As a portrait photographer, one of my biggest challenges is figuring out how to help people feel at ease when they stand before my camera. It’s AMAZING the things I can see when I peer through my viewfinder. I see the looks of panic. Fear. Self-hatred. Shame. Shyness. Insecurity. Sometimes it just makes me want to put my camera down and hug the individual.
How can I help them? I want to help them … not just so that I can do a great job as their photographer … but so that I can show them how beautiful they really are.
I stumbled across a TED talk by psychologist Anna Rowley and photographer Peter Hurley. And it BLEW my mind.
One of the interesting phenomenons Hurley highlights is that people have a major fear of being in front of the camera, but they then they’ll turn around and take (and post) endless selfies. Why?
When you take a selfie, YOU have decided to take the picture. YOU are in control. But when a photographer is behind the lens, it’s the photographer who is in control.
So as photographers, we need to help our clients! But how?
Anna Rowley and Peter Hurley say it’s by helping them focus on their inner truth. They began what they call “psyphotology,” a way of asking questions while an individual is being photographed to help them let go and feel confident and relaxed in their photos. Watch the video … it’s worth it!