Getting in front of the camera is hard.
It’s been a really long time since I’ve had photos of myself that I’ve been really happy with. I generally prefer to be behind the camera. I can be impatient when others take my photo. When someone does take my photo, often I’m thinking that they aren’t taking enough photos, or OMG I’ve got a double chin, or I look weird. Whatever the reason, it’s been a while since I liked a photo of myself, and that is not a nice feeling. Especially when I’m scrolling on instagram and seeing so many great photos of other people.
When I decided to re-launch my website with a split focus on jewelry and photography, I knew I needed to have a better photo of me somewhere on the website and it was stressing me out.
I started planning a photoshoot for the weekend before the website launch. (Last minute, I know.) I bought flowers and started thinking about what to wear. I originally thought that I would set up the photograph how I wanted it and recruit my wife to take the photos. When she got called away on a last minute work trip, I decided to just do it myself. I had a remote for my camera, why not use it? It ended up being great practice in photographing an extremely difficult subject: myself. I am my own worst critic.
To make it easier, I put on my favorite outfit. I wanted to be comfortable, yet still feel stylish, so I wore a black jumpsuit that I got from Maggie Jayne, and dressed it up with all my favorite pieces of jewelry: the Diamond Alcott ring, Carson ring, Diamond Hyalite ring, small Hera earrings, Rosecut Diamond studs, small Diamond Hyalite necklace, the Aspen necklace, Mavericks Hammered cuff, Pontchartrain bangles, and the Thin 14k Pontchartrain bangle.
I get good light in the studio, especially from the skylights, which really helped a lot with these photos. I prefer to shoot with natural light. In fact, I don’t even have photography lights. I time all of my shoots for good daylight hours and set them up to take advantage of whatever natural light is available. I made space in front of a blank white wall and set up my tripod and camera. I made a rustic floral arrangement with budding branches and eucalyptus because I wanted a prop and an excuse to buy flowers. I set up up my remote and started taking photos. I took them in quick succession, stopping occasionally to check the framing and to see if any of them were turning out. My main goal was to take a LOT, so that I would get a few that I loved. I spent an hour feeling a bit ridiculous in front of the camera, smiling to myself and the remote control, and trying to be myself and relax. I stopped when I got tired and felt like I had enough photos to sort through.
When I got the photos off my camera, I was so relieved to see that there were a lot of great photos! For sure there were also a lot of duds in the mix, and that’s why I take more photos than I will actually use. There were also several where I was like: YES, 100%. I’m sharing my favorites here.
Looking back, I really wish that I had done this sooner. Having some nice photos of myself is a huge self esteem booster. I’ve been growing my hair out for two years now, and there have been a lot of weird hair moments in the mix, and that has made for some awkward photos. So I’m really happy to have some photos that I’m excited to share with everyone: photos that look like me, and feel like me.
So, 100% I recommend getting comfortable, and getting in front of the camera sometimes.
How about you? How do you feel about getting photos taken? Do you have a hard time getting in front of the camera too?