Hannah and I go back to before we were even in this world when our parents met in the maternity ward. Our mums continued to be close friends and so we grew up together eventually travelling to Australia together when we were 18 – looking like babies – but both determined to see the world a little bit. That was the last big thing I did before I had my son a few years later. Hannah, however, travelled the world dancing, modelling and acting. She has lived in Paris, South America and now lives here in London in her first home.  I think Hannah is all sorts of incredible, not that she’d take the compliment well because she despite it all she is incredibly humble. I asked her a few weeks ago if she wouldn’t mind writing some posing tips that I could share with you and she kindly obliged with the below:

The biggest bit of advice I can give is Try to relax. I think being relaxed is one of the most important things when doing a shoot because the camera can pick up a lot and when you’re relaxed the results are so much better and you’ll be able to get some really gorgeous pictures.

Relax is kind of general though so I’ve tried to break it down in to more specific tips.

1/ Relax your body. To get your body to relax, try shaking out your arms and legs, jogging on the spot or just some deep breaths. Anything to expel some of that nervous energy.

2/ Relax your mouth. One area where a lot of tension can be held is in the face particularly round the mouth. To loosen this up try an audible exhalation where you blow the lips out. Basically like blowing a raspberry. You might feel a bit silly or like a horse but it’s a really good way to get rid of tension and relax the mouth.

3/ Keep moving. As the shoot continues you might find you’ve gotten more and more tense without realising it especially if you’ve been holding one pose for a while so don’t be afraid to just shake it off again and re-relax as in tips 1 and 2. But also unless it is a specific pose and your photographer has instructed you to stay still, don’t be afraid to move. It doesn’t need to be anything big or dramatic, just something that will give the image a bit of life. For example, swaying a little, changing your weight from foot to foot, smoothing down your clothing, tucking your hair behind your ear, stretching or scratching the back of your neck. You don’t need to over think it, respond to what comes up within the environment and with what you’re wearing or who you’re with. Really beautiful candid moments can be captured here.

4/ Imagine the camera is a person. I know a lot of people don’t like the idea of having their picture taken and it can cause them a bit of stress but try to forget that there is a camera in front of you. Imagine that instead of a lens, you’re looking into someone’s eyes. It could be someone you love, someone you dislike, someone you fancy, someone you don’t know. Anyone really, that will just create a bit of life behind the eyes and make you expression a bit more interesting than just looking scared and tense.

5/ Trust your photographer. This tip is in two parts. Firstly, try to get to know your photographer a little; the more comfortable you are with your photographer, the easier the shoot will be. It may not always possible to meet your photographer beforehand but if you can, take advantage of this. And even if it’s just a phone conversation or Facebook messages this is your opportunity to set your mind at ease. If you have any worries or are unsure about what to expect with the shoot, don’t be afraid to ask questions about it. Secondly, trust that your photographer knows what they’re doing. Trust that they are talented and experienced enough to give you what you want. They want to make sure that they capture gorgeous images of you and this moment in your life. So trust that when they ask you to do something or stand somewhere that there is a reason for it. They are going to do their best to ensure that at the end of it all you will have images you love.

Hannah and I are going to speak all about this tonight on IG LIVE at 8pm 10th June. If you don’t happen to catch it you can find it over on IG TV.
Follow Hannah on instagram and via her Spotlight.