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4 Tips to get Natural Looking Photos

Getting natural looking photos is so much easier said than done as a photographer. I spent so many of my early years of photographing having these amazing visions in my head of how I wanted to shoot, but it just didn’t translate properly. I wanted my photos to look natural and in the moment, but there was still just too much posing happening at the end of the day. It is so much easier to pose than to get true candids! You’d think it would be the other way around.

I finally feel like I have it down (although there is ALWAYS room to grow, and I will never feel like I’ve arrived!) and I just wanted to share a few tips so both clients and photographers might have an easier time achieving candid style photos.

1.) Look anywhere BUT the camera

I mean really, what screams “I’m being photographed” more than looking straight into the camera? Have you ever noticed that in movies, no one EVER looks at the camera? If they did, that would be a whole different feel. When you’re going for natural, in the moment, documentary style photos, keep your eyes off the camera. Look at eachother, look into the distance, at the ground, really anywhere but directly at me.

2.) Movement is your best friend.

Incorporate movement into everything you do when you’re being photographed! Walk or jog, play with your kids, play with your hair, sway when you’re hugging your partner, etc.

A lot of poses can look forced and stiff because in day to day life, we tend to be moving most of the time and movement is natural. Of course, there’s a time and a place for stillness and be sure to listen to your photographers directions when they’re promoting or posing you,

That leads us to the next point….

3.) Prompting over posing!

I consider myself a documentary style photographer, but I’m definitely not one of those photographers that gives NO direction. I generally like to direct where I’d generally like my clients to be, then go for a prompt as opposed to a post.

Prompts can range from silly and downright dumb to deep and emotional. I might ask my clients to play tag or rub their noses together, or I might ask them to whisper in their partners ear what they love most about them. I might ask a child to count their mamas freckles, or to jump on their dads back from behind. Prompting a client to do things they normally do will help them loosen up and act more like themselves, which will in turn create more authentic images.