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Do you have photo phobia?
  • Michelle Harris

Do you have photo phobia?

Do you hate having your picture taken? Do you feel that you never take a good photo? I bet you think the problem is you; you feel you just aren't photogenic. I'm here to tell you that just isn't true.

Fear of having your photo taken is real whatever the reason behind it may be. Don't let it stop you from promoting your business or creating great family memories.

"Photography is a journey, an exploration towards our unconscious, a tool of self-knowledge and personal exploration that allows us to be children again because it gives us the ability to be amazed." Tamara Marion National Geographic

It is true that some people naturally feel at ease in front of the camera. We are not all created alike. We have different fears, likes and dislikes about how we look. It is the "self dislikes" that cause us not to appreciate having our picture taken and not to approve of how we look in photos. Don't let these dislikes prevent you from having your photo taken. You need photos; photos of your family for your home and photos of you fro your business. #portraitphotography #personalbrandphotography #fearofphotos

Overcoming Photo Phobia

Getting great photos, photos that you are truly proud to show off has a lot to do with communication with your photographer. I know you are probably thinking they can't make me look thinner, happier, taller, etc. just fill in the blank. The truth is they can make you look thinner or taller by shooting from certain angles, having you pose a certain way and even coach you to dress certain ways that draw the emphasis somewhere else. A photographer can help you feel more at ease in front of the camera too. For any of this to happen your photographer needs you to be honest with them and tell them about any concerns you may have.

I want to share a story with you about a client of mine. I recently worked with Kelly who is a musician and needed photos to promote himself on social media, flyers, etc. He has always hated being in front of the camera and he felt he didn't take good photos. He had become self conscious and camera shy. I meet with Kelly to talk about our upcoming sessions to learn more about him, his likes, his dislikes, hobbies and what he needed the photos for. During our conversation he explained his photo phobia and discomfort in front of a camera. I was so happy that he was willing to be so open with me about his fear. As we talked I was able to learn so much about him and address his fear of having his photo taken.. By the time we had finished talking about his upcoming sessions he was excited about having his photo taken.. Was he still nervous and anxious, yes he was. After we talked about how we could do the sessions and most importantly we talked about him being himself, he felt more at ease. Part of not liking his photos being taken was a concern for having to dress up and be something he is not.

"It is one thing to photograph people. It is another to make others care about them by revealing the core of their humanness" Paul Strand

Our first session was actually during one of her gigs. He needed images performing and showing himself in his element. You would think this session was simple for him. But that isn't the case. When he started playing he knew exactly where I was. Even hiding in the crowd wasn't enough for him to forget where I was. Worse he knew what I was doing. His gig was several hours long and I had to have patience. I needed to wait for Kelly to get lost in his music and let the real person - the real musician shine through. I had to wait for him to forget I existed and play to the people there to hear him. When he relaxed and let the music take him over the perfect moments were there for me to capture.

The second session would actually be the more challenging one. These were going to be his branding photos of just him. There would be no hiding in the moment of the music for him and nowhere for me to hide. We selected a location that he connected with for the photos on the streets of downtown Lexington, NC. This was a place he felt comfortable. One thing I did that he wasn't expecting was bring my husband along for the shoot. My husband sometimes works along side me so for him to tag along wasn't completely unusual for him. That day he wasn't working as a photographer he was a distraction. I know that may sound weird to bring someone along to distract my client. Here's the thing he was distracting his mind. All my husband did was talk. My husband is also a musician and they had so much in common, by simply talking about different things Kelly was able to relax and his true personality shined through.

"I don't have to to feel shy about sending someone to my Musician page or sending photos to prospective bookings. Also, I feel like I am more likely to create advertisements for my gigs since I now have excellent images to use." Kelly

As a photographer it is my job to help my clients feel at ease in front of the camera. I want my clients to feel relaxed and be themselves. This is how they get authentic images; images they can be proud of and represent who they are. This is how they get images that show the real person that potential clients, sponsors, venues, or producers will be attracted to and connect with.

Whether your session is for personal reasons such as family, engagement, wedding, children or for business reasons such as social media, website or print materials, you want your images to be natural and relaxed. You want to see the quirky aspects that make you and your family who they are. You want your images to evoke emotion, memories or show the person behind the business is real. Done are the days of posed family portraits being taken in a studio. Welcome the days of lifestyle portraits and personal branding sessions.

If you are considering having a photo session give me a call and let's see if we connect. Let's capture your true family dynamics and the real you!

        Winston-Salem, North Carolina                 336-408-0804       



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