Had occasion over the weekend to get some insight as to why most people really don’t like to have their picture taken.
I attended a workshop conducted by famed headshot photographer, Peter Hurley at his New York Studio. There were 5 accomplished photographers attending and then there was me – a photo enthusiast.
Peter gave some world class instruction to our group and gave us plenty of hands-on experience as we got to photograph 8 different actors/models over the course of 22 jam packed working hours.
These are people who are used to being in front of cameras and skilled in bringing different emotions into their expressions. The objective was to capture something real as well as something that would draw you in to their photograph.
What I found is that most of these people are just like the rest of us who “freeze” when they are in front of a camera. It got me curious as to what’s really going on.
We want people to see who we think we are. Our self image is what we want to convey. The difficulty is that self image is one we made up and got comfortable with and is nothing like the real us.
You really have to dig to get peoples’ depth. Peter is a master at this. He intuitively knows that he has to get them off their game in order to capture their depth. He’s made the process into an art form; and even though it takes lots of work and skill, the results are amazing when you see the final product.
People don’t like to have their picture taken because the resultant photograph they usually get to see is their false self – someone they can see right through. They figure if they can see it so can everyone else.
People don’t like their false selves even though they put that makeup on everyday. It’s the conditioned social mask we wear and we present that facade to just about everyone we encounter.
When I do a coaching or a therapy session, I have to dig past the veneer to get to the real person I’m interacting with and, more importantly, get them to discover that part of them as well. It’s an eye-opening discovery to find out we are a lot deeper than the person we pretend to be.
The next time you find yourself freezing in front of a camera, let it serve as a reminder that you are deeper than your fear. This recognition alone will allow you to remove layers of makeup and let a more secure and natural you to show through.
All the best,
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