Fashion Photographers Share Their Secrets To Feeling Confident On Camera

See the world through their lens.

Photography—in any form—is a means of self-expression and can be a powerful way to boost our self-love. For Australian fashion photographers Nicole Bentley and Jennifer Stenglein, taking photos is all about celebrating people’s bodies—both their own and those of their subjects.

“As a mother, I feel naturally nurturing to the often young women in front of my lens. I aim to empower them and make them feel beautiful,” says Nicole, who frequently shoots for marie claire Australia and Australian day spa and beauty brand endota.  

“The celebration of health and body positivity is a beautiful and powerful era to be living in.”  

Fashion photographer Nicole Bentley with her children.
“My images often present a gentle combination of power and sensuality,” Nicole Bentley says, pictured with her children. Image: Supplied

Celebrating Body Positivity

In both Nicole and Jennifer’s work, there’s a sense of intimacy and authenticity with their subjects that make for beautiful images.

“I hope that my images evoke a sense of intimacy into the subject’s life, like a secret that they wish to share with us,” says Jennifer, who lives in LA and also shoots for endota.

“I love human beings. And I love the human body. And I really love the human spirit.

“One thing I’m certain of when I take a photograph is that it’s always a celebration of both the person’s body and their spirit.”

While Jennifer aims to create raw and honest portraiture, Nicole’s photographic style is feminine and timeless—like the image she shot for endota’s latest wellness campaign (below) untouched by filters or editing, which encourages people to feel empowered exactly as they are.  

A model for Nicole Bentley's endota campaign.
Instagram: @nicolebentleyphoto

“My job as a photographer is to find beauty and connection through my lens and that’s something I just love to do.

“I think you can feel a sense of intimacy and purity in my images,” Nicole shares.   

Confidence On Camera

If you’re camera shy, the idea of having your photo taken can be daunting, to say the least. So how do the pros make women feel confident on camera? 

“I like to share my vision and make my images a collaboration with them,” Nicole explains. 

“I find it very natural to find beauty in my subjects, and I like to gain their trust to empower their confidence in front of the lens.”

As for Jennifer, she starts with a “a sexy playlist” to set the scene: “The confidence comes with genuine conversation and understanding how someone wants to be seen.”  

Fashion photographer Jennifer Stenglein.
Photographer Jennifer Stenglein loves “the romance of nostalgia that photographs hold”. Image: Supplied

“When you gesture at taking someone’s portrait there is an unspoken understanding that you are interested in that person. It’s like saying ‘I want to know about you and hold onto you in a tangible way forever’—so the dance is almost instant,” the artist says.

Self-Care Rituals

Not quite ready to bare it all in front of the camera? Finding confidence and feeling great in your own skin all starts with self-care.

Nicole nurtures her mind, body and skin by immersing herself in nature and starting each day with a relaxing yoga flow, while Jennifer loves drinking tea in bed at dawn, enjoying deep tissue massages and saunas. 

A model for Jennifer Stenglein's endota campaign.
Instagram: @jenniferstenglein

Both creatives agree that a spa visit is one of the best self-care rituals for a greater sense of wellbeing.

“I choose to nurture myself with an endota massage. My work is quite intense on my neck and shoulders so a remedial massage is bliss for me,” Nicole shares.  

Jennifer agrees: “endota massages grab me every time. I’ve also had beautiful results with the New Age Light Therapy and facials.”    

Nicole Bentley's Instagram often includes images of bodies.
Instagram: @nicolebentleyphoto

Brought to you by endota.

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