I have to let you in on a little secret; I am terrified of getting my photo taken. My fear of the camera is ironic because I have no problems speaking in public, or giving presentations to rooms full of people, but I do have a fear of seeing a camera lens peering at me. Its glare makes me feel that all the imperfections on my face are magnified. If I have a spot, a blackhead, or an open pore on my face, I can’t help but think that it will occupy the whole picture. The camera’s dominance makes me feel as if I am 20 pounds heavier, so that all the imperfections of my humanity that I usually embrace become my enemies. I am almost never happy with any photo I take and it is even worse when I am on video.
Many people told me that the trend these days is to post video content. In the short span of my life when I had a life coach, she told me so many times that I should be on video, but I am avoiding making this leap for as long as I can because videos and cameras haunt me. However, despite my fears I decided this year to challenge myself and to go for a professional photo shoot. I figured that I fought bigger battles in my life so that overcoming my fear of the camera should be easy.
So feeling strong and confident, I went week with a friend of mine to a professional photo shooting session. The session was done by the talented photographer Anastasia Casey who was looking for people to pose as part of her project titled #as_I_am. NO PHOTOSHOP, NO FILTERS. As part of this project, her idea was to portray her subjects as they would look in their day to day life.
When we arrived at her quaint studio , on a Monday evening, she was welcoming and friendly. She ushered us into a small room with outfits hanging from a clothes wrack, a laptop, and shelves filled with photos she had taken. Although very simply decorated, the room had a Hollywood feel to it. .She offered us some coffee and proceeded to tell us about the work she does. We learned from her that her main interest is to make women appear beautiful as they are and without the perfections that filters create. Still feeling self conscious, I told my friend to go first.
Now that I was alone in the waiting room, I walked towards a long mirror hanging on the far wall. I started practicing my smiles, and what way to look. I even posed sideways and front ways, while to the best of my abilities I tried to fix the imperfections of my hair. I heard my friend laughing and talking in the other room, as. The photographer asked her questions while snapping photos. I then sat down on a lazy chair located in the room’s far corner, and I started fiddling with my phone as I waited for my moment of truth to arrive.
Soon enough, it was my turn to go. So I followed the photographer into the other room, and I sat on the high stool, waiting for her instructions. She asked me what I did for a living, and she asked me if I lived alone or with family. Soon enough, we were having a normal conversation, as she was giving me a series of instructions to follow. During this conversation, she told me to smile, to not smile, to stand, to sit, to cross my arms, to put my left shoulder out, my right shoulder out, and to put one foot in front of the other, then the other foot. Then in what seemed like minutes, she told me that we were done.
When the pictures came out the next day, I was happy with what I saw. The photos were me with no glamour, no perfection, but still tasteful. I’m glad I did this, I still have hope to get over my fears of cameras.
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