Friday, October 9, 2020


Are you Camera Shy?  Maybe this could help

Today is World Mental Health day and it may seem a strange thing for a photographer to choose to blog about, but I seem to come up against it a lot in my line of work. It makes me feel like I should speak up about it, not only for myself but for my clients and other photographers and videographers in the industry.


I have recently been encouraged to get out from behind the camera and to start filming videos for social media posts. This is completely out of my comfort zone, which is probably quite obvious from the videos I have already done. I become very self-conscious, worrying that I am waving my arms around, waffling and not making any sense. I've noticed that worrying about it makes it worse too. Watching them back isn't much fun either, I can laugh off the fact I said the word MASSIVE 100 times in one video and I can honestly say I am much more comfortable on the other side of the lens. In general, I am a confident person, happy to talk to everyone whether I know them or not, so it's unusual for me to feel anxious. It has definitely helped me to empathise with my clients who feel camera shy.

Do You Hate Having Your Photo taken?

A lot of my clients have expressed concern about having their photos taken! It actually puts some people off having a shoot. They worry about whether they will look right, that they have bad skin, they have wobbly bits, a double chin, what to wear, do they need to diet first if you can think it I've heard it! In fact, it's rare to have someone who is super confident, there have been a couple, but it is pretty rare. 

I try hard to reassure people that they will love their pictures. Professional photography produces different results to a selfie on your phone. The right lighting, settings, equipment, backdrop and position all play a part in creating brilliant portraits. Over the years I have developed a few ways of getting that perfect image. 

Plan Out the Day. I like to make sure that everybody knows what to expect on the day, especially if they seem anxious about the upcoming shoot. If people feel prepared and organised they often feel calmer, I certainly do. We try to discuss what they should bring with them, clothing etc, what will look best on camera and what to avoid.

Getting Comfortable. On the day I spend time just chatting, having a brew and letting the person get used to the studio and to me. I don't like to rush straight into shooting unless they are happy to do so. As people begin to feel more comfortable and relax a bit, it starts to show in their photos. I like to keep people talking throughout the shoot and the atmosphere light. the moment that someone genuinely laughs is pure gold. 

Be Open. If you are anxious or worried I urge you to open up and talk about it with me. If I know how you are feeling then I can try my best to make it as easy as possible. We can take our time and we will get there.

Adjustments. Every person is different. Every shoot is different. I've learnt to take them one at a time, if someone wants to bring their entire family for moral support, then they are more than welcome. (COVID rules allowing) If shooting at Albion Street Studio, Halifax is too overwhelming then we can take the photos in your home, or a cafe or even outside. Whatever makes it easier.

I recently had a client who suffered from Body Dysmorphia. This wasn't anything that I had come across before and for others who aren't aware it is a mental health condition that causes a person to worry or fixate on particular parts of the body and it interferes with everyday life. It opened my eyes to the complexity of mental health and the impact on photography. Despite her worries, she was brave enough to have a photo shoot and the images were beautiful. It took her a little time to see what others were seeing and she later mentioned that it had been helpful for her to have this experience. 

It's important for all industries to be aware of mental health issues that can arise. The better awareness we all have, the kinder and more understanding we can all be. I try to play my part, where I can, however small it may be. So far I have managed to make people feel comfortable and ease their fears over having their photos taken. I hope to feel more confident with my filming experience and I've got lots of people helping me out. If you find yourself struggling with anxiety, body dysmorphia or any other mental health issue there is lots of support available. I recently became a Mental Health Champion after completing a course with Unmasked Mental Health, which I highly recommend for anyone.

Don't miss out on incredible photos, personal or business, get in touch and we can have a chat and see if what we can do! 

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phone: 07540118284

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