A Professional Photographer's Advice for Being More Confident In Front of The Camera

Standing in front of a camera can seem like a nightmare for self-conscious people.

It's frustrating when you want to capture memories with friends or show off your cute new outfit, but you're too insecure about taking pictures. Even worse is when you do work up the courage to take pictures of yourself, but you hate every single shot because you look awkward and uncomfortable.

It's a struggle that many people face. Emma Vo, photographer, videographer, model and creative, says many of her clients don't feel comfortable in front of the camera.

"It's so common for people to write that in the email to me when they ask me for a photoshoot," Emma says. "I totally empathize with that because I know what it's like to have your pictures taken and then you look back at them like, I look so awkward."

Emma has always wanted to help people become more confident.

"That's the number one thing I think I'm good at in life. Making people feel beautiful," Emma says. Whether it's taking photos of someone or complimenting a stranger on the street, Emma aspires to make everyone feel happy in their skin. Emma has been studying photography since 2012 and has been a professional photographer since 2018. Since then, she has shot all across the country with every type of person. Emma mixed her passion for photography with her love of supporting people and made it her career.

Just like Emma helps her clients feel beautiful, she wants to help you too. Emma gave us some essential tips on how to feel more comfortable in front of a camera. Before you know it, you'll be out-posing all your friends and filling your Instagram feed with new confident pictures.

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Practice Posing by Yourself

Emma says the best way to become a more confident model is by practicing. "You just have to keep putting yourself in front of the camera," Emma says. Emma suggests that you practice posing in front of a mirror, regularly have your friend or partner take pictures of you and maybe even hire a professional photographer.

"It's repetition. It's like a muscle you have to work," Emma suggests. This is how Emma overcame her own fear of being in front of the camera. Emma used to feel awkward in front of the camera and she didn't any photos of herself. After working hard to build up her confidence and practiced a lot to find her best angles, she now feels at home during photoshoots. With patience and practice, it's possible for you to feel this confident too.


Use Positive Affirmations

When you pay for a photoshoot with Emma, you're also paying for a personal hype-woman. Emma shouts positive affirmations and encouraging phrases at her clients to help them step into their confidence during her shoots.

"I'll just yell at whoever I'm taking a picture of like, 'Yes! Queen! This is great! You look stunning,'" Emma says. Mentally, her clients start to internalize the comments and begin to believe it. You can practice this at home. Try focusing on what you like about yourself when you are posing in front of the mirror. Think positively about yourself, or better yet, yell compliments at yourself! It may feel silly at first, but you will notice a definite shift in your confidence and how you appear on camera when you become your own hype-woman.


Know Your Go-To Poses and Lighting

Sometimes when we go in front of a camera, we panic because we don't know what to do with our bodies. Emma has been posing long enough that she already has a catalog of go-to poses ready. Emma's easy tip is to use props, your clothing and the environment when taking pictures. She suggests grabbing a bag, tugging on your clothes or playing with your hair. If you're near a rail or a fence, you can lean or pull on it. Emma also encourages doing any pose that elongates your body.

"I really love low-angle shots and extending my arms above my head, because it just creates the image of being larger than life. It's really flattering," Emma says. If you want to show off your entire outfit, Emma recommends sitting or kneeling poses. It will get your whole outfit in the frame, all the way down to your cute shoes that unfortunately get cropped during a lot of standing shots. Finally, try to take pictures when the natural light is most flattering. The best times to take photos are at sunrise or during the "golden hour" at sunset. It's easier to feel better about yourself when you have every element working in your favor.

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Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

If you're feeling uncomfortable, you're probably doing the right thing.

"Anything that feels uncomfortable probably looks good," Emma shares. Emma says she slouches, so when she's opening up her arms and shoulders, it doesn't feel natural but the photos always look fantastic. When you step out of your comfort zone, whether you're trying a new pose or shooting in a new environment, you will get a unique picture. Another great way to step out of your comfort zone is by working with a real photographer. It takes a while to learn how to be confident but hiring a professional photographer can speed up the process. Emma works with her clients and starts photoshoots slowly, especially if the client is very insecure. She'll show her clients the pictures during the shoot and focus on her clients' favorite angles and shots.

"I also give them posing ideas," Emma says. "I have shot so many different body types, so at this point I know what will look good." Hiring a photographer can help you overcome your fears. It may be a big step, but as Emma says, you're hiring a photographer who knows all your best angles and wants you to be happy with the result.


Remember That Everyone Has Insecurities

"No matter what you look like, even if you look absolutely perfect, you have insecurities," Emma says. "It is really freeing knowing that every single person has insecurities." If you're insecure, you're not alone! However, life is too short not to take pictures and capture memories with your loved ones, even if it's difficult at first.

"It's such a waste of time, energy and youth to worry about your insecurities all the time," Emma says. And if all else fails? Fake it to you make it! "The most important part of taking photos is confidence," Emma says. "You can fake it. You can have it in your mind like, 'I'm so confident,' and the pictures will turn out like that even if you're not. It's a mindset."

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You can find Emma on her personal Instagram, film photography Instagram or digital photography Instagram. You can also check out her website.


You need inspiring Instagram captions to match your new-found confidence! Here are 15 Instagram captions about the confidence that you can use for all your powerful pictures.