Okay, picture this. You are on your dream vacation, you have found the perfect spot for that Instagram picture that you have been dying to take, you start getting things set up and suddenly become super aware of all the people staring at you. You begin to feel uncomfortable. You suddenly don't know how to stand or smile and oh my god have your hands always looked this awkward? You force out a fake smile, pack up, and swear to yourself that you are never going to try that again. Don't worry you aren't alone. Hi, my name is Kimberly and I am camera shy!
So I know what you're thinking, how can someone in the social media business be camera shy? Let me put it this way, up until a few months ago, I was so shy I even refused to take snap chats without putting a filter on myself… it was bad you guys! But as I started taking pictures on a more regular basis, I found a ton of tips and tricks to myself when I started to feel awkward or stiff. I really hope they help you too!
How to feel more comfortable in front of a camera:
1. Ignore the world around you:
The number one reason that I get uncomfortable in front of the camera is having other people watch me take pictures. Just seeing people gawk, stare, or even point sometimes makes me want to crawl under the covers and hide. But one thing that I have learned that really helps me is to just not look at all the people. I recently did a wedding shoot in the middle of a super crowded beach. I'm talking hoards of tourists laying all around us as we stood there in full wedding glam. At first, I was super intimidated but once I stopped looking around and actually focused on the shoot it was like all that awkwardness disappeared. I suddenly had no care in the world. If you just let the world around you disappear for a bit, your pictures will turn out a lot more natural and comfortable.
2. Take the stares as a compliment:
Like I said before, people are going to stare. Especially when you do something crazy or are wearing a ball gown to the beach… it's going to happen. But what has helped me overcome my fear of those looky-loos is also remembering that just because people are watching doesn't mean they are judging. Some people might just be genuinely intrigued by what you are doing. So try to take it as a compliment!
3. Don't be afraid to be weird:
Something that really helps me is to embrace the weird! If I am having a stiff day I like to take some funny pictures or blooper pictures to kind of loosen up and get in the zone. It also helps make me laugh if I feel like I just took a really ridiculous picture and that genuine happiness really comes through in the rest of the shoot! In fact, laughing and being goofy can sometimes help create some really great pictures. There is nothing better than actually being able to feel someone's emotions through a picture!
4. Confidence is key:
Whether you are a professional model, a content creator, a blogger, or just someone who is trying to take pictures for the fun of it, stand in front of that camera like you own the world!! If you are taking pictures and only half-assing them, IT WILL SHOW!!! There have been so many times when I had to completely redo a shoot because you could literally see how uncomfortable I was in the pictures. So when you get in front of that camera, go all out! Throw your hands in the air, jump around, really make a scene! Before you know it, that confidence that you were faking going into the shoot will turn into real confidence.
5. move, Move, MOVE:
Do not just stand there. I know we see pictures of models posing perfectly but for the most part, poses do not work if you are camera shy!!! In fact, every single time I have tried to pose I have looked so uncomfortable that it was borderline hilarious. So turn on some music and just start moving. Swing your arms, dance, twirl, run, literally any movement! Just don't stand there like a state because that is exactly what you will look like.
6. Learn your angles:
This might sound weird, but I hate taking pictures of the right side of my face! My hair naturally falls more on the left leaving me with a bit of a weird almost bald looking right side. So when I'm taking pictures and I turn too much to the left, the picture looks awful. I know this may not seem like a big deal, but if you aren't comfortable with the way a certain angle looks, then that uncomfortable feeling will show. So stand in front of the mirror and see how you think you look best!
7. Get used to seeing pictures of yourself:
You are your worst critic. Part of being camera shy is just not always loving the way you look. That's totally okay, you are just human! But in order to really get out of your shell and feel more confident in front of that lens, you need to start looking at pictures of yourself and not picking at the flaws but complimenting the things you like. Once you become happier with yourself, your pictures will show that happiness.
8. Get to know your photographer:
A good relationship with the person behind the camera is absolutely essential if you want to look comfortable in front of it. Whether you are hiring someone, having a friend take them, or have teamed up with your partner; the person taking your pictures should never add awkwardness! If you really really don't want to have to work with someone else, there is always the tripod and remote control option as well. For all your solo content creator out there, major props to you!! Being the talent in front and behind the camera is awesome!
9. Work with props:
Distractions can be a huge help!! If you have just tried everything to get that natural looking picture of yourself but you still look like a little kid smiling for a yearbook shot, try a prop! I like to play with food because not only do I get to have something in my hands but I also get to eat while I take pictures… it's a nice little bonus. But really, having something to keep your hands and brain busy can really help give you that extra nudge of confidence. Flowers are always a good go-to for props!
10. Fake it till you make it!
When all else fails, fake it. Fake the confidence, fake the model behavior, fake the no care in the world attitude… fake it all! If you really can't seem to shake that camera shy feeling or even if you are just having a bad day, going over the top can be the key to saving your photo sesh. Channel your inner diva or inner actor and just pretend that you know exactly what you are doing! You'll see how quickly the acting becomes reality.
There is no cure for being camera shy. Trust me if there was I would tell you because boy do I need it some days! All you can do is work on it day by day and learn to accept all the awkwardness that makes you you. I still have those days when I walk out onto the beach and I feel like everyone is just judging me hardcore. But the way I see it, life is too short to care what other people think!