Stuart Beeby is a professional portrait photographer, providing services in studio and on location.
Stuart has taken 1000’s of portraits for business professionals, athletes, actors, musicians, models, teenagers and children. He uses his many years of experience to make everyone he works with, feel comfortable and at ease when they’re in front of his camera.
"It's true to say that many people shy away from having their picture taken. Mainly because a lot of us feel that we don't "look good" in a picture. So I wrote this guide to give some easy tips to those professionals who don't feel comfortable in front of a camera. I hope you find the information useful"
- Stuart Beeby
Planning Your Outfit
Plain white or blue dress shirts are classic and clean looking. Solid shades of gray or navy are also good. Pinstripes or plaid patterns tend to distract the eye.
Layers on men look great on camera. Another layer will bring extra dimension and visual interest to your photos. For example, blazers, vests and jackets enhance any look. Or add a v-neck sweater with a pop of color from a long-sleeved collared shirt and tie underneath.
Don’t be afraid to get a little creative with layers!
When choosing colors for your outfits, I recommend selecting softer, lighter tones or more muted shades. Try to avoid ultra-bright, bold colors. The camera loves delicate shades, mixed with sophisticated light neutrals like heather gray, creams, brown and white.
A single plain top with neck jewelry with subtle earrings looks great, but adding another layer over your top, enhances any business portrait.
If you choose to add another layer, try a slightly different shade or tone rather than an exact match to the layer beneath.
Constantly looking toward the camera and holding a pose, causes your eyes to glaze over and your smile will look forced, consequently your expression will develop into a "hard stare" after a few frames.
To make your expression more natural, I always have my clients "look away" from camera between each shot. When prompted, I'll ask them to turn their head and eyes towards me, at which point I capture a much more natural expression.
Lean Toward the Camera
For those who would like the camera to take a few pounds off, my favorite trick is to make my subjects head larger in proportion to their body.
I achieve this by asking my subject to "lean in" towards the camera so the closest part of their body is actually their forehead. This may feel awkward but it works, because everything further away from the lens (i.e. your body), appears smaller in the photo!
Never lean back when anyone takes your photo, if your goal is to appear a few pounds lighter.
Stool for confidence
I use this trick for the most camera shy people and it works every single time!
Having a small "physical barrier" between you and a camera lens, really helps boost confidence.
I keep a high back bar stool in my studio for when I see someone having a hard time relaxing. I place my stool between us and ask them to lean on the back of the stool in a folded arm position.
Having this little barrier, instantly boosts confidence, which helps you to relax.
Relax and Have Fun
To sum everything up so far...
1) Plan your outfits
2) Don't stare at the camera and look away between shots
3) Lean in towards the camera
4) Use a stool to boost confidence
And my last tip is to simply RELAX and HAVE FUN!
If you relax and trust your photographer to coach you through your session, it will make all the difference in your final images.
ENJOY the experience and just "let go". I can assure you that your investment will be so much more worthwhile.
Behind the scene video of a head shot session
Watch the video to see how Stuart engages with his client and how they feel at ease.