Have you ever felt awkward on camera or used that word to describe yourself in pictures? Good news if you have — you’re not alone. Over the last few years, at least 85% of my clients have briefed me about their “awkwardness” before their session! It leads me to believe that, at some point in our lives, we all think this too. But life is too short to be stuck in low self-confidence. It’s absolutely possible to get out of your head and do your best on camera.
What I’ll share with you today and throughout this blog series, “How to be Comfortable on Camera,” is a sneak peek of what I guide my clients to do for a photo experience that’s more natural and fun! Just as your photos should be!
I’m leaning toward the idea that preparation builds confidence every time. Becoming comfortable on camera is a mental shift *first* then a physical one (more on that in a minute). So, let’s start with my first tip of the series — here is one thing you can do to get out of your head while on camera:
Yes, I know you don’t like the camera to begin with, and I’m not asking you to Samuel Jackson stare at it. By staring at the camera, I mean honing in on the person holding it.
Why? Earlier, I said becoming comfortable on camera is a mental shift *first* then a physical one. When you first make eye contact with the camera, your mind recognizes this is stressful. You then have two choices:
1) Fake it till you make it OR
2) Make a mental shift to adopt a new way of thinking.
I don’t recommend anyone adopt the mantra, “fake it till you make it,” because your photos are too important to be anything less than who you are. So, choice #2 is the only reasonable answer I’ll allow! The key to becoming comfortable on camera is to think differently about the experience.
By looking past the camera and at the person behind it, your mind is more aware of the connection than the need to overthink what’s *really* happening. You’re not focusing too much on the camera than engaging with the person guiding you.
Focusing on the person behind the camera and being conversational will create a more natural feel in your photos. You’ll look less stiff + posed and more vibrant + true-to-self. When we add movement and conversation, it evokes responses that highlight our natural features on camera better. So, now our mind relaxes into having a conversation with the person on the other side than the awkwardness of taking pictures.
Don’t settle for the “fake it till you make it” mindset for your photos — the memories you’re collecting are too valuable to be anything less than who you are. Being on camera isn’t as stressful as we make it when we make the experience more relational than performance-based.
June 16, 2023