Can you identify with the feeling of cringing at the camera with a nervous giggle or a grim smile? Would you love to shift all that, so that you totally rock the camera and share your brilliance with ease and grace? It’s completely understandable to struggle with camera shyness and also simple to overcome once you learn some key concepts.

Start by realizing that the camera has limitations in terms of exposure, often accentuating poor lighting conditions in an unflattering way. For example, lines and shadows may look much worse on a photo than to the naked eye, which is infinitely more sophisticated than any camera. This problem can be exacerbated by a lack of experience on your photographer’s part, perhaps leading to you not liking any photos ever taken of you.

The knock on effect could be that as soon as you’re in front of a camera, you experience a default state of resistance and anxiety, which is sure to cause you poor results. The trick to great photos lies in combining your own relaxed attitude with your photographer’s skill. Another important point to remember is that even experienced photographers often take multiple shots before snapping the stunner that they’re after.

In addition, subtle and skillful digital processing can enhance any digital photo, such as by tweaking levels in order to lift unnaturally harsh shadows. Without the skillset to achieve this effectively, your photos may similarly have failed to reflect the best you can be. It would be unfortunate and unfair to draw invalid conclusions about yourself being ‘unphotogenic’, or worse ‘unattractive’, based on poor past experiences, especially if you’ve never invested the energy, time or money in having an expert film or photograph you.

The first step to developing camera confidence is to feel the fear and do it anyway. Step in front of that lens, acknowledge the potential gift that it offers you and smile, instead of resisting. Next, here are a few tips to implement immediately for more flattering photos:

1. Be yourself (for you, no look in the world is more compelling than your own)
2. Add sparkle (actively visualize sparkle in your eyes and physically feel them lighting up)
3. Positively pretend (imagine that the camera or the person behind it is someone you love)
4. Improve your posture
– Turn your body about 45 degrees so that you are at a better angle to the camera
– Bring your forehead forward and drop your chin slightly (or ‘bring your ears forward’)
– Shift your elbows away from your body to create a gap in between that flatters your figure
– Turn your face enough to the lens that your nose doesn’t break the contour of your profile
– Try the above techniques turning to your left and right in order to establish your ‘best side’
5. Play around with different angles and expressions in front of a mirror or a camera

Practice, review and refine your results. This is how top models become skilled at posing provocatively in a heartbeat. And don’t let misplaced modesty trip you up. Camera confidence may once have been the primary domain of models and movie stars, but nowadays there is a real purpose and benefit to learning how to project your best self in front of a camera and the world.

Knowing where we want to go is key to getting there. So give yourself credit if you know how you want to feel in front of that camera, imagining the effortless grace and ease with which you interact and connect with it. Hold this picture vividly in mind, dwelling on the details, and take immediate action to make it happen by booking your shoot today.

Remember that this is the digital age. You can totally afford to let go of control and allow yourself to have fun. Images can be viewed and deleted in the blink of an eye, so you have nothing to lose by letting your hair down and being spontaneous. You have everything to gain, starting with a stunning portfolio of photos and leading into so much more, because: “Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear.” – George Addair

For more help preparing for your shoot, here are 3 more articles and videos for you:
5 Ways To Prep For Your Shoot
How to Get into the Mood
Rock That Camera Visualization