There is No Such Thing as Photogenic

It is very interesting to me how many people in this world believe in the idea of photogenic. The way the word is used is very similar I've noticed to the way people use the word talent. It's almost as if people believe that you either have a natural aptitude to look amazing in photographs or you don't. When people vocalize to me that they wish they looked more photogenic in pictures I immediately want to get them in front of my camera and prove to them that there is no such thing as photogenic! 

There's no such thing as Photogenic

Now I can hear some of you screaming at your screen saying "but Jason some people just naturally photograph easier than other people. You must believe this is true!?!" I do believe this is true. There are some people that are easier to photograph. I won't deny that even for a second. It's the second part that I reject. The idea that because someone is not naturally comfortable in front of the camera they can't be taught to look amazing in photographs. That's the part that I think is bullshit. 

If you accept that a person can be taught or shown how to look better in a photograph than you must also accept that someone out there was once not "photogenic" and learned how to look good in front of the camera. This means that the word "photogenic" that people throw around is actually skill that is learned not a trait you are inherently born with.

A good photographer knows what beautiful looks like and will guide you toward it.

Now you might be asking yourself why I'm making such a big deal out of this word. The answer is because I believe the word "photogenic" is one of the biggest ways people are justifying their way out of a portrait session. One of the most compelling reasons to have professional portraits done is to make you feel amazing about yourself. When a person talks themselves out of session by saying they aren't photogenic, that person is robbing themselves of the confidence boost they could greatly benefit from.

What I'm hearing when people say they wish they were photogenic is that they wish they could look effortlessly beautiful like the person they are viewing in my portfolio. What these people fail to realize is that everyone can be coached to look great in a photograph. The truth is that a good photographer knows what beautiful looks like and will help guide you toward it.