There are a handful of things in life that make me feel completely awkward. Well, no, who am I kidding, there’s a long encyclopedic guide to all things that make me feel awkward. One of the things that incessantly finds its way into the top spots is getting my picture taken. No thanks. I’d much rather be the one in control. I’d estimate that there are roughly seven pictures of me from the ages of five to fourteen (I am not counting class pictures of which I am consistently found in front of the teacher because of my height) simply because I hated being in front of the camera.
I’ve been known to over-think everything, which is half the reason why I’m the world’s worst decision maker. When I was younger I had a hard time separating myself from… well, myself. The idea that the “me” in pictures was the “me” that everyone saw day-to-day confused, surprised, and elated me. I spent so much time stuck in my own head I only recognized the emotions and thoughts and not the body and the way I presented myself to the world.
This is what people see? That’s really what I look like?
I’m slowly getting over my fear of being in front of the lens. After embracing the internal it was time to embrace the external. Let the curls go wild and start cheesin’.
How to Get Over Being Camera Shy in 3 Steps:
- Take a look at yourself. Know that any “imperfections” you may see aren’t imperfections at all, they make you you, they make you unique, and they make you beautiful. I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t have crazy curls, super expressive faces, and two different shaped eyes (no seriously, it’s really something). Own it and embrace it.
- Turn off your brain. Don’t over think things… People who over think at photo shoots end up posing or cheeseballing it up. Don’t think about that last magazine you read or the poster of that model that was hanging on your high school boyfriend’s wall. You’re freaking gorgeous and you don’t need to be like anyone else but you! Just remember to breathe and be yourself. What you can’t see in these images (lovingly, patiently taken by my best friend Amanda) are the shots of me puffing my cheeks, crossing my eyes, and stomping around in a circle because I’m super awkward. Next time I’ll be sure we snap those shots.
- Practice. Schedule a photo shoot with your best friend, like I did. Find someone you can be yourself around. Someone who gets your jokes. Someone who won’t throw things at you when you keep unintentionally raising your eyebrows like Groucho Marx. The more you’re in front of the camera, the more comfortable you’ll get.
3 Things You’ll Regret by Letting Your Camera-Shyness Get the Best of You:
- Your memories will only be in your head. Pictures are great portals into the past.
- When you actually need a picture of yourself, have fun sharing your senior portrait. You wanna talk about awkward photos– Nothing screams “you” like a velvet sack the rest of the senior class and every senior class before you was forced to wear.
- Once you (you gorgeous, Renaissance Soul, you) make it big (because I know you will), your book publisher, tour/theatre manager (you get the idea) will need some lovely prints. Don’t start your portrait practices when you’re under a deadline. It takes many many moons to control those eyebrows (and some, cough, may require a lot more time).
In Summation: Embrace Your Face! Be beautiful you. Be bold. Be brave. Breathe.