Being in front of the camera didn’t come naturally to me at first. When I was in elementary school, I remember being frightened for that dreaded “class picture” day. As I grew up (high school to college), I still felt fear whenever I had to pose in front of the camera.
Thoughts would cross my mind like “oh my gosh I look so fat” or “my hair doesn’t look nice.” The internal thoughts that came from being in front of the camera made it so difficult for me to move forward with this very blog. I remember my very first photoshoot. I had a tough time being nice to myself.
I know I’m not alone in this because so many ladies have messaged me asking how I’ve gained more confidence in the camera. So I’d love to share the process that allowed me embrace my really real self in front of the flash. Let’s get into it!
When I first started taking photos for the blog in 2016, I felt insecure and uncomfortable in front of the camera. You may resonate with this. The feelings that arise as soon as the camera points up at you. Whether it’s fear, insecurity, or discomfort, I’ve been there and was there in 2016 when I had my very first photoshoot for this blog.
I met with a wonderful photographer in the summer of 2016 to take photos for this blog. I wore a flowy shift dress (a cute floral from H&M) and then changed into athletic gear (a full Victoria Sport collection *pictured*). I was so nervous that day that the sweat wasn’t just from the heat of the summer day. Each pose felt like labor. I thought my head would look big in the way I titled it, I thought my body looked fat from the way I posed, and the few photoshoots afterward I felt the same way.
When we are in front of the camera, we are naturally going to nitpick. It’ll happen and it’ll challenge us. We’ll find out the areas of ourselves we’re most insecure about. We’ll start to notice the ways that we didn’t really love ourselves. But it’s up to us to lean into it and find the ways we can embrace who we are in front of the camera.
I began to lean into what I loved about myself and saying nice things to myself before each photoshoot and, eventually, gained confidence. There are physical things you love about yourself, I know it boo! It can be your smile, your booty, your hair, your height, whatever it is, you can focus on that before each photoshoot. You can also say some banging things to yourself about them!
After my first few photoshoots, I decided to get really real about what I loved about myself. I thought about my favorite things about myself: my smile, my legs, and my back. When I started to highlight these areas of myself on my photos, I began to gain more confidence in front of the camera. I made my smile brighter, I made sure to pose with my legs involved, and I started to incorporate photos (like reverse prayer) that featured my back. I then told myself, you look so great when you do this Shanna! That’s when it became a breeze to take photos.
To gain confidence in front of the camera, we can find what we genuinely love about ourselves and focus on them. When we do, it’ll mean that we’ll be even more of ourselves in front of the camera and eventually, love on ourselves more than ever. After more than two years of doing photoshoots, I’m now all about photos!
Today, I pose, dress, and smile just the way that I love and it’s built my confidence in myself to more than just in front of the camera. When you embrace yourself in front of the camera, you’ll begin to embrace yourself off of the camera. You’ll begin to walk differently, hold yourself differently, and think about yourself differently. It’s really a way to gain more confidence in who you are!!
This will be almost three years of my taking photos and let me tell you, I’ve grown so much in confidence in myself. Today, I show up exactly how I want and do what I feel is best for me. I wear outfits that I normally would’ve been shy in, I pose the way I feel most comfortable in phases of my life, and I smile the brightest I have ever smiled. The camera has allowed me to embrace all aspects of myself and be the woman I am today.
We’ll have opportunities in being in front of the camera. It doesn’t have to be with photographers, maybe even with friends. We can try out different poses, focus on what we love about ourselves, and say some really nice shit to ourselves. Then we’ll begin to gain more confidence not only in front of the camera, but inside of ourselves.
How do you feel about the camera and how can you gain more confidence in front of it? Let’s get some really real conversation about this!