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Bye-bye Camera Shy: Get Ready to Strike a Pose with These Awesome Tips!

"Wait! Don’t Record me!"

shy black woman covering face
Photo by Anna Shvets

One of the most common fears is being in front of a camera. It's definitely something that I am currently learning to overcome and I want to share with you some tips and tricks that have helped me get over my fear. If you're interested in learning how to become more comfortable in front of a camera, then keep reading!

Before I get into it, lets talk about why overcoming this fear is important. I know there’s been times where friends and family go through old photos and memories but you feel left out because you weren’t in any of the photos. That can be a hard pill to swallow. But the biggest reason I think it’s important is because we all have a story that needs to be told! Whether it be through a blog, YouTube channel or Instagram feed, having pictures and videos of your life will help keep those memories fresh in our minds years down the road when we're reminiscing about old times.

Here we go!

  1. Practice in Front of the Mirror

I know you’re thinking, “I tried that once and it didn't work.” But are you really doing it consistently though?

  • Get comfortable with your own image takes time unfortunantely. The more comfortable you are with how you look, the easier it will be accept what makes you beautiful and unique.

  • Practice poses that make you feel confident and relaxed. Experiment with different expressions: smile broadly; raise an eyebrow; pout slightly; or even make a silly face if it helps loosen up! And don't forget about angles--you can try sitting down or standing up straight instead of slouching forward (or backward). This will help you find your go to poses and see what works and what doesn’t work.

black woman dancing in front of mirror
Photo by Polina Tankilevitch

2. Create a Character/Fake it Til You Make It!

Creating an alter ego helps me feel relaxed about taking risks in front of the camera, because I'm no longer Deseri. You can go as deep as developing a character with a story, and then become that character in front of the camera. For example, if you don’t have a bold personality but want to shoot lingerie, create a fictional character with that persona. Become that person!

3. Choose the Right Clothing/Style

Now that you're ready to take the plunge, it's time to consider what you'll wear. Choosing the right outfit can make all the difference in how you feel about yourself and how the images turn out. In general, it's best to wear something comfortable that makes you feel confident. But there are other factors to consider as well:

  • Am I choosing to wear this because everyone else wears this in this kind of photoshoot?

  • How will this be portrayed on camera?

  • What kind of environment is the shoot taking place in (inside/outdoors)?

Consult with a stylist if you really just don’t know.

4. Find the Right Photographer

Probably a no brainer, but I still have to mention it because many may not know what the ‘right photographer’ means. You most definitely have to be able to let go completely with this person. I make sure my clients are comfortable with me during the consultation call. I definitely can feel that connection from that one call and will decide whether to take on that project or pass.

Here are a few screening questions to consider during the consultation process to get a better feel:

  • How long have they been shooting?

  • What kind of work do they specialize in?

  • Do they have experience with your type of project/style?

When looking at portfolios online, look for images that reflect the style and tone of what you want to achieve with your own shoot--and make sure that those styles fit together well! Also, check reviews and comments! Investigate like finding a new mate!

5. Be Prepared

It’s so important to not add any factors to your anxiety. Pack your back the night before. Look up the location and familiarize the route and parking situation to leave on time. Make sure all your appointments line up, or choosing a photographer that has hair and makeup in house (definitely recommended and why my sessions includes all the above).

We can’t cover everything, there’s always that one thing but the less things to worry about the better!

6. Be Flexible

When you are in front of the camera, be flexible. Be open to suggestions from your photographer and take direction well. If they tell you to try a different pose or move around, do it! They know what they're doing so trust their judgment and go with it!

Photo by Deseri Rice

7. Relax

Once you've got the camera on, it's important to relax. You can do this by taking a few deep breaths and listening to your favorite tunes or maybe even take a sip of wine! Remind yourself why you are doing this--maybe it's for a project at work or school, or maybe it's just because it's something fun that makes you happy!

8. Most Importantly, Have Fun

If you're not having fun, then it will show in your pictures!

  • Realize that the camera is your friend. It's not going to hurt you or bite you, and it won't judge you for any mistakes. Not every frame will make the cut so expect the few unpleasant ones.

  • Remember you are beautiful. And even if you don’t think so, know that your perception of you is just that. How others see you don’t always align with how you see yourself and a lot of that has nothing to do with looks.

  • Practice makes perfect--and even if it doesn't feel like perfect, do not let that stop you from continuing on to capturing those memories for your love ones and yourself!

Ready to start showing off your confident, camera-ready self? Follow us on Instagram for even more tips and tricks on overcoming camera shyness and becoming your best self in photos and videos!

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