I work closely with business owners and all types of professionals. They come to me because they know that an updated, professional headshot is a key aspect of their business, their website, their social media and more. But chances are, these people are nothing like my actors and models who love the camera. They are the decision makers, the behind-the-scenes strategists, the thinkers, the planners. So they step away from their fast-paced life to come into my studio, sit in front of the camera, trying to relax, smile, and have fun. It’s not always the easiest mode to shift into. In fact, for many, their session is anticipated to be a stressful experience and can even produce anxiety. Maybe they imagine their high school yearbook photo that was snapped before they were ready or the unflattering ID photo taken at their workplace. They suddenly become aware of their gray hair, their double chin, their freckles, their weight, etc. They become stiff, nervous and highly uncomfortable.
Of course, we alleviate all these fears once they come into the studio. It is our goal to make our clients feel comfortable and relaxed by providing professional makeup artistry, wardrobe advice, refreshments, music, casual conversation and a professional but calming atmosphere. Nearly all my clients leave our studio, pleasantly surprised at the fun experience they had.
However, after seeing so many clients deal with these issues, I have come to understand that the fear of the camera has a root. Insecurity.
We all have something about ourselves that we don’t like – no one is perfect. But allowing those imperfections to make us feel less about ourselves is where the issue lies. A photograph is a frozen image that suddenly serves as a magnifying glass for our imperfections. I have had clients that leave the studio, loving their new look. But sometimes, when they start looking over their proofs, they become increasingly critical of themselves. They want to be nipped and tucked and anti-aged and nearly talk themselves out of using their new, professional photos. Don’t get me wrong – we retouch our final images for our clients. We want to bring all attention to the eyes, eliminating distraction and giving them a well-rested, fresh look. But the final image should be the real you on your very best day. Not an imaginary version of yourself.
In my experience, I have found that insecurity often comes from one or more of these root issues.
You are you. Your DNA and genetics, your hair color, your eyes, your personality are unique to only you. Comparison will always make you feel like you don’t measure up. Comparison will cause you to wear yourself out, striving to be like someone you’re not. It’s just not worth it.
2. Past experiences and hurts.
I am not a psychologist or a counselor. I can only share my observations. But I do know that if you have had negative words spoken over you, those words leave a scar and can take a deep root of shame, fear or self-loathing in our life. Don’t let the wounds of the past keep you in hiding. Don’t let the lies that someone spoke over you determine how you view yourself and others. Speak to a pastor, a counselor or even a friend. Gain some new perspective and realize that you are truly wonderful the way you are.
3. You don’t like what you see in the mirror.
I am a very black and white, bottom line person. If you ask for the truth, I will gladly give it to you. So with that I say, if you don’t like what you see in the mirror, change it. There are many things about ourselves that we have the ability to change. The truth is, we aren’t willing to do the work and make the lifestyle change necessary to see that happen. If you aren’t happy with your weight, change your eating habits and start moving. Simple. If you don’t like your arms, don’t wear a sleeveless blouse to your photo shoot. If you don’t like your gray roots, touch them up. Easy. If you choose not to make the effort, then stop complaining about it. Tough love, baby.
HOWEVER (and I close), there are many things that you may not have the means or ability to change. That’s ok. Truth is, people are not sizing us up the way we often size up ourselves. Be the best you you can be and be happy with what you have. Work it! Stop putting yourself down and imagining the things people are saying about you. I love this quote by Lou Holtz:
“You’re never as good as everyone tells you when you win, and you’re never as bad as they say when you lose.”
Be confident in who you are and remember that your first impression is so important. People notice your SMILE and your eyes – not your age spots or your fly-aways.
Thanks for reading!
Mindy is a headshot and portrait photographer in Mount Dora, FL. She has years of experience in helping businessmen and women make a professional first impression.
Mindy has a passion for integrity in the workplace – challenging leaders to raise the standard of professionalism, etiquette, respect and class.
Mindy Kerr Photography – Professional. Creative. Simple.