Camera Shy

Camera Shy

How to get people comfortable in front of a camera is a real skill. Even though I’ve photographed hundreds of people there are just some folk who cannot make eye contact with a lens; are so self conscious their discomfort is written all over their face and it … well… spoils the photo or while self consciously adjusting themselves they deliver a litany of reasons why they never take a good picture.
I once came very close to getting on my knees and begging a grown man, to look at the camera for a story that was about him (!) and it took at least 20 goes before he could comply. His struggle was obvious and I can only wonder what internal struggle he was having.
On the flip side there are people who love the camera. Usually the camera loves them too and I think it’s where hangups about being photographed stem from. Because most mortals don’t travel with an entourage of beauticians, hair stylists, make artists and graphic designers to airbrush away the flaws (or the things that make us unique!) the majority of people look… well… real.
Real to me is infinitely more interesting than stock standard beauties, who have their place, but after a while another pretty face starts to look like the next.
These gregarious young men, however, are very hard not to notice or remember. I thank them, whoever they are, for their courage (their’s might have been Dutch, now I think about it) to walk right up and give me this gift of a fun-tastic shot at the Renaissance Festival in Florida, March 2013.

Published by Yvette Aubusson-Foley


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  1. Hello Yvette,
    You’ve been missing for a while. This is an interesting topic and I have to agree with you that there are people who are soooo camera conscious that they just can not take a good picture…, but, when you catch them off guard their photos are wonderful. And then there are those who always have to give you that fake “camera” smile that makes them look so artificial. People are more interesting when they can be comfortable with a camera. I try to take photos without the subject’s knowledge if I can. They always seem more natural and comfortable. The photos come out much better too. What am I talking about…, your work is so far above mine.


    1. Thank you for the compliment and you’re right, being photographed is a very personal experience and depending on our self image decides whether we care or don’t care about being photographed. I so admire photographers who can make their subjects appear natural when in fact they’re stylised down to the nth degree. And yes, missing in action for a while focussing on the research of my pet project, a novel, in between the juggling act of life. I keep hearing it is a blog sin to not be consistent and that is a challenge. Thanks again for the feedback.


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