November 11, 2023
The saying goes that a picture is worth a thousand words, but have you ever stopped to consider what those words might be saying about your mental state? Anyone who’s been on either side of a camera lens knows that taking a photo is as much about capturing a moment as it is about capturing a mood. The inner turmoil, self-consciousness, or even sheer joy can paint a photo in tones that are sometimes too subtle to describe but always palpable.
It’s a common misconception that being comfortable in front of the camera is reserved for celebrities or models. In reality, even the most seasoned stars often express a sense of vulnerability when faced with the unblinking eye of the lens. This is something I’ve personally experienced and discussed at length in a recent recounting of my self-portrait fiasco. As with most things, mindset plays a significant role in how you appear on camera.
One key to great photos? Get out of your head. While it’s natural to feel self-conscious or overly aware of how you might appear, that hyper-awareness can translate into stiff, unnatural photos. Let your photographer guide you; trust in their expertise and their ability to capture you at your best.
Why not treat the photoshoot like a roleplay? Pretend you’re the starlet of a high-fashion magazine, or even just someone entirely different from your everyday self. Embrace the fantasy and let yourself enjoy the process. As I’ve mentioned from my own experience, sometimes even the photographer needs someone else behind the lens to remind them to let go and have fun.
Consider asking your photographer to play some music during the shoot. Music has an innate ability to alter our mood, loosen our inhibitions, and allow our natural selves to shine through. Whether it’s a soft ballad or an upbeat track, the right song can be the bridge between your anxious mind and a photo that genuinely captures your essence.
Reflecting on my own challenges with personal branding photography, I realized that the images I was least satisfied with were ones where I was too caught up in my own head. When I finally decided to hire a professional photographer, the key difference, apart from the evident technical expertise, was the relief and freedom I felt, knowing I could just be without the pressure of getting everything right.
The next time you find yourself in front of a camera, remember that it’s as much about capturing your essence as it is about capturing your image. Your headspace, the thoughts and emotions you bring into that moment, can make all the difference. So take a deep breath, play your favorite song, and let yourself shine. After all, the best photos are the ones where you can see a hint of the soul behind the smile.
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Based in New Jersey, Angela Acosta specializes in personal branding photography for women business owners and professionals in the New York area. She expertly channels brand narratives through tailored images, offering insights on wardrobe and styling to ensure authenticity. With a deep commitment to capturing the essence of each client, Angela transforms branding with impactful photographs that resonate and inspire.