I haven’t been embarrassed to take photos in front of a crowd in a long time, but as I was about to get out of the car in a floor-length, uber fluffy, ballgown at the beach, I was embarrassed. I suddenly felt even more self-conscious when multiple people came up to ask why I was wearing said ballgown at the beach. Before I got there, I didn’t think this would be embarrassing at all, so I found myself confronted with a choice: ignore everyone and take the photos or go home. I wanted the photos, so I strutted out into the surf in my dress and had a great time making a fool of myself.
I used to be nervous all the time when posing for photos in public. Now, I’ll strike a silly pose in front of a whole group of people without caring. I know many of you who are just starting your blog or Instagram account get nervous as well, so I thought I’d share some tips I learned just in case you want to arrive at the beach in an uber-fluffy gown without fear as well.
This first tip might seem obvious, but for beginners it is helpful: take photos with the least amount of traffic. Get to your location early. You may even want to ask the owner if you can take photos at that location before it opens in order to get the best shots. Or simply choose locations in areas where you know there won’t be a lot of people, like a field or garden. I still do this, mostly because I don’t want people in my photos, but it helped me a lot when I was getting used to being in front of the camera.
This tip I learned from the fashion blogger Brightest of the Bunch, she told me: “they [passerbyers] don’t know what I’m doing or who I am. I don’t know, I just like to think that for all they know I’m out here doing something very important.” This bit of advice has stuck with more for a long time. Remember that when you’re taking photos, they don’t know what you’re doing or why you’re doing it. Also, that random stranger walking by will probably think about you for two seconds and then never think about it again. Do you really not want to take a photo because someone might think you look silly for two minutes?
Practice your poses in the mirror. I found that a lot of my anxiety was because I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know how to pose, so I memorized poses in the mirror. Even now when I’m preparing for a shoot, I pick out at least four poses and I master them before I head out to the location.
I’m always looking for new poses too. I get most of my inspiration from Instagram. When I see a cute pose, I save it and practice it later. One person who is the master at posing is BookTuber and author Christine Riccio. I’ll link her Instagram here. She has the cutest, effortless photos.
I know no one wants to hear this, but honestly, the best way to get comfortable taking photos in front of a crowd is to do it often. Really, the more you do it, the less you care if other people are watching or what they think. That’s all I’ll say about that. Moving on…
What’s even better is if you purposely embarrass yourself. Did I get your attention? Honestly, this is one of my favorite tricks.
Let me tell you a little story to being. So, one day I was at Universal with my sister and I was preparing for an audition with Walt Disney Entertainment. I was a little nervous about the audition even though I had been practicing nonstop, but I had been practicing being perfect when I should have been letting go. My sister and I were about to take our photo with two minions when the photographer informed me that the minions were frozen. She said that in order to unfreeze them, we had to dance in front of a line of people waiting to meet the minions behind us. This is when I decided to take my own advice.
Without thinking, I danced up to the minions and continued to dance all by myself in front of everyone until they finally joined in. Let me just tell you that there was no music and I have zero rhythm. I don’t know what I looked like, but I can tell you that my sister and the photographer were cracking up. I felt completely idiotic and liberated.
Now, I think to myself if you can dance all by yourself in front of a group of people at Universal, you take this very normal outfit photo. Push yourself out of your comfort zones and you’ll thank yourself for it.
Not all of my photos are perfect. They never will be. But I don’t take photos to be perfect, I take them because its fun. We need to remember that first and foremost Instagram is about having fun.
I hope you had fun reading this post and laughed at my blooper photos. I also hope that these 5 tips will help you get over any anxiety you might feel when taking photos in public. And remember, not every photo needs to be perfect. Just go have fun.