Camera shyness never really used to be an issue back in the day. People only brought out cameras on special occasions or those who wanted to be TV stars. However, nowadays cameras are everywhere... They are on our phones, tablets, laptops, CCTV, etc and we are conditioned to feeling almost obliged to taking pictures of ourselves for social media. Not only that but we want to take videos of events and perhaps even further our careers with videography. It's fantastic that we have so many platforms to show our skills but what do we do if we get anxious in front of the camera?
1. Understand why you're doing it
Make sure that you are appearing in front of the camera for the right reasons. Don't pressure yourself because of society. You don't have to prove yourself to anyone. Take photos and videos because you enjoy it or you have something you want to show to the world. Doing anything for the wrong reasons isn't going to bring joy into your life and it won't get rid of the anxiety either.
2. Do something energetic beforehand
The idea of this is to get you comfortable. For the videos I record, I try to play guitar and sing beforehand so that I get comfortable using my voice freely and moving around. If you sit in silence and then try to record a fun video, you're likely to feel uncomfortable. Doing exercise or something you enjoy, will reduce the anxiety and help you produce the best content you can.
It takes a while to not feel awkward posing for a camera or talking to one. The only way for it to appear natural is for you to keep doing it until it doesn't feel weird anymore. It's always a good idea to practice by yourself as then you won't feel awkward with someone watching you. As time goes on, you'll feel more confident, the anxiety will diminish and it'll almost be like second nature.
4 . Remember: The camera doesn't judge
This applies especially if you're creating your own content rather than modelling for someone else. Experiment with different ideas. If it looks silly, you delete it and no-one ever has to know. The more you relax about it, the better the photographs or videos will turn out.
Feeling anxious in front of the camera is normal. You have no idea who may end up seeing it (provided it goes into the world, not just on an SD card) and it's not a natural way to communicate. Photographs and videos are a wonderful media, so finding a way to deal with that anxiety is important so that you have the option. Start creating content that is only for you and when you feel anxious, move about or take a break. The best part about being in front of a camera is that you are in control.