Do you feel comfortable in front of a camera? So many people, particularly women, struggle to feel comfortable when their picture is being taken. Not only do they dread the actual process of having a photograph taken, they worry about the resulting photographs as well.
I’m one of those rare people who actually likes having my photo taken. This does not mean I’m incredibly vain. I definitely have features I really do not like (my nose always seems huge to me and don’t get me started on my legs). However, over the years I have come to realise that I enjoy the experience of posing for photographs. I’ve also realised just how important it is to put myself in the picture.
How to Feel Comfortable In Front Of A Camera – My Top Tips
Work With Someone Who Makes You Feel Comfortable
Whether it is a shoot for family photos, a headshot or brand photographs, be sure to work with a photographer who makes you feel at ease.
Make sure the person you choose is happy to meet before the shoot (not just on the day) so you can discuss the finer details of what you would like. This is one of the reasons I work with Terry Joshi Images for professional shoots so regularly. I always find our pre-shoot meetings inspiring. On the day, Terry creates a relaxed and fun atmosphere that makes it a joy to work with her.
Always interview your photographer to be sure you are on the same wavelength. It’s okay to interview more than one, and bear in mind that some photographers specialise in different areas. For example, wedding photography and brand photography are two very different things,
Wear Something You Feel Good In
The old saying “when you feel good you look good” still rings true today. Wearing clothes that make us feel good physically and emotionally makes it easier to feel comfortable in front of a camera.
Remember Others See Us Differently
Not only do most people look at us with much kinder eyes, they actually see us differently. This is because the image you see when you look in the mirror is different – opposite in fact – to the one you see in a photograph. This can be disconcerting because our brain is used to seeing a mirror image. It can often automatically and unconsciously be critical of the image in a photograph so bear this in mind when you look at photos of yourself.
Furthermore, we are often extremely critical of ourselves, noticing things other people miss completely. As I mentioned before, I’m extremely self conscious about my nose and my legs. However, I have never had someone mention either of these things when they looked at a photograph of me. In most cases, other people simply don’t notice the things that bother you most.
The Camera Does Not Have To Add 10 Pounds
Don’t let this commonly used phrase put you off having your photograph taken. A professional photographer should know the correct lenses to use for photographs to help you look your best. When you are thinking about how to feel comfortable in front of the camera, the last thing you want to worry about is your appearance.
A camera can only make you look heavier – actually wider – if the photographer uses a lens with the incorrect focal length. On the opposite end of the scale, certain lenses can actually make you look thinner.
If you are concerned, it’s a good idea to talk to your photographer about this issue before the shoot.
Take a few deep breaths before you have your photograph taken, and remember to keep breathing when it is being taken. Not only will it make you look better, you will feel better too.
Use a Prop
It is totally okay to hold something in photographs and it can really help relax you. When people ask me how to feel comfortable in front of a camera, I often recommend they hold a pen, a teacup, or even a glass of wine. Your brain will be occupied with the logistics of holding on to the object, and less preoccupied with your anxiety. (And yes, unless you are driving or operating heavy machinery, it’s totally okay to take a sip of wine!)
Tricks Of The Trade
When I was modelling many years ago I learned a few tricks for looking good in photographs that still help me today. I hope they will help you when you are thinking about how to feel comfortable in front of a camera too.
- Put your tongue on the roof of your mouth to help tighten your facial muscles. It’s tricky to do this when you are smiling, but once you get the hang of it, it really works.
- Be sure to smile with your eyes as well as your mouth. Let the corners of your eyes crinkle a little. It looks far more natural and appealing. If you need to look serious in a photograph, imagine you are smiling without actually raising the corners of your mouth. It’s easier than you might think, and very effective.
- Lift your chin slightly so that your neck looks longer.
- Stand up straight.
- Relax your shoulders. “Don’t wear your shoulders as earrings”, as my agent used to say!
- If you aren’t super smiley, don’t feel you have to produce a big smile. Think about how you would look at a friend when they walk into the room and let that natural smile be your expression.
How To Feel Comfortable in Front of a Camera – Have Fun
This is my most important tip for how to feel comfortable in front of a camera! Having your photograph taken can be a lot of fun if you let it. Whether a photo is being taken by a friend or a professional, they want you to look good and be happy with it. Work together with the person taking the photograph to get the best shots possible.