Friends, let me tell you, being a new entrepreneur can be such an exciting and exhilarating journey! But, as with anything new, there can be some intimidating factors that can make us feel a bit uneasy. And one of the most common fears I’ve come across is the anxiety of being photographed for headshots.
There are a number of factors at play here that can add to procrastination of getting your first headshots taken. Let’s talk about the personal insecurities that can make us all feel self-conscious about how we look in photos. (Raising hand)! We may not like our smile, or think our nose is too big, or we may even worry that we’re too stiff and posed in front of the camera. (Kind of like stagefright!) All of these things can make us feel incredibly anxious about having our picture taken.
But it’s not just our own personal insecurities that come into play here. There’s also the fact that we’ve all had experiences where we’ve been photographed and the results weren’t exactly what we were hoping for. Maybe the lighting was bad, or the photographer didn’t know how to bring out our best qualities, or we were simply having a bad hair day. Whatever the case may be, those negative experiences can stick with us and make us anxious to step in front of the camera again.
I know how daunting it can be to step in front of a camera, especially when you’re feeling anxious and self-conscious. But if you need a friend by your side, this ultimate guide will help you conquer your anxieties and unleash your true potential on camera!
I understand that everyone has their own unique insecurities and concerns when it comes to being photographed, which is why I’m not here to tell you what you should or should not feel. Instead, my focus is on empowering you to take control of your anxieties and feel confident and comfortable in front of the camera.
My guide is jam-packed with practical tips and strategies to help you work through your anxieties and prepare for the process of getting your headshot taken. I’ll show you how to accentuate your best features and hide what you’re not so fond of, so you can feel your absolute best in your headshot.
Taking pictures can be quite a feat, especially if it causes you anxiety. You might be wondering why this happens, and the answer is complex. We already talked about the #1 reason I’ve found do be true above. It could be caused by any number of things. The fear of being judged and not looking great in the picture can really weigh on someone’s mind and contribute to feelings of anxiety. It could also be a result of self-esteem issues or a fear of failure. Whatever the case may be, it is important to recognize the issue and try to work on it.
It’s also hard to feel confident in front of the camera when we’re subconsciously comparing ourselves to others we see in media or in group photos and it can be increasingly hard when your mind’s made up that you’re not photogenic.
I believe that headshots are a tool for self expression and the chance to show how unique you are! Every blemish, wrinkle, and freckle is a part of your unique story, and we should never be afraid to show it. With the right mindset and a little bit of practice, we can show up in front of the camera, confidentally, and come out with the best headshots that showcase who you are perfectly!
Below are a few steps to reducing the anxiety you may face during the process of attaining your new headshots
Your headshot is often the first thing a potential employer or client will see, so it’s essential to make sure it’s a true reflection of who you are and what you have to offer. That’s why choosing the right headshot photographer is so important!
So, we’ve uncovered the what! Let’s now uncover the how. How do I find a great photographer?
1. Do the research, even if you get referred. Let’s start here. Every headshot photographer is not created equally. There are different specialties, different styles and genres- Corporate headshots, actor headshots, modeling headshots, lifestyle headshots, and creative headshots. (No, you don’t need to look up what all these mean.) All you need to do is start with visual cues. If you visit a website or look at Instagram and your eyes open wide to what you see, then jot the name down of that website or individual.
2. Compile a list of 5 photographers that make your eyes light up and brain say, “I like that style.” Now start to go through the website/ social media and read what the message is. Usually, this will eliminate 2-3 photographers right there because you may find that what you read doesn’t align with your beliefs or values, or maybe something that was said doesn’t sit right with you. Maybe the personality is off. Maybe you’re an outgoing person and the person you are considering is reserved and really quiet. Make sure you vibe with the person you select and you’re on your way to a great anxiety- free session.
3. You still have two or three amazing photographers to choose from. It’s time to scout how far the drive if it is a studio and get a general idea of pricing. If he is a mobile photographer (like I am), even better. Trust me, two or three photographers are the perfect number when it comes to finding the right photographer! And if you really want to narrow it down, be my guest. But my enthusiastic recommendation is to stick with two or three.
4. The best part of all! Don’t hesitate on this step! Call, email, or fill out the contact form to get in touch with your potential photographer. And whatever you do, don’t let distance stop you from setting up a meeting. (We have Zoom) I’ve met countless people who cringe at engaging in conversation on the phone with the photographer, but listen – investing in your memories is a big deal! You don’t want to leave it to chance that you and the photographer won’t click.
Get ready to take control of your camera game! By practicing poses in front of the mirror, you’ll gain an invaluable advantage: the ability to anticipate how you’ll look on camera. Not only will this boost your confidence, but it also puts you in the driver’s seat. Instead of relying solely on the photographer’s direction, you’ll know exactly what works for you and can ensure your best angles are captured. While this may not be a novel concept, it’s an empowering tool that allows you to truly own your image. Now, I’ll be honest, lots of people don’t do this. “That’s the photographer’s job to make me look good!” While this is true, (and believe me, we photographers should have the know- how to make someone look great) didn’t you become an entrepreneur to control your own destiny? It’s already in your blood to take charge of your headshots! You also have the added benefit of knowing what you will look like on camera so there are no surprises, hence decreasing your anxiety. I’ve added a few examples below of common poses.
Preparation is key! Anxiety usually comes in the form of unpreparedness which leads to worry. With ample preparation, you can cut the worryness and be well on your way to a great headshot session! Follow these steps to prepare for your photoshoot: