So you think you’re ugly… Conquering camera shyness

Let’s talk about the main, overriding reason that keeps you from going anywhere near a camera.

You think you’re ugly.

If you have ever thrown a hand in front of your face because you were worried about your make-up…  If you have ever tried to hide in the back row of a group photo because you felt fat that day… If you have ever grimaced when that camera points towards your face because you just know how unphotogenic you are… then you are in this category.

You think you’re ugly.

Maybe not “too hideous to leave the house and socialize in public” ugly, but you definitely, somewhere in your brain, feel like you are too ugly to be photographed.

It’s okay to admit it.  You are in good company.  In fact, you are in the majority.  Almost everyone feels insecure in front of the camera, and if you are one of those rare individuals who loves to have your picture taken because you look so awesome, I officially hate you.

I am definitely in the “please don’t take my picture” camp.  Ironic, I know.  I love the camera, but I love to be behind the camera.

I spent quite a bit of time this summer trying to conquer camera shyness for myself.  I made a point to understand and enjoy being in front of the camera before I started asking other people to enjoy it for my portrait sessions.

(If you want to know more about that journey, check out my Project 365 posts on my fine art blog.)

Now, let’s talk about why we should get over it.

This is a little lesson that I have stolen from What Not to Wear. (I am only a little ashamed to admit this.)

Months ago, I was complaining to my sister that shopping just wasn’t that much fun.  I wanted to lose weight; I couldn’t find what I was looking for; and trying on frustrating outfit after frustrating outfit held no interest for me.

Remember what Stacy and Clinton say.  That’s what she said to me.  Okay, what do Stacy and Clinton say?

Dress the body you have now, not the body you wish you had.

Let it sink in.  Then, put in photography terms.

Use the camera to remember who you are right now.  Not the skinnier you, not the you without the crooked nose, not the person you wish you were.  When we spend our entire lives waiting to be somebody else, we miss our entire lives!

Does that mean that you should  schedule a professional portraits session?

Maybe, but, more importantly, it means  you should be brave in front of the camera.  Capture the moments in your life that are important to you.  Put down that hand that is constantly blocking the lens, and enjoy who you are.  Enjoy the fun that you are having, and then freeze it on film.  Be excited to remember who you are right now.

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