Category Archives: photogenic

Is this you?

We’re introduced at a networking meeting and a professional rapport was established. I viewed the photographers website and checked out their online presence. All the people in the images must be professional models as they all look great/at ease with their poses

Emails are exchanged. Hard questions have to be faced. What do I want? How can this ever work? All the what if’s………………? I really don’t like my photograph being taken. I need to do this but I’m really not comfortable in front of the camera.

Time and date agreed, deposit paid, confirmation received – there’s no backing out now!

The dreaded day arrives, I have a plan, take it steady, arrive calm and relaxed – not. What a calamitous morning, heavy traffic encountered all the way to the shoot (Oh the irony, strike me down now!) running late. What do I wear – grabbed a selection of shirts – some are slightly smaller than I remembered!

I arrive at the venue and I’m greeted at the door, my nervous laughter mixed with babbling small talk – explaining the small shirts – why? What  do we want to achieve – professional, friendly, approachable? All the while my insides are churning like a washing machine on spin cycle!

A backdrop, big lights with reflective umbrellas, but strangely an air of calm slowly begins to descend over me. The offer of a coffee delays the impending failure / gory experience. This is not going to work, how can I look good in a picture?

Lights, camera and action! Seated on a posing block, the heat radiating from the lights is akin to basking in the midday sun. Calming, soothing words of guidance, helping me find a comfortable position. Slight tilt of the head, right hand onto thigh and just drop those shoulders. I interact with the photographer and their assistant, use my hands, my expressive side showing through. Big smile, drop the chin, a serious look. A slurp of coffee between poses, hey, this isn’t too bad!

Wow, I have a best side, but I knew that all along and this is all feeling so much better than I had anticipated. And relax.

I’ve been sat here for thirty minutes already and time is flying by. All change and into the “smaller than I remember shirt” . I do believe that I can carry this off. The talking continues, adjusting position, lean forward from the waist, turn my face a little and back the other way.

And it’s over. Gather my things, the images will be ready within ten working days and I can view them in a password protected folder. Choose the ones that I prefer and they will be mine.

On reflection, that was a goods experience. I left feeling a lot better about how to be myself in front of the camera. Gone is the awkwardness and the toothy grimace masquerading as a smile.

Having a professional take the shots is so much more than someone just pressing a button. They can understand you and get the best out of you. That is when great shots are achieved.

 

Image copyright Penny Morgan Photography.

What is Valentine’s Day?

Flowers, a card and a meal out? It’s origins belie a mixed history. The day of romance is named for a Christian martyr and dates back to the 5th century, but it’s beginnings can be found in the Roman holiday of Lupercalia. This was a pastoral festival held on 15th February to avert evil spirits and purify the city, releasing health and fertility.

Ancient rituals have been adulterated with a modern commercial twist. 

The special day falls on a ‘school night’ this year so do we crack open a bottle of fizz? Fuzzy head at half past week! We have realised that we are officially a ‘Coople’, a term used in an illustration by the very talented Jessie Cave. It goes something like this… Jed & Emma have been together for 9 years. They are one of those infuriatingly happy and committed cooples who live for the moment someone asks “how did you meet?”

Deep down we all like the high we get from making others feel special, but how we feel about ourselves is where that happiness truly stems from.

Enjoy February 14th, whether you’ve planned for it or not.

Image copyright of Penny Morgan Photography

******************

The Photo-less Photo-shoot – no photos… guaranteed!

Friday 27th May 2016, 10.00am – 12noon – Bury St Edmunds
£19.99 per person.

If you dislike being photographed and are less than happy with the results, then this seminar is for you!

Change your thinking and learn to ‘Love Your Image’.

Happy ladies from Love Your Image

 

 

 

 

 

Number are limited, so BOOK NOW to secure you place!
Get in touch by phone or email – 0845 257 2038 – design@pennymorgan.co.uk

Turn what you learn to your advantage, for business and pleasure – come and find out:

  • Where the dislike comes from
  • Guest speaker Linda Barbour – Calm, confident you
  • Learn valuable tips for being in front of the camera
  • Discover the lasting benefits to both work and personal life
  • Boost your confidence

NO ONE WILL BE PHOTOGRAPHED!

“Really enjoyed it and format was good. Felt there was privacy to sit in the audience and just watch, listen and then to chat afterwards. Great use of assistant, really helped get message across in a humorous and visual way.” – K.N.

When?
Friday 27th May 2016 – 10am – 12noon.

Where?
The Active Business Centre, Bury St Edmunds.

Cost and how to book.
£19.99 per person, includes VAT and tea/coffee.

Places are limited, so book your seat NOW.
Phone: 0845 257 2038
Email: design@pennymorgan.co.uk

For more information, please visit our website page.

This seminar is part of the ‘Love Your Image’ program.

Love Your Image logo

 

 

 

If you feel you would like to go on and complete the program, all attendees of the seminar will qualify to book their photography session at a special rate – come and find out!

******************************

Profile photography day – 17th May 2016

Another head shot day is set for 17th May, at The Bury Farmers Club and in conjunction with The Best of Bury St Edmunds.

If you would like to update, refresh, or have brand new profile images, take advantage of this day. You can stay ahead of your competition buy having great profile photographs that represent you and your business – suitable for print, website and social media!

Individual sessions will be up to three quarters of an hour and you can book your session time by getting in touch and reserving a space. Your shoot will include 3 high resolution images of your choice from the edited selection. These will be available to view in a private online folder and always the option to purchase more if you wish. Choices will be made available to download from the website.

Special prices for this day are £90 for Best of Bury members and £100 for non members – prices include VAT.

WallofFame6

To book your session, contact me by email – design@pennymorgan.co.uk, or phone 0845 257 2038.

Deposit payment of £50 will be required to secure your session and payment details will be provided together with a VAT invoice.

****************

The Photoless Photoshoot – no photos… guaranteed!

Wed 19th August 5.45pm – 7.45pm – Bury St Edmunds – £15 per person including light refreshments.

Why do we hate being photographed?

Why do we think we are not photogenic?

And can we do anything about it!

Turn what you learn to your advantage, for business and pleasure – come and find out!

Do you love your image?

Do you love your image?

Change your thinking with this two hour presentation and learn to ‘Love Your Image’.

BOOK NOW! Go to booking page.

* Find out where the dislike comes from

* Learn some valuable tips on being in front of a camera

* Discover the lasting benefits to yourself and your business

* Boost your confidence

* Never worry about being photographed again!

NO-ONE WILL BE PHOTOGRAPHED!

This presentation is part of the ‘Love Your Image’ program and all attendees will have the opportunity to book this shoot at a special rate – come and find out!

When?
Wednesday 19th August 2105, 5.45pm – to 7.45pm.

Where (and how to get there)?
The Active Business Centre, Bury St Edmunds

Cost (and how to book)?
£15 per person, (plus booking fee), includes VAT and light refreshment.
Places are limited, so book your place here NOW – Go to booking page.

 

************************

A – Z Photography tips and information … ‘E’

‘E’ is for ‘err… a bit of a delay since the last in this series, however I’m back on it now!

So ‘E’ firstly is for ‘exposure’. Do you understand what exposure means and is determined by on your camera? Let me clarify/simplify it a little for you. Three main things determine the exposure of shot:

Aperture – discussed under ‘A’
Shutter speed – will be discussed further on
ISO – or your cameras sensor speed and sensitivity.

‘Over’ exposed mean your image has had too much light allowed in and the results will be too bright and ‘under’ exposed means just the opposite – not enough light allowed in resulting in your image being too dark.

If you leave your camera on ‘auto’, this decides on the above three settings for you, according to the composition you are framing up. Understanding how to gain a good exposure also involves getting your head round your cameras metering – which I will cover further on.

Have attached a couple of very random examples of both over and under exposed images.

Over exposed Over exposed

Better exposed. Better exposed.

Under exposed. Under exposed.

Better exposed. Better exposed.

 

‘E’ is also for ‘expressions’ – in my opinion capturing a natural expression in people photography, is what rates a successful image and one that people will like of themselves, whether it’s smiling or serious. There can be a very fine line between a truly natural expression in a person and the one that displays a degree of tension, stiffness, or just not appearing quite comfortable. This is why many people like images of themselves when they didn’t know a photograph was being taken and their attention was elsewhere. Many many times, I see people become quickly uncomfortable as soon as a camera is produced!

So consider this, among other reasons, it can be a self perpetuating thing. You see an image you don’t like of yourself and next time you’r e in front of a camera, consciously or not, tension creeps in and you don’t know where to look or how to be – indeed, you may put on a brave face, but inside are wishing the whole process was over… and it shows! So you see yet another image of yourself you’re not particularly happy with and so it repeats itself – you just resign to thinking you don’t take a good photograph.

But, who was in charge of the camera, did they try to put you at ease and guide you how to stand/pose? The feeling ‘uncomfortable’ only likely crept in when the camera appeared (unless you were already not in the best of moods)!

People are a lot more photogenic than they think!! 

 

A-Z photography tips and information… D

D … Is for DO’s and DON’Ts –

DON’T underestimate how good an image you can take. Did you see the head shot images under the previous blog (‘C’ is for Confidence) and think, perfectly achievable for ‘others’ but not for you? Have you asked yourself why? Why can everyone else seem to take good photographs but not you – so what does that tell you? Could you identify why you feel like this?

In the past, did you have a bad experience, or did you see a photograph of yourself you didn’t like?

DO read the previous blog – ‘C’ for Confidence.

DO consider that you can change the way you feel – by having an enjoyable photo shoot with an experienced photographer, getting better results, be given the right information to help you understand – could you see yourself in a better light?

DO explore why you might dislike being photographed, or your opinion of your image.

DO ask yourself, what it would take for me to change the way I feel/think about my image?

DO consider, everything you DON’T like about your photograph, is actually what makes you different and unique and pretty dam good! – DO give yourself a break!

*******

D is also for Depth of Field – now don’t switch off and think, I’ve heard of that and it sounds technical! Depth of field is a term used for the amount, or range of your composition that is in focus i.e. from front to back. It is mainly achieved or influenced by the aperture used (talked about under the letter ‘A’), focusing distance and your camera type. I’ve attached a couple of samples; the first has quite a large depth of field, showing most of the famous Sydney Opera House in focus and the second is a shallow depth of field – the petal and stamen of the foreground poppy are sharp, where the poppies behind are definitely not.

Sydney Opera House

 

Poppies

*******

A – Z Photography tips and information… C

I’m going to devote the letter ‘C’ to one of my favorite soapbox subjects…

C is for CONFIDENCEconfidence in front of the camera… not taking photographs, but being photographed. Come with me on this one, it may go on longer than the normal bite size chunks of information!

The larger part of the population feels uncomfortable being photographed, assuming they either don’t photograph well, or are just not photogenic. There is quite a ‘love/hate’ relationship, whether it’s with the experience, the results, both, or something else!

Yet we are photographed more than ever these days… wouldn’t it be such a change for the better if we could resist jumping to the ‘same old’ assumptions when seeing an image of ourselves we don’t particularly like. With a greater awareness and understanding of why we feel like this, many people would start to have a change of heart, greater confidence and a huge improvement in how they feel about it. There seems to be an assumption, that if someone picks up a camera, points it at someone and ‘clicks’… the results are down to the person being photographed … and yet the success of any other photography, be it landscape, structural, still life, animals, wildlife … it’s all down to the photographer!? – odd that one!

There are numerous reasons that contribute towards people feeling like this and yet time and time again I hear people referring to something they didn’t necessarily create (unless it’s a selfie!), but were the subject and assume it’s down to them and how they look in the results. It’s sort of understandable, when we look at an image of ourselves, that’s all we see and don’t consider elements beyond it.

To start with, a photograph captures a moment in time and the decision the person in charge of the camera made of when to press the shutter. If you suddenly find yourself in front of a camera when someone (for example) has decided they want to capture a ‘hearty’ moment among friends, you can be captured with any number of expressions according to how you reacted at the time… and if it was not particularly flattering, it doesn’t mean you cannot take a good photograph! 

Many people refer to images taken, not knowing it was being shot, that they really like, this is due to the person in charge of the camera capturing the best moment. There is a tension that comes with being self conscious and we very can quickly lose our lovely natural expressions.

There are many other reasons that affect us, external influences, our own experiences, technical – I challenge the saying ‘the camera never lies’ – it’s not strictly true, for example phone and tablet camera’s are notoriously bad at distorting facial features!

… and then there is light(!)… this can be your friend and foe. Cameras do not interpret shadows and highlights as well as our eyes do. Soft diffused light is much more flattering than say bright, high, outdoor direct light.

However I want to conclude with an earlier point about our wonderful natural expressions. They are there in every one of us and the person in charge of the camera who captures this in you, whether a professional photographer or not, is the one who captures the best in you. As an illustration, I’ve included one of my ‘walls of fame’; being a small selection of people I’ve had the pleasure to capture. I appreciate many of these are studio lit (not all), however, it’s their natural expression that were captured.

Natural expressions

You may have noticed, I’ve been highlighting the phrase ‘the person in charge of the camera’ – so take heart, you can take a good image and it’s not all your fault, or all down to you :)!

You can Love Your Image…

Sometimes blogs can be a bit like waiting for a bus… however…!

In January of this year I gave a talk on a very common subject, but very little discussed – those who dislike being photographed and think they’re not very photogenic.

If you think it’s all down to you and there’s nothing that can be done… think again and read on. The cause can be very different from person to person, but the result is very similar.

Hear me out… it’s not all down to you and there is something you can do about it.

Imagine being completely comfortable in front of the camera and not let it become a repeated challenge to your self esteem.

I’ve launched a specially designed experience to help you explore this further and discover a fresh new outlook and confidence.

Click on the image to read more, or, the following link, for full information on the website – LOVE YOUR IMAGE:

LYIPromotion Leaflet A5 (P)sm
G
et in touch if you would like to learn more:

Telephone: 0845 257 2038

Contact: Via the website

 

Awesome Autumn 2014 promotions…

Well it’s been a long and busy summer, with shoots as varied as I can remember!

I have a bag full of blogs waiting to share with you, but in the meantime have launched a couple of Autumn promotions.

The first is so important to those of us in business and was recently reminded by a clients quote… a strong indication that good profile photographs can draw people to you.

“I get a lot of compliments on the photo’s that you did! I ask all my clients where they found me and a good majority of them reply from my website.  They chose me because they like my photo and I look approachable! ” 🙂

I will be arranging the first session dates in the next week if you would like to take advantage of this promotion.

Click on the image, or, the following link for further information – LATEST PROMOTIONS.

Head&ShouldersPromotion

The second is making the most of our lovely autumn colours that have started to appear and a great opportunity to enjoy some valuable downtime to yourself or with your family.

I won’t mention the ‘C’ word yet, but a promotion worth considering if you would like gift ideas!

These shoots will be arranged and held at a beautiful outdoor Suffolk location – flexibility with our lovely British weather will be allowed for!

Click on the image to read all the information.

Awesome Autumn promotion
Y
ou can get in touch via email, phone, or my website for any further information.