How To Stop Feeling Awkward When Having Your Picture Taken
What do I do with my hands? Where do I look? Should I smile or not smile? Can you photoshop the zit on my face?
Do you feel awkward or uncomfortable when having your picture taken? Join the party.
Almost everybody feels awkward in front of a camera, including me. It's just uncomfortable. It can feel really awkward. We don't like it. We get squirmy. We start to sweat. It's a human thing.
Having your picture taken is super vulnerable. You are showing yourself and there's no hiding your face behind anything. However, it doesn't have to be awkward forever. There are steps we can take to get more comfortable in front of the camera.
And I believe that if we can feel totally comfortable and relaxed in front of a camera, we can do the same in front of a mirror, and in real life. The more we can love ourselves, the easier it gets.
Here are four surprising steps to killing the awkwardness that comes with having your picture taken.
1. Love yourself
I'm going to make a bold statement:
We can’t feel comfortable in front of a camera until we feel comfortable in our skin.
What’s on the inside of us will reflect on the outside. There really aren’t any shortcuts. Until we learn to love ourselves and accept our flaws and imperfections, we will likely continue to struggle when put in the spotlight, so to speak.
I didn’t plan on making this a blog post about body image, but there’s no way to avoid it: whether you love or hate your body, it will show up in the photos.
As a photographer, I can tell whether people struggle with body image or not by the way they carry themselves. By the way they act, talk, and feel.
It’s part of my job to walk them through the process of helping them see them for who they really are, and drawing out the gold that I see. Photography is really about showing people how to love themselves, and pretty pictures are just a by-product.
2. Forget about trying to be perfect
You need to give yourself permission to not be perfect, because perfection is a lie.
The lie of perfection says that in order to be liked, we must be perfect. That if we don’t have everything together, there must be something wrong with us. That if we mess up, we can’t be accepted.
These are obviously lies, but what if lived them out? What if we learned to live loved? What if we learned to accept and love our flaws and imperfections?
We all have insecurities and flaws that we hate. How “my skin tone isn’t perfect, that zit on my face is ugly, or my nose is too big.” But it’s time to learn how to love those things about ourselves that we deem imperfect and ugly.
3. Just be yourself
Be yourself. If you’re weird, be weird. If you’re funny, be funny. If you’re awkward, be awkward. It’s much easier to feel comfortable in front of a camera if you can be your real, authentic self.
Show the real you, even if that feels really vulnerable and scary. We want to see you for who you really are, not the mask that you wear to cover up your authentic self.
Ditch the mask, and just be the real you.
Do you, and don’t worry about what anyone will think about you. If you truly know who you are, the opinion of others won’t bother you if they judge or criticize you.
What’s on the inside of us will always be reflected on the outside, so if we know what we’re made of inside, that is what we will see in the photos. And, more importantly, that’s what we’ll see in our lives every day.
4. Kill comparison
Comparison is ugly. It will make you want to change who you are to be like someone you’re not called to be. It will try to make you fit in when you’re born to stand out. It will tell you that you can’t be accepted because you’re not like them.
But comparison is only a lie. Don’t listen to its voice, because it will try to take you down.
Comparison is a lie.
It will attack your self-worth. It will try to get you to hate yourself. It will try to make you change how you look and act.
But you don’t have to listen to the voice of comparison any more. Put comparison in its place. See it for what it really is. A liar and a deceiver.
You don’t need to be like anybody else, because there is no other you. You are unique, and you are good just like you are.
Practical Next Steps
Journal the truth about who you are. Meaning, write down the lies that you believe about yourself – about your body, about your face, about your personality – and then replace those lies with the truth. Write down who you were born to be, and what you were born to do. Watch how your life will slowly start to change as you start to learn how to love yourself. And your selfies will start to glow as you embrace your imperfections.