Camera Shy To Camera Confident: How To Overcome Photo Anxiety

Thank you to Mae Owens of milkbooks.com for writing this guest post!

It’s easy for people blessed with confidence to pose and smile for their photos like it’s a part of their everyday lives. But for the other side of the population who fears the sight of a camera, getting one picture is already hard work for them.

Fortunately, there are simple, practical ways to turn that camera shyness into camera confidence. If you want to achieve the photogenic spirit, practice these five tricks to overcome your photo anxiety!

camera shy

1. Always keep a positive mindset.

It’s ingrained in our brain to pick out the flaws in everything instead of focusing on the best side of things. Many of us are guilty of nitpicking everything we could have done better in our photos, like wearing something different or preventing ourselves from blinking while the camera is on us.

But doing this only escalates our anxiety with cameras more. Some people assume that if they can’t do things right in one photo, then what are the chances that they’ll get it right next time? 

The best way to counter that kind of mindset is to focus on every positive thing we can find in our photos. When browsing your online photo album, point out your best sides, like how you look good in this light or how your hair looks effortlessly perfect. You can also focus on the happy memories you had when you were getting photographed.

It’s hard to do this at first because it feels kind of “wrong” to be overconfident and keep praising your good side. But when you learn to embrace your flaws and accept that things will not always go perfect in photos, you’ll find it more relaxing to pose for the camera.

2. Practice at home until you find your best smile and angle.

If you’re feeling unsure and less confident with what to do in front of the camera, you can practice at home first. No one’s going to judge you there, so you’re free to feel and look goofy until you find your best pose.

camera shy practice mirror

Find a mirror at home and feel free to smile, smirk, wink, pout, or whatever you feel like doing. Starting in a playful mode helps you feel relaxed and less nervous. If you’ve got a full-length mirror, that’s better! Practice your stance, fix your posture, and move around your arms until you see the perfect pose for your photos.

Once you find the sweet spot, take a photo for reference. Go for a mirror selfie or ask someone you feel confident with to take the picture for you. This way, you can imprint your most flattering angle in your mind and make it easier to recreate it when needed.

3. Wear something comfortable.

Wearing tight clothes can do wonders with highlighting your figure for your photos. But if you aren’t comfortable with them, ditch those outfits and go for something comfy instead. 

With comfortable clothes, you feel more relaxed and pumped to do get photographed. You’re not distracted with something like a tight belt keeping you from breathing just to keep your stomach tucked in. 

Plus, you’ll always look good when you feel confident and comfy in your outfits. When you’re feeling good about yourself, that will show in your photos naturally!

But remember to keep your choice of clothing appropriate for your photos. For instance, if you’re getting photographed for a professional portrait, wear a simple blazer over a shirt to keep it within the casual business style.

4. Let loose to avoid looking awkward.

We go in full robot mode out of nervousness when the photographer starts to work their magic behind the camera. But if you stay still and stiff in your position, you’ll look awkward in your photos. 

Before stepping in front of the camera, move around a little to ease the tension and anxiety in yourself. Shake those hands, take a walk outside, or do some breathing exercises. 

And when you finally take your position when the session starts, avoid keeping your body super straight and your arms tucked tightly beside you. Move them around! Place your hands in your waist, angle your body a little to the right or left of the camera – do anything that adds more life and personality to your poses.

camera shy let loose smile

5. When in doubt, ask the photographer.

Not sure if you’re doing your poses right or if your smile’s too broad and unnatural? Ask the trained eye for their insight! They have the most robust relationships with cameras, so if there’s anyone that can tell what looks good in photos, it’s them.

You can also ask their opinions on which shots to keep after photographing you. This can help you avoid going through all photos and pick out on your flaws and other negative stuff. They might even give you a bit of explanation as to why they choose those photos as your best ones.

camera shy posing tips

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Katie photographs elopements and intimate weddings. She is located in Los Angeles and is available for travel worldwide.