5 Ways to Manage your Camera-Phobia

Alright, so you’ve decided to book a photography session to get some brand images for your business. You’ve never done anything like this before, and you’re nervous, but in a good, excited way…and then the little voice in your head pipes up:

What will people think? What if people laugh at me? What if people think I’m vain, having my photograph taken?

You’ve probably thought all these negative thoughts at every stage of starting your business, yet you’re still here! How did you get past it? By remembering why you started your business in the first place. You have a product or service that can help so many people, and it would be a waste not to promote it to them when you could make such a difference at an individual, local, national or international level.

Okay, some people might stare. Teenagers might point and laugh, but we can move on. You’ll probably never see them again…but they might see you when you’re a successful, influential entrepreneur with the sort of calm, stress-free lifestyle that they can only dream of. Who’s laughing now?

Remember that the camera doesn’t care what you look like.

It’s a plastic box with some hi-tech electronics inside, with a plastic tube and some glass attached to it. As for the photographer, they’re too busy adjusting their settings, checking the exposure, making sure the background isn’t too cluttered, while directing you and trying to help you relax. The photographer is there to empower you, and their camera is a tool to enable them to do just that.

Find out what clothes and styles suit you.

If you already have a good handle on that, great. If not, why not get a colour and style consultation? There are some very clever people who can advise and recommend what colours suit you based on your hair and eye colour and skin tone, as well as the kind of clothing that flatters your body shape.

Follow people on social media who look like you.

Find people with the same height, hair colour and build, and see how they handle posing for photographs. If you see any poses you like and you think might work for you, save them in a Pinterest or Trello board for reference.

Practise those poses.

It’ll feel silly at first, but wait until you have some time on your own and try a selection of sitting and standing poses until you can relax into them.

Some key pointers:

  • Keep your spine straight and your shoulders back for a better posture.
  • Form a triangle shape in the space between your elbows and your body, eg hands on hips, or forearms resting on your desk. Having your arms hanging by your sides makes your body look wider, so by creating that triangle space it helps break up the body shape and give a slimming illusion.
  • Push your head forward like a tortoise, and dip your chin a little to minimise a double chin.
  • Avoid folded arms as it can look defensive, but if you must, hold them out in front of your chest slightly, to prevent your upper arms looking squished.
  • Turn your body at a 45-degree angle and rest your weight on your back leg. Add in a hand-on-hip to create that triangle shape for a flattering pose. There’s a reason that Jenny “The Vixen” Ryan stands like that before she strides over the bridge on The Chase.

Don’t feel like you have to be smiling and grinning at the camera in every shot.

Mix it up with a variety of expressions, looking off into the distance, focusing on something in your hands or in front of you.

You don’t even have to show your face in every picture. Have some taken off to the side or from behind, or get close-ups of your hands engaging with a prop. Speaking of hands…

Keep your hands busy. No one ever knows what to do with their hands. Have a selection of business and personal props that complement your brand stories, and keep your hands occupied by holding a favourite mug, book, or piece of technology that you use regularly. Pretend you’re writing something down in a notebook, or rest your head pensively on your palm. Finger a necklace or brush a stray lock of hair away from your face.

Bonus tip: enjoy it!

Photography sessions are meant to be fun, so make the most of it. The first few minutes of any photo shoot can be awkward, but you’ll soon start relaxing and it will show in the final images. Your photographer will probably have you doing all sorts of different things, and finding interesting shots and locations to put in the frame with you.

It will be a totally different experience for you, and at the end of it you’ll have a series of beautiful photographs that will help you promote your business to the right people.

Now that you’ve done all that hard work being a model for a day, get yourself home, pour yourself a glass of something nice and put your feet up.

You’ve earned it!

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