cameraphobia the fear of having your photo taken
Photos of you are how you present yourself to the world, we all know, presentation can make the difference between success and failure.
Having no photos of you is telling your potential clients that you don’t care about your profile, and that gives the impression that you don’t particularly care about your business, either.
This is harsh I know but it’s true. If I am looking for a service and the business hides behind their logo, I think what else are they hiding? It does not fill me with confidence to buy their product or services. If I think this, others will think it too.
I do not need to tell you this as you already know, but you really do need to face your fear and get your photo taken.
Overcoming fear of being photographed is something that is easier said than done. Cameraphobia is the fear of being in front of a camera and having your pictures taken. It’s a real phobia, and most people have trouble being themselves with a camera pointed at them. You are not alone, most of my clients I photograph have some serious anxiety and worries prior to their photography session.
Honestly you are not alone and it is perfectly normal. All my clients shown here, do like do not like having their photos taken.
My 5 tips to help with the anxiety of having your photo taken:
1. Accept That You Feel This Way
You will feel anxious, it’s perfectly normal. Try to use this nervous energy for good rather than worrying why you feel this way. The worst pressure you can put on yourself is to believe that you are not ’normal’ for feeling this way.
Scopophobia is the excessive fear of being stared at. Having a camera pointed at you is the same as being stared at, your fight or flight response comes into play. For you to feel less threatened and lose the flight or fight I need to disarm you, and make you feel at ease. Photography is more than just knowing how to work a camera. When it comes to photographing people, you have to know about them and I have a whole skill set to put people at ease in front of the camera.
2. Take Deep Breaths
Remember to breathe. Take deep breaths to calm you down and restore your inner peace. It will not cure your anxiety but will stop you overthinking, and it will help with the shakes and perspiring.
When people are scared and nervous it is easy to forget to breathe and think calmly. So my tip is to fill your lungs with oxygen, take deep breaths and shake it out. Drinking a glass of water will also help calm those nerves considerably.
3. Think Positively
Do not allow your brain to wander into a negative state of mind. Pessimistic thoughts will add to your anxiousness and allow you to spiral out of control. Think about all the positive aspects of the experience and begin to feel excited about what lies ahead. Sometimes asking yourself ‘what is the worst that can happen?’
Try to distract your mind by reading a book or listening to music. Make a playlist for your shoot, I am all for having music to help the nerves. Constantly, thinking about your shoot will make you more worried than necessary. Talking to a friend is a great way of banishing those last minute wobbles. I always tell my clients to talk to me anytime they need to, I am there to support you and hold your hand every step of the way.
At every shoot I have done for clients, there is a certain point that we hit where you simply forget that you’re having your picture taken. It stops seeming weird, or awkward and you start enjoying yourself more, and begin having fun. You’ll get to the point where self-awareness drops, I promise. Have patience. It will come.
4. Insecurities & Anxiety
We all have things about ourselves that we don’t like. Whether it’s our nose, our profile, our knees. Trust me, most people have something that they wish they could change.
I have lost count of the number of clients that say I have a “double chin” or have a big stomach. But you know what, once you tell your photographer what is freaking you out, they can do something to help. I have some simple tricks that will reduce or eliminate both.
For your photographer to address the things that freak you out. You do need to be upfront and honest. You need to tell them, no matter how great the photographer is, we are not mind-readers.
I have a whole process in place, we spend a lot of time together before your shoot, so there is time for you to share what you are worried about. I can share with you my tips and tricks to deal with anything you can throw at me. Your anxiety will diminish and I can promise you that you will enjoy your shoot.
5. Let’s get a bit of Direction
Having your photo taken can be a scary experience. That fear and feeling of being uncomfortable comes from within. This is something I’ve struggled with myself, which is why I know this experience so well.
The feeling of self-value comes into play. We question our value, and our confidence goes down and we want to become small and inconspicuous.
People with great confidence walk into the room with their head held high, their body straight and expansive, and when they sit, they take up space and aren’t afraid to do so. When we don’t feel confident, we hide. We collapse on our body when we sit with our legs and arms pulled in close and our back hunched over.
Trying too hard shows. I’ve watched body language change as soon as I get my camera out. Clients stand as straight and closed as possible, the images show a person smiling as hard as they can and looking nothing like they actually do when they are just being themselves.
Here’s the thing, you don’t need to be a model to have amazing photographs taken, but what you do need is a photographer who can confidently and clearly direct you into flattering poses and elicit genuine expressions from you.
It's a Wrap
Don’t fear the camera! If you are hesitant, chances are you just haven’t had a great experience in the past. I will address every single one of your concerns. I have a detailed pre-shoot consultation. We spend a lot of time together, so come shoot day I am like an old friend, your cheerleader, your coach, your motivator. I provide you with a directed fun photo session that is both memorable and laid back. It is a whole experience, you will love it.
Bonus tip - Don’t choose your own photos.
Not every photograph from a shoot is going to be flattering. There will be photos where you blink, where you moved, where you are chatting to me. If you’re camera shy and battling anxiety, the last thing you need is to see photographs. That will just confirm what your anxiety was telling you all along.
Read my previous blog on why you don’t like yourself in photos here.
A good photographer will only show you the pictures where you look great. Maybe there’s only one or two that you can stand to look at, but trust your photographer’s instincts. It’s a sad fact that when you have body image issues, you can’t trust your gut instinct when it comes to pictures of yourself. You might think that your smile looks forced and your skin is too shiny, but your potential clients will only see a happy, friendly face.
When you show off who you are and what inspires you, you stand out from the competition and that, can be a deciding factor for a potential client when deciding if they should buy from you or work with you. Remember that people like to buy from people. You are what sets your business apart from competitors. You want to be relatable and create a space for your audience to connect with you and start conversations.
talk to me
Cameraphobia and Scopophobia are real, it is normal to feel this way, you are not weird. I understand the feeling of pure dread, and I can help you face your fear and show up. You are beautiful, I can tell your story and show your potential clients how fabulous you are.
I offer a free 30 min discovery call, where we can get to know each other. Please do talk to me about your fears and anxiety over having your photo taken, I promise I can help.