okay!! Find a photographer who you will vibe with, you'll get someone who understands you, and makes you feel comfortable in front of the camera. That is our job, but if frolicking in the woods makes you uneasy…you should probably find someone who owns a dark leather chair in a studio. Vibe on friends!

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