Portrait Photography for People with Camera Shyness | Gain the Courage to be Captured as You Are! | Lucy Lambriex | Skillshare

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Portrait Photography for People with Camera Shyness | Gain the Courage to be Captured as You Are!

teacher avatar Lucy Lambriex, Creative Confidence & Camera Courage

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Courage for the Camera Shy


    • 2.

      Some karaoke


    • 3.

      Why so shy?


    • 4.

      Let's get physical!


    • 5.

      The other side of fear


    • 6.

      Use an object


    • 7.

      Dynamic posing


    • 8.

      A weird exercise


    • 9.

      Class project


    • 10.

      Looking at photos of yourself with kindness 1


    • 11.

      Looking at photos of yourself with kindness 2


    • 12.

      Meet your new friend, set a date


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About This Class

You'd rather go to the dentist than have your portrait taken. You freeze when a camera is pointed at you, but you NEED a good photo portrait of yourself representing who you really are? This is your class.

Some of the things you'll do, learn and practice in this introductory class:

Commit to gaining courage and showing up in front of a camera;
Get some insight into the drivers of your camera shyness;
Get physical;
Prepare yourself for a portrait session, mentally as well as physically;
Some really weird exercises;
Dynamic posing and taking charge of your photo session instead of feeling like prey to the photographer;
Have your portrait taken;
Start looking at photos of yourself with kindness.

Courage = feeling shyness or fear and doing it anyway;
Learning happens best when we are relaxed and enjoying ourselves;
Get into action and practice (it is not enough to watch the videos);
Don't force it; take your time.

No experience with being photographed professionally is needed to enter this class. You may not even experience real camera-shyness and still benefit from growing your confidence and familiarity with the camera.

It is my belief that the best learning and personal growth results happen when we enjoy ourselves. I try to make the lessons playful and light, even though we'll do some comfort zone stretching and inner digging. 

This is not a technical photography class and you will be invited to do some personal inquiry. You will be in charge of how deep you'll allow yourself to go, however: some of the lessons may evoke strong emotions and memories. If so, go slowly and be kind to yourself. If necessary: ask the help of a trained therapist to support your process.

Tom Beek for composing and playing all the great and fun music.
Bas Brader for being my willing and playful guinea pig.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Lucy Lambriex

Creative Confidence & Camera Courage

Top Teacher

All-Round Creatives Unite!

Hello! As an all-round creative maker I know how you can get stuck in the middle of a project. Or at the start. If you ever find yourself stuck creatively, I can help you get back on track. My classes focus not only on the end result of your creations, but also delve into the inner processes, personal awareness, and growth. Using photography, journaling, Procreate, paint, thread and other materials, you'll rediscover your creativity and gain valuable insights about yourself along the way.

I'm Lucy Lambriex (she/her), based in Amsterdam, and I design classes for creative professionals and professional creatives. These classes provide a pathway out of creative block and anxiety, leading to gr... See full profile

Level: All Levels

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1. Courage for the Camera Shy: Hi. Is this you hiding when a camera is pointed at you, or do you make funny faces? Do you feel like prey to the photographer's gun? You don't like being photographed, but you do need good photos of yourself? Then this is the class for you. No experience necessary and hardly any materials. I used to be very camera-shy myself, and at times I still am. But I can work with it now. For the past nine years, I've been working with hundreds of clients who were also camera-shy or even a little bit afraid. Working with them, I learned many habits and tricks that can be helpful in gaining the courage to show up in front of a camera. I would love to teach those to you. Believe it or not, you may even start liking it. These are some of the things you'll do, learn, and practice in this class. You'll get some insight into the why of your camera shyness, you'll get physical, prepare yourself for a photo session, you'll do some really weird exercises, you'll learn dynamic posing and how that will help you be in charge of your own photo session. You'll have your portrait taken, and you'll make a start looking at yourself and photos of yourself with kindness. Although this class is light and playful, it's no superficial stuff we'll be working with. I ask you to be gentle with yourself and go slowly if necessary. The stuff I'm going to teach you probably feels weird at times, but it works. If you do all the exercises, you will gain more courage to show up in front of a camera. Surrender, get rid of that paper bag, and join me in my class below. 2. Some karaoke: We'll start off with some karaoke, no singing required. In order for this class to have an effect, you have to make the commitment. It just isn't enough to watch the videos. Bummery. Repeat after me. I commit to gaining the courage to show up in front of a camera. I will do the assignments and I will allow for mistakes or complete failure to happen. I will keep practicing and trying. I may remain shy or feel fear, but I will take small steps to gain the courage to have my portrait taken. [MUSIC] Great. Now, let's gain some insight into the why for shyness. 3. Why so shy?: Before we start with the action, I want to invite you to join me on a short inner journey and have a look into the why of your camera shyness. Often there are concrete reasons why a person becomes camera shy. Do you know yours? Was someone unkind to you about your appearance? Did you have a bad experience with a photographer? Do you have negative convictions about yourself? Did you read too many beauty magazines? Whatever the reason, it can be helpful to know because the next time you feel shy or awkward, you can respond to yourself with more kindness. Often we tend to beat ourselves up when we don't act the way we want to. But it's very unhelpful and you'll find that when you do respond in friendlier manner, there comes more space for just being and opening up. Use the downloadable PDF called 'why so shy' and do some introspection. Sit down somewhere quiet where you won't be disturbed for about 15 minutes. 4. Let's get physical!: [MUSIC] Now, let's get physical. One of the biggest problems with camera shyness is that we spend way too much time in our heads. We think about the past when that school photo was so horrible, or we think about that party where our cousin took photos with a flashlight and we had a little too much to drink. We worry about the future. We paid good money for this photo session. We think it must succeed, or we just think about groceries, or taxes, or job applications. Whatever it is we're thinking about, it's not helpful being present in this moment, but it's impossible to stop thinking on command. We have to trick the mind a little. Luckily enough, that's easy. We have this amazing body that's not only there to carry our heads from A to B, but it's also wonderful for playing and calming the mind. My advice is to always put 40 percent of your attention in your body. Feel your hands, your feet, your bottom, or anything else that touches anything. It actually makes our whole life so much better when we spend time in our bodies and it diminishes fear. One of the greater ways to land in our bodies is to dance, turn on the music. [MUSIC] In real life or in your head and dance, just go wild. Move, jump. [MUSIC] Take a walk, play table tennis, do anything that makes you move and feel how the energy is flowing through your body, and give yourself a head rub. Put your fingers under your hair, and you massage the skull. If you do it a bit sturdy, you can feel the energy flowing, and check your hair in between. Maybe you can see it in my eyes already. There's more energy and more of a spark. Did you plan a portrait session or is a photographer coming to your work? Leave your computer at least 15 minutes before it's your turn. Make sure to go outside, walk around, get physical. [MUSIC] 5. The other side of fear: [MUSIC] The other side of fear. Discover how your camera shyness or fear has an opposite side. The desire to be seen. You wouldn't have come to this class if you didn't want your photo to be taken. You need it for your online presence or for your job interview, or just because you want it for yourself. I believe it's easier to gain courage if we recognize this desire and if we know what it looks like. I invite you to download the PDF, The other side of fear, and do some personal inquiry. [MUSIC] 6. Use an object: In this lesson, you'll be using an object that has meaning to you or tells a story about you. It will give you support and help you gain more courage to show up in front of the camera. Holding an object or just having it present can help us be less self-conscious, like your favorite book or a gift from someone special or a wig even. I will now demonstrate how this can be done with Buzz [MUSIC] [LAUGHTER] For now, I invite you to play with your object, hold it, throw it in the air, kiss it, pose with it as if it were a friend, put it on top of your head, etc. Notice how playing with your object and still keeping that 40 percent of your attention inside your body helps you take off the edge of being in front of the camera. 7. Dynamic posing: [MUSIC] Dynamic posing and taking charge. Do you feel like prey to the photographer? Do you feel like a rabbit frozen in car headlights? With this trick, dynamic posing, you will learn to take charge and you'll look more alive in your picture. In portrait photography, often a person is asked to sit still so the light is perfect, but it's very difficult to sit still and to look lively, after a while, you tend to stare into the lens. You've probably seen videos or fashion shoots where the models turn towards the camera and their hair flaps in the wind. This trick is very similar, but it's a bit different. The main reason the fashion models are turning to lens is that their hair and clothing looks nice, but also something happens in their eyes and that's what we're after too. Dynamic posing can be done in a very wild manner or very subtle. This way of posing gives you the power over the photographer, you determine when the photo will be taken and it gives you a very lively look. This is how it's done. When the photographer has set up the light and the camera and everything and tells you can do your thing, you turn away, you feel your body, you take a breath, then you turn to the camera breathing out but you don't breath out like this, you don't pout. It's more a sigh than a puff. Maybe you can see it in my eyes already. There's more energy. You don't look at the lens, but you look straight into the middle and you connect with the photographer. Don't focus on the lens, but look in the middle and realize there's a person behind the camera. You can also ask the photographer to lower the camera now and then and so you remember [MUSIC] there is a person. You can vary all the parameters of this way of posing. You can do it very wild or very subtle just with your eyes or you can hide behind something like your hands or an object and emerge from there or like this. These pictures may not be the ones you want to use on your LinkedIn profile, but it creates a more playful environment for you and the photographer and you'll find out that it will become more and more easy to be in front of that camera. It doesn't bite, it doesn't change you. You'll feel so much more at ease when you are in charge instead of the photographer. If you've planned for longer portrait session, I suggest you tell the photographer how you want to pose. If it's just somebody running in with a camera or somebody at a party, just do it, but if it's longer, maybe you can discuss with the photographer how to do it. Because I when I'm working, I prefer to focus on the eyes first and then have the person go away and come back so I won't miss the moment. I hope you're going to practice this and I hope it brings you a lot. I think you will find that in your next photo experience. It's really different from waiting to have your portrait taken and being the one who decides when it will happen. 8. A weird exercise: [MUSIC] The next lesson will help you practice dynamic posing by treating objects as cameras. When I was taking motorcycle lessons a long time ago, I found that I couldn't move the bike and zigzag the traffic cones. I didn't understand why I couldn't. Then I remembered you can practice things mentally and with objects. [NOISE] At home, I walked in my room [MUSIC] as if I was riding the bike and [NOISE] the next lesson, it worked like a charm. [MUSIC] The next exercise is very similar. It will feel a tad strange to do it, but if you do it, you will gain more courage to show up in front of a camera. For the next few days or a week, you're going to treat objects as cameras. Decide what objects you will treat as a camera. The next time you see a glass, for instance, you do dynamic posing and you turn to it as if it were a camera. It's really strange, but just do it when nobody is around or don't care. You will find the camera loses the scariness. Did you pick an object? Whenever you see it, you do the exercise. You breathe in, turn away, breathe out towards the objects. That's it. Do it. [MUSIC] 9. Class project : [MUSIC] Did you recover from that exercise? Wonderful. It was a good preparation for your class project in which you will apply everything you've learned so far. Be aware of the desire to end up with a good portrait photo of yourself, get physical, use an object, and dynamic posing. Remember, the more you practice, the better the results. It is not enough to watch the videos. Your class project will be, to take a photo of yourself or ask someone else to take it of you holding an object. In the first photo, you may hide behind your object, but you keep at least one eye pointed at the camera. In the second photo, the object may still be present and you can use it for dynamic posing so start hiding behind it and then put it away to emerge. You may no longer hide behind it, but it can still be present in the picture. You will need, yourself, of course, your object of choice, a camera or a smartphone with the self timer, or a friend with a willing index finger, a tripod, or a stack of books or something else to put your camera or phone on, a window for the light, and some tape maybe to steady your camera. It's perfectly fine to take dozens of images before there is one to your liking. The more you practice, the better. Remember to get physical jump before you take it for this project. The technical quality of the photos are not important. It's not even important to like the results. But you can use them for the next exercise, which is looking at photos of yourself with kindness. I'd love to see your results. [MUSIC] Please post them under your project. If you don't feel comfortable sharing the results, maybe you can make a crop and just show your eye and at least tell a story. Give us the account of how it went. What did you go through? What did you learn? Did any questions arise? You can also send me an email with your photos and ask me questions in private. The address you can find in the PDF class project. Have fun, and I hope to see you in the community. [MUSIC] 10. Looking at photos of yourself with kindness 1: [MUSIC] This lesson asks for a careful and friendly approach. You'll do some personal inquiry and this may bring up strong emotions and memories. If this happens, go slowly and be gentle. Take the time, maybe put it aside for a while, and then return later. I used to be very critical photos of myself. For instance, now, I'm quite critical when I see the video footage. I tend to look at the details. I see my crooked mouth or the aging skin. But if I zoom out, I see a whole different me. That's what this is all about. I ask you to download the PDF and answer the questions. You pick some photos of yourself that other people like but you don't like particularly. Print the PDF, and sit down somewhere to answer the questions, and make sure nobody can disturb you for about 15 minutes or so. Now, press pause. [MUSIC] 11. Looking at photos of yourself with kindness 2: [MUSIC] When we look at ourselves in the mirror or look at photos of ourselves, we tend to zoom in on details. Is that your deal too? Did you focus on your double chin or your floppy ear or your pimple? Whatever it is we don't like about ourselves, it seems as if that's the only thing there is to see in the photo. For the second part of this lesson, I asked you to zoom out and see yourself as a whole being. Don't focus on the details, but try to see the energy, try to see who this person is. Look at yourself with curiosity. Also, try to notice the little voice that keeps talking. Don't give it too much attention, don't really listen to it, but just notice it. If you find it too difficult to zoom out and look at yourself as a whole being, practice with a photo of someone else first. Usually it's easier with other people than with ourselves to see them as a whole being. I suggest you keep doing this for the coming week with different types of photos. Remember to go slowly and to be gentle with yourself. Please share under community how it went and ask any questions you have. Now, press pause and answer the questions in the PDF. [MUSIC] 12. Meet your new friend, set a date: [MUSIC] After you're in a journey and your playful practice, now it's time to set a time, date, and place for your portrait session. Ask a friend or a professional photographer to spend at least an hour with you. If you go to a photographer, check out their website, look at the photos. [MUSIC] Do you see real people, or do you see models? Maybe make a phone call and see how you like the person. Even if you don't feel like it, just set this appointment, because you know by now you probably can do it. Which colors make your eyes pop? Which patterns make you feel comfortable and radiant? It matters a lot. Even if it's just a headshot, your shoes and your underwear matter. You don't want to be distracted by difficult shoes or tight underwear. Also don't go to the hairdressers a day before your shoot, and don't wear makeup you normally don't wear, you will not recognize yourself in the photos, I promise. Then when the shoot is going on, remember the playfulness you learnt. Remember all the funny things we did, and especially remember the dynamic posing. It will give you the power to do it. Allow for it to be a total disaster. [NOISE] If you give yourself permission to feel, you'll feel so much more relaxed. Please share with the community how it went. I'm so curious. Show us your results and the story. Good luck.