Karen first contacted me with the idea of doing “sexy pictures” as a surprise wedding gift for her husband-to-be, all the while telling me it’s “so not” her and that her fiance would never expect this from her. Karen is a very talented writer with a wonderful sense of humor and a self-proclaimed shy plain Jane. I was fond of her immediately, and our scheming began!… We giggled like little girls and had secret phone calls about different types of high heels and thongs. We decided to incorporate her love of writing, her Chinese heritage, and her husband’s love of the Cubs all into the shoot. “Old Hollywood, Veronica Lake” was her inspiration.
Soon after, we hit the Biltmore Hotel in Downtown LA and let the sexy out! At first Karen was a bit nervous, but that quickly faded. A glass of wine later and after my silly antics, she was completely relaxed and we were having a blast!
My favorite part of the process is when a client sees her images for the first time, and Karen did not disappoint. She got real teary-eyed – the sign of a successful shoot in my book. Here’s part of an email Karen sent to me after she saw the pictures:
“…I cannot believe the confident, vibrant, beautiful, and dare I say, sexy, woman in the photographs is me. I honestly can’t remember a time when I felt so alive and exhilarated in my own skin. Thank you for these stunning photographs that I will treasure forever and for capturing a side of me I had no idea existed.
Oh, and my husband thanks you, too. A lot!”
I love that while in the process of creating something sexy and unexpected for her man, Karen gave herself the gift of a beautiful lasting record of who she is in this moment of time. And I want to thank them both for a memorable experience and for allowing the posting of a few of the more modest pics on my new blog.
Karen’s shoot was so much fun – and she had the same “obstacles” as most women. So here you are, my little Valentine’s gift to the girls!
Ten Tips on How to Feel Relaxed & Sexy when being Photographed
1. Focus on Having Fun
Make your goal to have fun, not to get great shots – that’s my job :) Everyone looks their best when they’re genuinely having a great time.
I know this is very Tony Robbins of me, but he’s not the only one who recognizes the power of visualization. Make it a practice to see the experience of having a great time, feeling sexy, everything going smoothly, seeing the photos and loving them. Be specific and visualize from your point of view, as if you’re in it.
3. Get Inspired
Look at movies and art for inspiration, tear pages out of magazines and begin to recognize your style and sensibility… what is sexy to you? This will help you communicate with your photographer and help guide the shoot.
4. Show Up With All You’ve Got
When I say show up, I don’t mean to just show up. Bring it. And be open. Karen deserves all the credit for the success of her shoot, because she showed up, really stretched way outside her comfort zone and gave it all she had.
5. Be Sensual
Use your five senses during the shoot: play music, have a bite of chocolate, a sip of wine, put on a favorite scent, wear a kick-ass outfit you feel great in, and think of memories that make you blush, smile, and sweat… Do everything and (well, almost) anything that gets you hot.
6. Be Silly
Any shyness tends to go right out the window after the first few minutes or so of being silly. I am the biggest ham during a shoot, and I embarrass myself frequently (not always on purpose), but this serves me well as it usually puts everyone at ease. Just goof off and have fun! See how outrageous and silly you can be – it’s easier for the photographer to tone you down, rather than fire you up!
7. Create Movement
I often hear but I don’t know how to pose. Well that’s good, let’s not do that! Create a little action, however, so there’s energy in every shot. C’mon you all know how to flirt! If you’re on a shoot with me, I can show you some sexy moves (hey hey).
8. Remember the Context
The sheer fact that you’re in front of the camera being photographed is damn sexy… it’s powerful and vulnerable at the same time, which is an unbeatable combo – enjoy it!
9. Fake It
I’m not telling you to fake the real deal, but if you don’t feel 100% confident and sexy while on a photo shoot, FAKE it. Works every time.
10. Be Yourself
Honor who you are, in this moment. Don’t wait to lose a few pounds. (Besides, I’m a pro at retouching, and Photoshop is the best personal trainer in the world – more on that in another post!) But it’s important that you FEEL sexy, so if working out for a few weeks is going to do that, then great. But let’s not wait for all the planets to be aligned and your bangs to be the right length. The time is now. You are sexy and beautiful just as you are.
Bonus Tip: And of course, add alcohol :)