5 Ways to Feel More Confident in Front of the Camera

Michelle Pragt

I hear people say all the time how much they hate being photographed. And I get it.

As a kid, I didn’t care. Somewhere along the way that changed.

The camera-face starts to come out and I became self-conscious about being photographed, as Mum or other well-meaning friends made you stand there like a goofball waiting for them to get organised to take the shot. It didn’t come naturally, I felt awkward and it showed.  Resulting in me starting to hate the way I looked in the end result.

But I was missing the point. And I know I’m not alone in this.

A staggering number of people are camera-shy, but this can mean the loss of life’s mementos and memories of important occasions in your life.

I’ve come to learn a few things from people who take a good shot. They are generally one of two things: either appearing naturally relaxed when a camera comes out, or happy to play up to the camera with confidence.

Having confidence in front of the camera is key to taking a good shot.

So here’s a few ideas to help you feel more confident in front of the camera.

  • Focus on Making Memories  Instead of stressing about how you look, think about how you will FEEL looking back on these images in 10, 20 years time, remembering the fun you had together on the beach together, or holding your new baby and loved ones in your arms. When you are focusing on the people you love, you are not even thinking about it, you relax, resulting in more genuine moments.
  • Ban the Negative Self-Talk   Women are their own worst critics when it comes to their looks, and this impacts on self-esteem, confidence and happiness. You need to realize that you are more beautiful and fearless than you think! Be proud of who you are.
  • Preparation is Key!   Make sure you get a good night’s sleep the day before your shoot. No-one is going to be at their best, after a big night, or a stressful morning. Make sure that you have prepared your outfits in advance, and that you are happy with your choices! Great hair and make-up will go a long way to making you feel a million dollars. Plan a trip to the hairdresser leading in to your shoot.
  • See Past the Camera … See the Person holding the Camera   The best way to be direct with the camera is to ‘see’ the person holding it. Whoever it is, they care enough about you to want to take a picture of/with you!   My daughter takes a particularly good shot. She has a way of looking directly at you down the lens. But she knows me well. If you can remember that the professional photographer you’ve hired, is trying to connect with you through this tool that is the camera, and take the most amazing image of you, one that reveals the beautiful person that you are. The only way that they are going to be able to do that is if you show them. Trust in them! A professional knows about good angles, good body positioning, good light that will flatter, and have ways of making you feel more relaxed.
  • It’s OK Not to Smile!   Better a relaxed, honest look than a forced smile. The more real you are, the more relaxed you are, the more genuine the interactions shared and the moments captured resulting in better images of you.

And finally ….

Here’s a couple of recent photos of me. And trust me, I resisted the temptation to go ahead and delete the one’s that I didn’t like of myself.  But I have been there before. I have looked at photographs of myself and thank goodness it was in the days of film where I couldn’t have deleted it I’d tried. Because I look at those photographs from 20 years ago and I am so grateful to have them!

It is so much easier when you are with those that you love, and trusting in your photographer is an important factor too! (Big thankyou to the lovely, talented Anya Maria for these).

It becomes more the fact that you are with them that is important, rather than how you look.

I know now that I wouldn’t want to miss out on these memories for anything!


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My love of photography grew from wanting to capture as much of my travels and children's childhood as possible, and it is something that I have been loving for most of my life.

Michelle Pragt

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