Adults during photography sessions in front of a photo camera can have great fun, or, on the contrary, it can be a traumatizing experience. I am writing this article to list some of the reasons why people freeze in front of the camera when they finally decide to have a photoshoot. From the beginning, I want to let you know this is normal and common, and it happens even to me. All ideas presented here are all my opinions based on my work and experience as a photographer in Metro Manila.
Are photographers the exception to being camera shy? Well, it is not uncommon. Not long ago, I have been part of an evening event with creatives consisting of photographers, models, makeup artists, and more.
Taking photos during the entire evening, I could observe that the only people who loved their time in front of the camera were mostly models (read more about that great event). I am too one of those photographers who doesn’t like the time spent in front of a camera. Of course, I do love to see portraits of myself after the fact. I always think I should have far more photos of my wife and myself. Sometimes, after ten days of vacation, we barely have ten portraits of each other.
My experiences as a photographer based in Bonifacio Global City are that people have different reasons for freezing or feeling uncomfortable during a photography session. After all, we are all different.
List of the most common reasons people feel uncomfortable during photography sessions
When it comes to the most common reasons people are camera shy, there are quite a few explanations. By far, the number one reason is self-consciousness. Because of this, people, instead of relaxing and having fun during a photography session, focus their attention and mind on thinking about how they would look in the final photos. More often than not, this leads to exhaustion, anxiety, and tense moments.
I did a photography session for a lovely couple in downtown Bonifacio Global City a while back. I literally took photos of a young rocket scientist and his girlfriend. Soon after I took the first few photos, I realized that the young man in front of my camera was terrified. Had I pointed a shotgun at his face, he would probably have been a lot less terrified. As a photographer, I had to find ways to loosen up my client’s tension.
Thus, I started to explain the feelings I had while I was in front of the camera. In my case, it’s a matter related to my nose length. I dislike seeing profile photos of me (from one side of the face) because I think my nose is a tad too long. Keeping the conversation flowing helped my client to relax, and he finally forgot he was there for a photography session. I’m very proud to say he didn’t even realize when we finished the photoshoot that he and his girlfriend could go on with their day.
The above leads to the second most common reason people feel uncomfortable in front of the camera during photography sessions- they think some parts of their body don’t look very pleasing. We are all very different and see and perceive things differently. I will not make a point in discussing points of view or paradigms. Something better to be dealt with with the help of someone who has studied this phenomenon. From a photographer’s perspective, I can avoid things that can quickly look better by using different framing angles or lenses.
Masking some little facial features could be achieved sometimes easily just by using a narrow aperture, a setting done in-camera for which you don’t have to worry. If you wonder what a professional photographer can hide this way, the answer covers a lot of minor things (in my humble opinion): chin, forehead, one eye smaller than the other, or cheeks. You can complete the list with anything bothering you.
A third common reason people feel uncomfortable in front of the camera consists of illnesses that leave marks on people’s skin, like vitiligo, acne, and other similar diseases, which can affect anyone. Don’t worry; for most mild instances, if you inform your photographer, there might be ways to cover some of the issues, either using the proper makeup applied by a makeup artist or, after the fact, in post-processing when digitally editing the photos.
Every photographer has a different approach and may or may not be able to supply such services, which can and should come with an extra cost. Using Photoshop for advanced editing of skin to cover acne, applying a tattoo, or coloring the skin to cover vitiligo can be a very lengthy process and can last hours.
The good news is there is always a solution; all you have to do is inform your photographer. I believe every photograph is a product that I can continuously improve; that’s why I learned how to do enhanced photo editing and manipulation. Below is a sped-up video of some advanced photo editing I have done for a client. Keep in mind this is only scratching the surface of what a photographer can accomplish using advanced photo editing.
A fourth common reason people feel uncomfortable in front of the camera is clothing. Some people don’t know what to wear during a photo shoot to make them look better. After all, if you pay a professional photographer, why not ask for some advice too? I will not pretend I’m a mainstream Bonifacio Global City fashion photographer, but I do know a thing or two.
General rules are that avoiding wearing clothes that distract will only grant better-looking photos. Avoid big distracting logos, stripes, incorrect size, and similar colors with the location of the shoot (if shooting in a park, wearing green should be avoided). Ensuring ironing the clothes before the shoot sounds silly, but this is something often overlooked.
A fifth and last reason which will end my list of most common reasons why people feel uncomfortable in front of the camera, consists of people with body imperfections. For obvious reasons, I will not expand on this more than necessary. All I can say is I consider every and all people to be perfect. As they say, “Beauty lies in the eye of the beholder.” There is nothing to hide or feel uncomfortable about in this view. Show yourself off and be proud to be living a full life. I will be delighted to photograph you at any time of the day.
An important tip is to always inform the photographer before scheduling any photography session to avoid any things you may not like. I urge everyone to follow this advice anytime and tell their professional photographer to make their portraits, considering their personal preference. This way is the first step to follow to avoid never building tension that shouldn’t be there in the first place.
Thank you for taking the time to read my article. If you have questions about the ideas presented in this article or you would like to improve it further, please click the contact button below. I would be delighted to hear from you.
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