How To Feel Confident In Front of a Camera
A couple of days ago, I was lucky enough to photograph a beautiful Cornish model, Julia Campbell. I love working with girls locally, and Julia was extremely eager to shoot. We headed to Perranporth beach on a lovely sunny evening, and Julia danced around smiling for my camera. When I looked back at the images, it struck me just how confident she was - something that's rare to find, but so refreshing.
As a photographer, I'm often asked on advice on how to feel confident in front of a camera. It's something that I myself struggle with, and it takes me a while to feel happy with someone taking photos of me. I know how awkward it can feel when you're standing there, trying to look cute and feel as though everyone is staring and judging you. So I thought it would be useful if I put together a short guide on how to feel more confident in front of a camera!
Know Your Angles: Whether you're a model, a blogger or a bride to be, standing in front of a mirror and taking some time to see what angles you prefer on your body is really benefitial. Obviously it's my job as a photographer to guide you, but it will help you to feel more confident if you already have an idea how you like to look! Another way that I've found has helped me to figure out how I look best in a photo is the art of selfie taking. Now, don't laugh just yet, but we all take selfies at some point or another, and they're great for helping us to know what to do when someone else is taking the photo! So next time you're in front of a camera, just pretend you're doing a selfie and you'll most likely be happier with the results.
Ignore the Rest of the World: It's so easy to let that little voice in your head take over when you're having a photo taken. Whether you're in a town full of people or in the middle of no where one on one with your photographer, doubt will start to creep in. You may feel concerned what other people think of you, or think you're being judged, but I promise that most of the time people don't even notice or they don't care. In terms of the photographer you're with, they really don't mind if you feel shy! It's our job to make you feel comfortable. So try to forget about the rest of the world around you and enjoy the process.
Get to Know your Photographer: If you're working with a professional, take some time to read their blog (if they have one), check out their website and social media. They'll become far less intimidating! If your photographer is going to be photographing your wedding, I highly recommend having an engagement shoot with them before your wedding (many photographers now include them in their packages - I do!) - it acts as a way for you and your partner to get used to being in front of a camera, and a great way to get to know your photographer better. It will mean that you have a much friendlier relationship come the wedding day, making the job easier for you and your photographer.
Understanding the Light: If you've ever worked with a professional photographer, you'll know that we're always going on and on about evening light. While it might seem strange that we want to photograph you at 8pm at night in the summer months, it's totally normal. When the sun is setting, the light becomes far more flattering and soft. Avoid having your photo taken at midday - when the sun is at it's highest in the sky. This leads to unflattering and harsh shadows on your face, so when you look at the back of the camera for a preview of how things are going, your confidence in front of a camera will fall. Stick to golden hour!
Have Fun: Similar to my point above or ignoring the rest of the world, it's so important to try and have fun while you're having your photo taken. When I'm photographing people, I try my best to keep the mood light and entertaining. I'm not a natural comedian, but I've learnt ways to make people laugh throughout my time. The more you relax into a photoshoot and let yourself go, the more fun you'll have, the more confident you will feel, and the nicer the photos will be.
Wear Something You're Comfortable In: I made this mistake very recently. If you're not very confident in front of a camera, I highly suggest that you stick to wearing an outfit that you feel confident and comfortable in. I wore something a bit different and daring for me recently, and when my friend sent me the photos afterwards, I just didn't like how I looked. I felt uncomfortable and unconfident, and it showed. Wear an outfit that you love, and your confidence will shine through so much more. Then, once you're happy having people photograph you, feel free to experiment a bit with your outfits!
Fake It Till You Make It: You know all those amazing fashion bloggers and models you see in the magazines or online? They didn't know what they were doing at one point either! A lot of the time, they're putting on an act, and pretending that they do, and you know what? It works! Pretending that you're confident in yourself will more often than not make you actually feel confident. So just fake it till you make it!
Study: Love Pinterest? Well make that obsession into something useful! When you see a girl posing in a way you like and you'd like to remember it for later, create a board especially for poses. I've got one that I use so that if I go blank during a photoshoot, I can pull it up and get inspired and give better direction to my model! Look at what other people are doing and take inspiration from them for your own poses. Get in front of the mirror and test them out yourself!
Ask: During the photoshoot, if you star to suddenly feel uncomfortable or a bit lost, tell your photographer. Trust me, we want to know what's going through your mind! If you're seeing photos and you're not loving the way you look, tell them sooner than later because we need to know if you're unhappy, or we won't be able to deliver what you're after. Tell your photographer that you're not liking something, and they'll work with you to get the photos looking how you want them. It's team work.
I hope that these pointers help you to feel more comfortable in front of a camera. I'll leave you with the rest of the images I took of Julia!