Tips for YOU to Feel COMFORTABLE in Front of the Camera

If you’re anything like me, being in front of the camera is scary, intimidating, and just gives me a whole bunch of anxiety to be honest. Yup. I can take photos of people ALLL day. I can pose them, direct them and hype them up but then when it comes to little ol’ awkward Julia…I honestly want to run away or hide haha.

I’ve been listening to a lot of podcast and learning all about marketing and growing your business on Instagram and heard SOOO many people say how important it is for the creator of the product to show their face! Starting out as a photographer all I wanted to do was show my work and other people’s faces. I mean if people saw my work, they’d book me, right? Kinda true. People are more likely to buy a product from someone because they like them as a human being. Haha isn’t that crazy?

One of my photography queens said that on your Instagram grid, 2-3 out of those nine photos should be a photo of YOU! I like this because I feel like it’s a nice balance. It allows people to not only see your work, but to CONNECT with you. Humans desire a personal interaction.

Okay, okay, okay now before I go down a rabbit trail, here are some ways that I conquer that “Awkward” feeling in front of the camera.

FIND INSPIRATION & START PLANNING
Before I do a shoot with a friend, I try to plan out what type of shoot I want. From outfit ideas to location to props. This is one of my favorite parts of it because this is where you get to be creative!

PRACTICE POSING
There’s been so many times where I “run out of ideas of what to do” so I turn to the Pinterest gurus and copy their poses. I also try to incorporate A TON of movement; moving my arms, playing with my hair, looking around [don’t feel like you have to look at the camera], walking, running, heck even DANCING!

HAVE SOMEONE YOU TRUST TAKE YOUR PHOTOS
I rarely ask John to take my photos because he doesn’t like to haha so I have my creative friends take my photos. They’re my hype girls. We make each other feel confident and comfortable and direct each other which is really helpful. Plus girls are better at paying attention to details [compared to most guys] because we’ll tell each other if our mascara is running, our hair needs to be fixed or if we have lipstick on our teeth haha.

LISTEN TO MUSIC
I have a Girl Power playlist that I listen to during shoots that hypes me up. It makes it feel less awkward. I’m usually jamming out to 90s music, 80s music or throwback music from middle school dances haha!

FIND A LOCATION THAT YOU LIKE
I hate when people watch me take photos so I always try to go to a secluded area or a place that isn’t super crowded. I think this a great way to “ease” yourself into being in front of the camera and the more confident you become, it won’t matter if there’s people around watching you hehe. It’s also important to choose a location that’s meaningful to you because you’ll naturally feel comfortable. For instance, I really love hanging out at coffee shops, so I usually shoot there because it’s laidback and I’m in my zone ;)

USE PROPS TO TELL A STORY
I think pictures look better whenever people use props. You can bring flowers, your camera, your computer, notebook, fave book, magazines - whatever floats your boat. Having a prop allows you to focus on it and whenever you don’t know what to do with your hands, you can hold it and play with so it looks more natural!

DON’T OVERTHINK IT
I have the most fun in front of the camera when I’m not worrying about getting the perfect picture. Let loose. Dance to Beyonce. Twirl around. Wear your sassiest outfit. Flip your hair. Have fun!

I hope these tips were helpful! :)

Julia Mann