So, it’s the night before your engagement session… you’re washing your face, applying extra moisturizer and as you take once last glance into the mirror before bed…. you practice it one more time. Eyes wide, light smile, perfect head tilt….. you think you’ve got it but you’re unsure. What if you’re so nervous you can’t get it right? Tyra’s voice is echoing in your head “Smile with your eyes girl, smile with your eyes!”. It’s the MODEL FACE…. the dreaded “Model Face”. I can’t tell you how many brides email me in a PANIC because they just know that they won’t be able to do it. And, I know this feeling all too well. It was the fall of 2012 and I was getting ready for our very own engagement session! I was definitely nervous! Actually so nervous! And I’m a photographer!! However, I didn’t have a good “Model Face”. I knew I wasn’t destined to be a model and I had completely accepted that fact about myself! I tried to practice but I just wasn’t confident!
Our engagement session came and went and although the “model face” was asked for, I knew that it wasn’t going to turn out how it was supposed to! And for me, what’s worse, was that Randy has the most incredible “Model Face” you’ve seen! He can just turn it on and off without any practice! So fast forward to our wedding day, and the “Model Face” is asked for again! I try one more time and just hope for the best! Friends, we LOVED our engagement and wedding pictures so so much! I knew that they would be good and that we would love them, but something did surprise me… one of my FAVOURITE photographs was a pose with my “Model Face”!!! HA! I couldn’t believe it! I HATED my model face… in fact, I actually believed that I didn’t have one! It just didn’t exist!! But there I was, proven wrong.
Some of you out there are my 2016 brides and you’re worried. You’re intimidated to get in front of the camera and the idea of having your own “Model Face” scares you to DEATH! Well, I’m here to admit that I understand. I’ve been there. I’ve practiced in the mirror and I’ve been self conscious. It’s normal to get a little nervous but let me encourage you…. it’s not that bad. Really. Speaking from experience… it’s not worth the worry. Your engagement session is going to be AMAZING and once you get going, you’re going to feel incredible… trust me. Here are some things to remember:
1. There is NO pressure or expectation. I realize that you have never done this before and you’re not professional models! I have NEVER shot professional models as clients. All of my couples are just ordinary, everyday people.
2. I will coach you through EVERYTHING!! You won’t have to worry about awkward arms or fly-aways. I’ll take care of you and I’ll walk you through the whole process.
3. A “Model Face” doesn’t = a “Mean” face. That is such a common misconception! And definitely one that I believed! More serious, editorial poses can actually be MORE intimate in some cases.
4. Don’t shoot down your modeling abilities before you even TRY. I did this…. and it’s not encouraging at all.
5. I’ve been there and I know how it feels to be in front of the camera and guess what…. it’s a BLAST!!!!!! … But it’s even more of a blast when you allow yourself to RELAX.
6. LAST but probably the MOST important piece of advice… remember that this is supposed to be FUN! Your engagement session is a pre-cursor to your WEDDING DAY!…. Only without the stress of a timeline and a white dress. This is the time to PRACTICE and get comfortable in front of the camera!
So as you continue to prepare for your engagement session and eventually your BIG DAY…. know that the your “Model Face” should be the LEAST of your worries! You’re going to be AMAZED at what you can do in front of the camera… you just wait!
Here is the beautiful image from Ikonica that we used for every single one of our wedding Thank-You Cards… and I’m actually PROUD of my “Model Face!!”