How to Be Confident Shooting in Public // Session with Monica Woodhams of 45Fairmount

A lot of interesting things have happened to me on shoots with bloggers and entrepreneurs in public areas: people walking up to us to chat, photo bombing, random whistling and honking.
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If you’ve ever had your photos taken in public you know what I’m talking about, and there’s a good chance one or all of these exciting perks have happened to you.
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You may feel totally comfortable shooting in public, but chances are you may feel a little hesitant to shoot with a few other eyes on you.
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When I first started shooting in college, I was terrified of shooting in public, of people seeing me and being a possible distraction at events. I wanted to be invisible so I could move around without distracting people.
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When I have shoots in public now, I go into a creative zone where all I’m thinking about is how to get the shot, so everything and everyone else fades away. However, I know it can be a little more stressful when you’re having your photo taken and there are people around watching you.
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If you know you’re going to be shooting in public and have a little anxiety about it, here are four ways you can prepare for it and have a better shoot in the process:
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  1. Pay no attention to what other people think of you. I’ve learned that people probably aren’t paying as close attention to me when I’m shooting as I think. They may pass by for a few seconds but will most likely forget about us a minute later. And those fun or random poses you’re doing that make you look silly? It will be worth it in the end because you’ll have the shot you want. If I have a great pose or idea in mind, I ask my blogger to try it even if she feels funny doing it. I know I’ll regret it later if we don’t try — and it just might be her favorite shot of the day!
  2. Get inspired. If you’re nervous about shooting and posing in public, research and practice poses you like. They can be simple or complex and you can tweak them to fit your style or mood of the shoot. Look through your favorite magazines or Pinterest and take pictures of poses you like. Make a folder of them in your phone for reference and let your photographer see your ideas. I’m sure they’ll love the creative input (I know I do when shooting with bloggers)!
  3. Create a playlist. If music is something that helps you relax or keeps your mind occupied, create one with your favorite songs on your phone and have it on during your shoot. Set it beside you or have your photographer carry it in their camera bag. Music helps me focus and puts me in a more positive and creative mood.
  4. Think positive. If you’re constantly thinking self-sabotaging thoughts and focusing on your “insecurities,” it will come through in your images. You already look gorgeous so act like it! Trust that your photographer can see what works best for you and your surroundings and do your best from there!

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If you’re shooting street style in public, here are a few ideas you can use on your next shoot:
  • Walk towards or away from the photographer, as if you were just walking down the street on your way to meet friends.
  • Try fake laughing (please try it)! It sounds and feels awkward to do but it usually turns into a real laugh! Those are some of the best shots because it shows real emotion and puts you at ease.
  • Think about what you’d actually be doing in your location. On the street? You’d be walking, waiting to cross the road, texting etc. These are easy and give you something to do so you’re not just focused on “posing.”
  • If you have a more sporty outfit or comfy shoes, try jumping, spinning or something fun that puts you in motion. I shot with a blogger recently and had her jump multiple times to get a shot of her shoes. I felt bad for asking over and over, but it was one of our favorites from that shoot!
I loved getting to shoot with Monica Woodhams of 45Fairmount against this fun wall in Dallas, and I’m excited to finally share it!
If you’re a blogger in Dallas, I’d love to shoot with you and help you become more comfortable shooting in public!
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Dallas blogger photographer Megan Weaver
Do you have any tips for shooting in public? Leave a comment below!
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P.S. Have you signed up for my FREE email course to learn how to shoot in manual mode? I created it for bloggers and entrepreneurs like you who want to take their blog photography to the next level. Learn more about it here!
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