Camera Shy? Headshot Tips from the Professionals

tips for overcoming camera anxiety

If you are like most people, then you know how awkward it can feel to stand (or sit) in front of a camera for a professional headshot or portrait. Well, this is actually a pretty common dilemma, so common that photographers have a term for it – it’s called camera shyness. The good thing is most photographers know how to deal with this dilemma. However, the photographers can only walk you through the process and give you tips. If you want awesome headshots for your brand, business, portfolio, etc., then you need to play your part as an awesome subject too. Here are some tips to conquer camera shyness. 


Make professional photoshoot sessions a regular thing

Don’t make photoshoots as the biggest deal. Moreover, don’t look at photo sessions as one and done things that you need to get over with. The only way to be comfortable and confident at doing something is to do it over and over again. So book photo sessions with your favorite photographer every couple of years or so. You can even make it an annual thing if you want. 



This doesn’t mean going to the gym a few months prior to the photoshoot, or getting involved in a crash diet. Preparing for a photoshoot doesn’t mean losing weight. If that’s the case, then no one will be updating their headshots. Planning for a photoshoot means doing what will make you feel at your best on the day of your headshot session. 

You can get a more radical haircut a week before, or a trim a day or two before the session. Of course, on the day of the photoshoot, you can get a blow-out and styling. Getting radical facials like microdermabrasion or chemical peel is highly discouraged if it’s within a few days before your photoshoot. You can get a hydrating facial for smoother skin, but that’s pretty much it.  

For hair and makeup, this is the time to step it up a notch. Stay away from glitters and shiny makeup; they don’t look good with the lights in the studio.

When it comes to your clothing, try out a few outfits ahead of time and study how you look in front of the mirror. Does the color complement your complexion? Does the style go with your hair length? More importantly, do you feel good wearing it?

You cannot go wrong wearing your power color. Rich dark tones of red, green, brown, blue, and of course, navy and black are great for business as they suggest authority. So search for the color that matches your style. Moreover, keep the colors of your website and logo in mind when choosing colors to wear.

preparing for a headshot photoshoot



The old maxim “practice makes perfect” couldn’t be more applicable here; so practice your pose! What message are you trying to convey in your pose? Compassion? Respect? Power? There is no shame in practicing your pose in front of the mirror. Search for pose tips on the internet.

Whatever pose you want to do, make sure you feel authentic, comfortable, and relaxed in doing so.      



Have fun! Ask your photographer if you can play your favorite playlist during the session. Invite a friend to come with you. Crack jokes with your photographer. Remember, when you feel good, you will look good. Enjoy your shoot!

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