Double Chins, Closed Eyes, & the Most Flattering Photos Ever

Last week, I decided to ask a question on my Facebook page. I decided to ask after I was thinking of a sentence that I hear in almost 90% of my conversations with clients. It doesn’t matter if the client is a bride, a mom, a girl about to graduate high school, or a father-to-be at a maternity shoot.

The sentence is this, ” I LOVE CANDID PHOTOS.” 

I asked on my Facebook page, and this is the response I received :

It’s true! People LOVE candid photos! But I am going to challenge your mindset on candid photos for a second! I am not only speaking as a photographer, I am also thinking as a bride! 🙂

Last month, I was meeting with a bride and groom and they were explaining to me what they had in mind for their wedding photos. The bride even went so far as to say, “I don’t want ANY posed photos. If you want to just capture candid moments, I like those the best anyway.”

On the outside, I smiled and nodded. On the inside, I had a mini-heart-attack.

Let me paint a picture for you. It’s Christmas Day. All your family is gathered for a huge dinner. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins. Your aunt has her camera out and is snapping photos of everything. People opening presents, the pie she made, the dog with a bow on it’s head. EVERYTHING. Well…a few days later, you log onto your Facebook. And you see “Aunt Mary has tagged you in 18 photos”. Oh, what’s that? You had a mini-heart-attack also? You open up the album and flip through the photos. You see yourself in the back of a few photos, chewing on some pie. AND THEN YOU WANT TO DIE.

Am I the ONLY person who this has happened to? You had NO idea those photos were taken. You had NO idea they would end up on Facebook for all 927 of your friends to see. And if you would have known, you definitely wouldn’t have had your grumpy face on in the background. It looks like you are sitting in your dungeon planning on how to blow something up. EVIL glares. Red Eye. 3 Chins. You’ve never felt cuter. Right? NO. Untag, Untag!

Well, that’s what candid photos sometimes end up looking like…Just being honest.

So my solution? Guided Movement.

If I were to follow a couple around with my camera, and tell them absolutely nothing about what to do, where to stand, anything? Yes, of course, we would have some cute photos! But some of them, you would feel like I was your Aunt Mary, and you would be wishing that I would have at least told you where to stand and to SMILE! 🙂

When posing a couple, I don’t pose you like you are getting your school photos taken. You aren’t a robot, and I certainly don’t want you looking OR feeling like one in your photos. I want you laughing, I want you loving, I want you smiling, REALLY smiling. And real smiles are SO hard to fake.

How do I do that? I give you something to do. I tell you to “Snuggle in…CLOSER. CLOSER.” and THEN you giggle. THEN I get to capture those REAL moments. Those photos that feel natural and unposed. Because they ARE! To an extent. They are 70% posed. I tell you WHERE to stand, WHERE to put your hands.

**Sidenote : Hands are SO important in a photo. Awkward hands = awkward photo.**

And then the 30% you add is all YOU! Its your laugh, your snuggle, your personality.

And THAT is what makes a good photo. It FEELS candid. But it’s not.

No closed eyes, no slouchy shoulders, no extra chins. Just a whole lot of personality. And a whole lot of LOVE.

Here are some examples!

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2 Replies to “Double Chins, Closed Eyes, & the Most Flattering Photos Ever”

  1. Yes! Yes! So true!!!
    I guess when I think of candids I love, it’s those that capture EMOTION! Laughing. Genuine smiling. Eyes lit up. Ahhhh.

  2. Kelsey, you are not only a great photographer. . .you are a wise one! No wonder your shots are always fantastically true to life and love.

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