You might look at other people’s photos on social media and wish you had the confidence to do that. Or maybe you just need a photo for your bio but have been avoiding it because the thought of having your photo taken is worse than going to the dentist. You’re starting to sweat thinking about putting yourself in front of one of those things voluntarily.
Why did you agree to this? What possessed you to sign up for this?
You’re not alone! People have a huge fear of getting in front of the camera and being seen. The biggest objection I hear from people, is that they hate being photographed. Let’s break that down a bit. What does that mean? When you say I hate being photographed, I hear “I’m afraid I won’t like what I think of myself” or “I’m afraid I’ll be too nervous to have the photos turn out well.”
Some people have had a bad experience getting their photo taken. Maybe they had a friend take some and the friend took them aiming up their nose and they weren’t flattering. Maybe you had a bad experience with a professional. They didn’t take the time to make sure you were comfortable, you felt rushed or you didn’t connect with the photographer.
Those fears are totally OK to feel. I get it, I do. Everyone has that one or ten things they don’t like about themselves. No one wants to feel awkward, ugly, stupid or uncomfortable. That’s just human nature, to avoid discomfort.
So how do we get around those feelings? How on earth can we turn those feelings into something that will lead to a positive experience? The answer is getting you to feel comfortable. Comfortable with yourself, comfortable with me and comfortable with the situation. If I know you have reservations about having your photos taken I will plan our session so it’s as pain free as I can make it. I’m going to find you a place you feel comfortable or somewhere quiet where we can take our time and get you relaxed.
I truly believe that if you feel comfortable you will be able to have a portrait of yourself that you love. I love being able to help someone through a barrier that they have. To be part of that break through no matter how big or small. Maybe next time at a party when they’re taking photos you won’t stress as much or you will get more comfortable on camera. Or maybe it will make you reconsider the inner voice you talk to yourself with. Maybe you’ll become more gentle with yourself.
If you’re still at the point where you’re still feeling super anxious about getting in front of the camera, I suggest practicing in front of the mirror. I will guide and direct you during our session, but it’s more important for you getting used to seeing what other people else see. Try to separate your insecurities from who you truly are. Grab a piece of paper and don’t leave until you write something about yourself that you love. I bet you will find something you like about yourself. Take a few selfies and doll yourself up. Do something to get yourself in the mood for feeling great.