How to relax in front of a camera

How to relax in front of a camera is a hot topic. If I had to write a blog post about “how to be frightened in front of a camera“, it would be the easiest thing to do (as I have a lot of experience in being frightened thinking about my photos being taken), but truth is that knowing how to relax is simple, and being relaxed is just a matter of implementing few tricks.
By the way, if at this point in time you are thinking “well… easy for you to say, you are a photographer…” you should always keep in mind that I am used to stay behind the camera, not in front of it, but in time I have learned not to be “Chandlerised“. The steps between being the most awkward person in front of the camera, to being “the cool one” are simple, truly simple.
Do you want to know how to relax in front of a camera?

How to relax in front of a camera starts from the person behind the camera

Let’s be honest: if you are being photographed by a professional who knows how to deal with people in front of a camera, that should not be an issue. Yes, my first point in “how to relax in front of a camera” seems to have nothing to do with you. Or has it?
The tricky part is to realise that the trust relationship between you and the person photographing you is one of the most important things you can develop. If you don’t trust me to take good photographs, there is very little I can do. In a professional photo session the trust relationship is built trough time (this is why we are not pushy on time: we want good photos, not quick sessions); however, if you realise that it is your trust to play a big part in how to relax, then you can see that there are two possible outcomes:

  1. The photographer is good Great! She is going to take amazing photographs, and because you trust her, she will focus her efforts on taking amazing photographs more than helping you to relax.
  2. The person behind the camera is just your friend, and the camera is her iPhone. Well, you know what? If you don’t trust her, the chance of your photographs coming out nicely are close to nothing… BUT if you are “the fonz” of the situation, the possibility of a good images are much higher.

So, in any way you look at it, trusting the person behind the camera always works, and it is the first step on how to relax!

Focus on the photographer’s reaction

The camera is an object. Now, try to look at your toaster and smile. Naturally of course. It feels weird, doesn’t it? Reality is that behind a camera there is always a person (yes, I know this does not apply to your passport photos), and this is a huge advantage. If you want to know how to relax in front of a camera, you need to focus on the person behind it.
I bet you know how to be yourself, and after all, good photos should be about who you are. Being ourselves with a machine is a pretty tough thing to do, this is why there are so few good actors around; however, if you focus on the person behind the camera, and you start paying attention to her reactions, then that’s a big step forward. Play with the photographer, not with her camera.
Awkwardly enough, knowing how to relax in front of a camera passes from forgetting about the camera itself.

How to relax? Start from the end result!

Now, I mentioned that knowing how to relax in front of a camera has a lot to do with the person behind the camera and by forgetting about the camera itself, and incredibly enough, I really mean that by forgetting you are in front of a camera is the best way to know how to relax in front of one. To “add insult to injury” I will now tell you to forget about you feeling all scared in front of the camera, and start trying to imagine yourself as the photographer sees you. Crazy, right? Yes, crazy, but so crazy that it works wonders!
The best photographs that were ever taken of me, were the ones in which I knew exactly what I would have loved to convey through those images. I tried to look at myself through the photographers’ eyes, and I realised that the smile I was wearing was fake and not believable. I then understood that in order know how to relax in front of a camera I should have not consider myself from my own perspective.
You know what? Not only it works, but it is a lot of fun: you will feel like a proper model (or the Fonz, even better).

Walking inside a photographer’s studio, you will feel intimidated, you will feel that you have no idea how to relax or how to look “as yourself“, and this is a good thing. Also, you will ask yourself “what the **** was I thinking?“, and that is absolutely fine, do you know why? Because it is the photographer’s job to relax you, it is her job to make you feel at ease, it is her job to capture your natural beauty and the real you.
Joining us for a boudoir photo session can feel frightening, but my promise is that at the end of the day you will enjoy it, and after the first few minutes you will be at ease and you won’t ask yourself how to relax: you will already be relaxed!

By the way, if you don’t know who “the Fonz” is, imagine Ryan Gosling, just cooler.

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