I’ll be the first to admit that being photographed scares me.
I’m visually impaired, have third degree burn like scars all over my body, and have a lot of other health issues which make me feel like not a normal person. I don’t look “normal” or photogenic.
So when I wanted to start a blog, one of the first hurdles I had to deal with was being photographed. Let me tell you about my first photoshoot: I was the most confident I had ever been. I was rocking those blogger poses, puckering up to the camera, all sorts of confidence tricks.
But by photoshoot #4, I would rush everything: “hurry, before someone sees us” & “just take the pic already, I want to go inside”.
Ummm…not very confident.
What happened? The truth was – I started getting less healthy, looked more tired, and looked sicker – none of which I can control due to my side effects of Toxic Epidermal Nercolysis Syndrome. I got comments like “what’s wrong with your eyes?” “what are those white things on your arms?”
I’d want to stop taking photos but I knew without me in the photos, my blog would never work. I couldn’t believe it, but people were actually interested in my outfits, my makeup, and seeing me – despite my imperfections. So that’s when I decided enough was enough. I had to go back to the days where I was confident even though I didn’t feel it.
Here are some of the tricks I used to build confidence in front of the camera:
01/ Wear Sunglasses
Hey, I have severe light sensitivity, so that require me to wear sunnies outside. BUT….there’s no shame in hiding behind sunglasses. I think you can tell if someone isn’t confident when you try to look in their eyes and they don’t look back or quickly look away. But wearing sunglasses helps you get comfortable until you feel confident enough not to wear them.
And if you have any doubt about wearing sunglasses and looking amazing, just take a look at blogger Jenn Lake who wears them in most of her photos. She looks amazing!
02/ Back Straight, Shoulders Back
Posture is everything! And like my chiropractor says, it’s not only beneficial to your health, but you’ll look good too. Another great tip is to stand on your tippy toes so you look taller.
Bijou Tip: Check out my friend Devinne’s blog post about making your legs look longer here.
03/ Prep Your Skin + Go Matte
Prep before photos is really important. Exfoliate, moisturize, shave a day before you know you’re going to be in photos. Give your skin enough time to rest. This goes for facials and skin treatments too. Make sure you give those like 3-5 days before.
For makeup, if you’re not confident or crazy about glory skin, just go matte. Use a matte liquid foundation and make sure to set it. Add your favorite lipstick and voila! You’re ready for your glamour shot.
04/ Practice Makes Perfect
Whether you’re a blogger, model, or just plain shy around a camera, practice always makes perfect. I’ve been doing this for about two years and I’m still practicing.
Scroll through some photography pictures on Pinterest or from people on Instagram to get inspired with poses and angles. Practice in front of a mirror and practice in front of cameras too. Don’t be afraid to take or as for more photos – for one photoshoot we take over 30. There’s bound to be at least one good one!
05/ Smile – or Don’t
Either way you choose is fine. You don’t need to smile if you don’t want to show your teeth or worry about other things. And if you feel awkward not smiling, then just go for something that makes you feel relaxed. For me personally, I do a half smile (or smirk). It’s just enough smile to not look sad but not a full smile so there’s a bit of mystery…
And lastly, editing and the camera you use can make a big difference. For our shoots we always use a Olympus OMD EM5 for quick but lovely photos. Then I edit in Lightroom using presets to adjust things here and there. When I’m happy with the aesthetics, I feel a lot better about being in front of the camera.
Are you shy or confident about being in photos? What’s your best tip? What do want to know more about in photography or blogging? Would love to know! Leave a comment below!