Everyone has a little camera shyness they have to overcome in order to take relaxed, beautiful portraits. Whether it’s a family photo, engagement photo, or a personal portrait, finding what works for you to let your authentic self shine is critical. The trouble is, what works for one person may not work for the next. Throughout the years, I’ve found there are a handful of techniques that seem to work best for most people.
Here are a few of the ones I suggest:
- Distract away. Most of the time, people are just self-conscious and unsure of how to act when the camera lens is pointed their way. I’ve found if I can keep my clients active, busy or distracted, and chatting away with myself or their family members – most people will ease into their role in front of the camera. It’s the number one technique I use to get my clients to relax and have fun with the process.
- Dress for success. Because many people are self-conscious, they often feel they don’t look the way they want. One way to overcome this kind of camera shyness is to prepare in advance by dressing for success. Take some time before the photo session to lay clothing out. Mix and match pieces until you find a combination that resonates with you and is also comfortable. It may even be worth going shopping for a new outfit. When you look good, you feel good. When you feel good, you can relax!
- State of mind. Another way to get over camera shyness is to give your mind a way to releases all the anxiety you have before your session. Try doing something that helps you relax. For some people, this could mean finding time to meditate, do yoga, or play soothing music. For others, it could mean kickboxing, going for a run, or swim. Whatever it is, do something that helps to calm you down and chill out.
- Stay playful. Your photographer, whether it’s me or someone else, has an arsenal of techniques they’ll deploy during your session. By staying playful and rolling with the punches, you’ll likely see photographic success once you see the finished images. It might seem silly to throw leaves in the air, climb a tree, or play with your children the way you normally would. But trust your photographer’s experience and expertise to capture a great image for you and your family. If they’re trying to get you to laugh, or unwind, there’s a reason. So stay playful and enjoy the time you have.
Taking photos should be a fun way to memorialize the way your family looks and interacts as you continue to grow together. Remember, it’s okay to be a little camera shy, but don’t let it stop you from being involved and taking great photos.
About the Author:
Julie Kubal is a child and family portrait artist and photographer serving Washington DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia. She is passionate about creating warm and meaningful artwork through modern portraits and lifestyle photography at a location of your choice!