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I’ve never felt comfortable being in front of the camera. After years of showing off images of the kids and of scenery, and happily sticking the My Travel Monkey logo across my social media platforms instead of photos of myself, it began to slowly dawn on me, that people are following the blog because of me. How did I come to this epiphany? By seeing how well photographs did on Instagram when I was featured in front of the camera. 

So it’s only over the last few years and, with some trepidation, that I am making more of an effort to be in front of the camera, rather than behind it. Of course, it takes training my better half to produce the shots I am happy with! Or you can hire the services of a professional photographer, which is what I did just the other week. Instead of staged headshots, my photographer felt it was best to capture me outside to reflect my personality. And, while I was apprehensive to see the final shots, I was pleasantly surprised. So much so, that I’ve actually ordered some copies to keep at home from Helloprint, who are online photo printing specialists who offer all sorts of different formats.

What I’ve learned being in front of the camera

What I have learned are there are things to do to help me feel more comfortable in front of the camera. So if like me you’re trying to be less camera shy, here are my tips to help you feel more confident when being in front of the camera.

Know your best sides…

For me, I’m not a huge fan of my teeth – although when captured laughing naturally I don’t mind them too much. I’m also very conscious of my tummy. So when I stand, I always make an effort to suck in and stand on tiptoes to elongate my body. If you know your best angles, it’s worth just practising in front of the mirror, and trying some different poses. It helps to make you feel more in control. You can also check out Pinterest or Instagram and see what the pros are doing over there. 

Wear something that makes you feel good

If you’re looking your best, then you’ll be feeling your best. Wear something that is not only comfortable but an outfit you feel good in. Making an effort with hair and make-up will also make you feel special, too. But remember, to still be yourself. There’s no point going over the top, or wearing an outfit that you wouldn’t normally wear because it will make you feel uncomfortable – the exact opposite of what you’re trying to achieve. 

Understand the light…

This was the one key lesson I learned from my professional photo session – that light is the be-all and end-all of a good photograph. Really sunny days are actually the worse times to have your photographs taken because direct sunlight can create harsh shadows. Before finding a spot, also check it out from different angles, as sunlight will fall differently depending on where you stand – for instance, a tree might be casting some shade and create a softer and more golden background.

Have fun

It really is easy to feel self-conscious when having your photo taken, but try to relax and not think about anyone around you. Hopefully, you will have built a rapport with your photographer or the person (ie: a friend or partner) taking the photograph, so have a chat and a giggle, and let them snap away. And always remember, the photos can be deleted if there are some you don’t like. I literally dump tons of photos because I have my eyes closed or looking a bit silly!