How to Feel Confident in Front of the Camera

Do you struggle showing your face on socials?

Lack confidence in front of the camera?

Do you feel self-conscious showing the world the real ‘you’?

You’re not alone, my friend.

But when adding a photo of your face can see a 33% increase in engagement on your posts, it’s time to face your fears and finally feel confident on camera.

I recently spoke with my friend Julian Knopf on The Social Brain Podcast to discuss his top tips for feeling confident in front of the camera so you can show up on social media as your true self.

Prefer to listen to the audio version of our conversation? Go here.

Whenever I work with new clients, I always ask them to provide me with content with their face on it: brand photos, videos, anything that involves them as a person. It's usually met with:

  1. outright refusal
  2. promises that are never met
  3. very rarely, I’ll get sent all the selfies (what a dream!)

Having a picture of your face on social media can increase your engagement by a third, so it’s pretty important you fight that fear of being seen and start showing your face on socials.

During my conversation with Julian, we talked about how the clients that come for a boudoir shoot with him can instantly raise their confidence. In this blog post, we’ll be discussing that in more detail.

Getting over your fear of the camera

More photos are taken and uploaded to social media platforms every month than were taken in the whole of the 1980s. Yet so few are printed and so few of the photos we actually take make it to the ‘gram.

We're super critical about ourselves because of the way that social platforms present ourselves to us in comparison to the influencers of the world.

But it doesn't matter what kind of photo you’re taking or why you’re taking it, you have to accept that you are you, and you are enough.

Regardless of whether you’re having a regular headshot, or you’ve booked in for a special boudoir photoshoot, the first thing you have to do is get out of your own way. Embrace being the way you are, not the way you want to be, not the way you used to be, not the way you could be, not the way somebody else is. Embrace the way you are, now, in this moment.

How to build self-confidence before a photoshoot

The first thing you want to do when exploring how to feel confident in front of the camera is understand why you’re taking the images in the first place. Is it to capture a specific moment in time? Is it to empower you? Is it to market your business?

You also want to give yourself time. Whether you’re recording a video for your Instagram, are having head shots taken or are trying a boudoir shoot, you need to give yourself time to process the fact you’re doing it. It’s the only way you’ll allow the creativity to flow.

Building a relationship with your photographer is imperative to get the most out of your photoshoot. When you feel comfortable in front of the camera and safe with the person who is taking the photos, you’ll naturally feel more confident and will let yourself enjoy the experience.

It’s also a great idea to create a mood board so you know what you want to achieve on the shoot. Julian spends some considerable time with his clients beforehand to create a mood board that reflects the style of photos the client would like, and together, they can bring the vision to life.

Whatever type of photoshoot you’re going for, you’ll learn the correct posture. So many people think they look bad on camera but that’s simply because they don’t understand how to pose well. Women tend to hunch up or shrink away, but on a shoot, you’ll learn how to make the most of your figure and how to stand in a power pose that instantly fills you with confidence.

You’ll remember the poses long after the shoot, so next time you record a video or take a selfie, your instant reaction won’t be “I look bad in photos!”. These power poses can also be used when you’re about to head into a meeting or do something that makes you feel uncomfortable.

Before a photoshoot, it’s also important to go shopping to find clothes or underwear that makes you feel confident. There’s nothing like new clothes that fit you well to make you feel good about yourself!

When Julian works with a client on a boudoir photoshoot, he has a team of hair and makeup artists to pamper the client before he starts taking photos. This instantly boosts the client’s confidence. If you’re having a photoshoot, consider hiring your own hair and makeup artist so you really make the most of the entire experience (and don’t need to stress about this part of the process).

Julian also says: “All of my makeup artists have had their own shoot with me. If my client is going to spend an hour in a chair with them, they’re likely to ask, “Have you had your shoot?” If the makeup artist says “Oh, never in a million years!” the client is going to feel uncomfortable.

Forget about perfection because you're not perfect. Nobody's perfect. You’ll have hundreds, if not thousands of photos taken of you and not all of them will be amazing. This is the same for professional models.

So, feel the fear and do it anyway, because confidence in front of the camera comes from taking action.

Rating your confidence levels before and after a shoot

If you’re having a photoshoot, try rating how confident you feel before the shoot and comparing it with how good you feel afterwards. When you’ve spent the day being pampered, wearing clothes that make you feel amazing and having a photographer compliment you, you’ll likely see a massive boost in your confidence.

And you’ll have the photos as proof of how good you felt.

One of Julian’s clients rated her confidence levels as a 3 before she had her photoshoot and by the end of the day, she’d risen to an 8!

You don’t need to lose weight before a photoshoot

Julian says: “Most people will have their photoshoot within three to five weeks of having gone “Let's do it!” And then they’ll think they need to lose weight. But they don’t and I won’t postpone a shoot so they can. The only people I accept that for is if they're already on a slimming journey and have a goal they want to reach because booking the photoshoot can be the push that gets them through that half stone extra.”

Whilst you don’t need to lose weight, there are a couple of things you can do in the days leading up to having your professional photos taken. Hydrate well, eat a few less cream cakes and pizzas (because of the sugar and bloating) and perhaps have a few more apples or grapes. This can help your skin to appear more glowy.

Should you use filters on social media?

I regularly use filters on Instagram to smooth my skin and make me look a bit more tanned and I wanted to know what Julian thought of filters.

In his opinion, a filter that lightly airbrushes is the equivalent of taking photos in a photography studio with proper lighting and a makeup artist, so there’s no harm in that.

What can be dangerous are the filters that dramatically alter someone’s body shape or facial structure. When you photoshop your photos to make your waist smaller or legs longer, you’re also going to be caught out.

Taking your own photos for social media

It’s ok to take multiple photos of yourself if you’re trying to get some new images for the ‘gram. What you don’t want to do is be overly critical of the images you’ve taken. Don’t scrutinise the photos you’ve taken for hours and judge yourself for how you look.

Start to tell yourself you look amazing on a daily basis, and you’ll soon start to feel it. This’ll help you feel more confident on camera!

Julian is a Portrait, Fine Art & Boudoir Photographer, on a mission to empower people around the world to love themselves for who they are and feel confident in their own skin. He helps his clients shed their self-consciousness and skyrocket their confidence from a 3 to an 8 in a single session.

For sensual, boudoir photography: Instagram / Facebook / Website

For corporate, headshots + brand photography: Instagram / Website



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