There’s a thing that always seems to happen, when someone pulls out their camera.

We hear the words, “Smile!” or “Say Cheese,” and we put on our smiles. A lot of times, we’ll even smile even if nobody gives us the cue. And you know, why wouldn’t we? We’ve been hearing it since we were little. We’ve been smiling for the camera for our entire lives–so long that we almost can’t imagine doing anything else. The knee-jerk reaction is to show your pearly-whites, and try to look like this is the best day of your life.

Is the world going to end if you're not smiling in a photo? We don't think so. :)

Is the world going to end if you don’t smile in a photo? Probably not. 🙂

That smile isn’t the real deal, though: we’re forcing it onto our faces and trying to duplicate a genuine smile, because we know the camera is watching. We try to conjure up what true happiness looks like on our faces, and it doesn’t exactly work. We know it’s not real, but we do it because we’ve been taught to assume that nobody wants to see us when we’re not smiling.

Ask yourself: What would happen if you didn’t smile?

What would people see, if you didn’t immediately try to pretend to be happier than we are in that moment? What if we didn’t think about how we looked? Sometimes, we let ourselves get so wrapped up in terror feelings about what the camera is going to show, that we completely forget about all the GOOD things that a photo can communicate, without a single word.

Maybe they’ll see something deeper than what’s on the surface. Maybe they’ll see the passion you have for the things that you do, or the love and support you give to the people you care about. Maybe they’ll see your quirky, youthful energy, or maybe a comforting sense of calm that you exude. Maybe they’ll see what really moves you, and makes you who you are.

The next time someone takes your photo, let go of “say cheese,” and put away the pearly-whites for just a second. See what happens… because you might be surprised.

When you start being real and stop trying to force it, you can start letting the world see you for the amazing, unique, and beautiful person you really are.

Become your most authentic self for the camera.


We have just a few spots left in Make The Camera Love You, a workshop that’s all about teaching you how to be your best, most authentic self in front of the camera.

During the workshop, you’ll learn great strategies to help you look and feel more awesome in photos. Then, you’ll get to try those strategies out right away: we’ll do a mini-shoot during the workshop with each of you, and you’ll get a copy of your best photo to keep!

The next session of our Make The Camera Love You workshop is happening at Upswept Creative HQ on January 30th, 2014, so be sure to register now, and start Looking Awesome in the new year! 



Here’s what you’ll get:

  • admission to our live workshop
  • individualized guidance during the session
  • your own mini-shoot during the workshop
  • a fully-edited digital copy of your best shot, e-mailed to you after the workshop

Portland business workshops – branding design – Upswept Creative