In this article, we’ll discuss – how to become photogenic and few tips from photographer and psychoanalyst. Everyone knows what photogenicity is, but few know what it depends on. Natural data? Photo quality? The skill of a model or a photographer? A high self-evaluation? In fact, each of us can be photogenic – we just need to try a little. “In my opinion, I’m very ugly on the covers of magazines,” actress Charlotte Gainsbourg admitted in an interview with Psychologies. I do not consider myself photogenic, I prefer to see myself in motion, in movies or on video. Even stars who are accustomed to professional filming and tricks (from makeup to retouching) that “enhance” the image do not always like them on glossy paper.
“I’m not very photogenic” – this is the phrase photographers hear from celebrities at the beginning of almost every photo session. Blogs and Internet forums also continue to discuss photogenicity and how to “look good in a photo”. This topic may seem empty and trivial, but in a hyper-narcissistic society, where a person exists only through his appearance, his image, it is of decisive importance. We live in the days of social networks, and in them the role of images is increasing.
Each of us experienced this strange feeling when looking at our own frozen image – as if you hear your voice in an answering machine. Many try to attribute their frustration and discomfort to a lack of photogenicity. Non-photogenicity is not nearly as painful as physical disabilities, it is softer than clumsiness – a small defect that justifies our unwillingness to see our true portrait. The truth, which our frozen face reveals to us in the photograph, catches by surprise, because it shows a motionless, irregular, “alien” face.
Our self-image tends to be younger than the face in the photograph, this is why the image seems foreign and puzzling.Alberto Eiguer
We look at ourselves without condescension, we study every detail with partiality, we pursue the slightest flaw, we subject the slightest awkwardness to evil criticism, and our harsh sentence is not subject to appeal. Those who stiffen in front of the lens or avoid it are actually afraid of the gaze of others. Maybe because in childhood they were not looked at enough and they were little loved, or maybe because they assume in others the same lack of condescension and the same severity with which they evaluate themselves.
Allow Yourself to Relax
Lighting, angle of view, posture – the look and skill of a professional can show our individuality on film. Some photographers are known for discovering hitherto unknown aspects of a person’s personality – almost like psychoanalysts. But for a miracle to happen, a balance is needed between self-awareness, the model’s self-respect and respect for others, in this case the photographer.
For professional photographer William, everyone is photogenic. “Of course, some faces are easier to photograph, others more difficult, but our job is to see and play on the features of each,” he says. – I remember how one day I asked my friend, who was terrified of the camera lens, to come to my photo session. At first we chatted for a long time, she said that she didn’t like herself: nose, extra pounds, folds under the chin. At the beginning of the shoot, she was tense, nervous, doing everything to ruin the photo. It took an hour for her to finally relax. Time is the determining factor for a good portrait. When I showed her the resulting photographs on the big screen, she cried – because for the first time she saw herself beautiful. She never thought it could be like that.”
Are we all photogenic? “The answer is definitely yes, but only if you agree to trust the photographer,” says Pierre-Anthony Allard. “If you relax and let the photographer guide you, he can capture your beauty, that subtle moment when your inner light meets the outer light, when something unpredictable and exciting shines through the skin, is read in the eye.
A short course in photogenicism from Pierre-Anthony, a professional photographer:
- Look at yourself in the mirror, study your face, its expressions, while talking to yourself, as if you were playing the role of yourself. Play in front of the lens – this acting often makes actresses better than models in photographs.
- Find your best three-quarter angle.
- Exercise to relax the muscles of the mouth before shooting: move your lips silently, so they will take the ideal position.
- Forget about the long list of your shortcomings: if we try to hide them during the shooting, the result is unnatural. On the contrary, look at them as unique advantages.
- Do not be afraid to give free rein to your emotions – the film loves them very much.
- Open your eyes – this is the main secret of photogenicity. The photograph is mute, and the one who is depicted in it can express his desire only in his eyes. The gaze should be directed into the eyes of the photographer, that is, into the camera.
- Trust the photographer, don’t avoid the lens even mentally, otherwise the shooting will be like hunting.
and finally from V. Pathak, psychoanalyst:
- Define for yourself what is the root of your dissatisfaction with yourself (self-knowledge, self-esteem, beauty)?
- Look at yourself in the mirror and answer the question: what do I see? what worries me? why?
- Accept the idea that there is a gap between what we see and what we show, and the difference is the same for everyone.
- Remember to remind yourself that other people do not see in us what we see ourselves, and certainly do not notice the small details of our appearance that upset us so.
- Train yourself to calmly meet the glances of other people – this will allow you to relax and not strain your face.