The Fear of Being Photographed

Hello and welcome to our first blog post!

Being a Headshot Photographer in Reading and Wokingham for a while now, today I want to talk about something i've noticed that (almost) every single client of mine has in common - everyone arrives with a certain anxiety about having their headshots taken.

 Geoff was very self deprecating before our Headshot session - but look how cool he looks!

Geoff was very self deprecating before our Headshot session - but look how cool he looks!

Luckily I've managed to change everyone's state of mind by the end of the session and everyone leaves with a smile on their faces, but I am shocked by how uncomfortable people feel about having their headshots done either when they make first contact with The Headshot Studio or when they first arrive.

I find this strange as modern culture is dominated by smartphone cameras and selfies, so you would assume that everyone would be used to being photographed - So why the headshot phobia?

A quick Google search brings up Scopophobia, which is the fear of being stared at by others or the fear of drawing attention to oneself. I'm sure there are plenty of people that suffer from this, which seems like a form of anxiety, but I don't think that this applies my clients, as they probably wouldn't contact me in the first place.

 Wendy was more confident than most (she is American!) but some self doubt remained at the beginning of the headshot session, these thoughts quickly dissapeared after a chat before the shoot and the results speak for themselves!

Wendy was more confident than most (she is American!) but some self doubt remained at the beginning of the headshot session, these thoughts quickly dissapeared after a chat before the shoot and the results speak for themselves!

I think that the main culprit for these thoughts and feelings of my clients is down to low self esteem. We all suffer from it (I know I do sometimes) and with the media and the internet throwing out unrealistic (and in most cases heavily photoshopped) images of perfect looking people, its no wonder that people feel the way they do about themselves. Sure, unrealistic beauty has been around for a long time in the form of TV and print, but the internet, and particularly smartphones, bombard us with these images wherever we may be, all day long.

Below is a fantastic Ted talk hosted by American Headshot Photographer, Peter Hurley (a bit of a hero of mine) and psychologist Anna Rowley and they make some fantastic points, its well worth a watch:

 

So What Can I Do To Help?

I am incredibly focused on making sure my clients are comfortable and happy during our headshot session. I do this in a number of ways. First, I always take several minutes to talk to my clients when they arrive at The Headshot Studio and get to know them, so they become more comfortable with me and studio area itself. I don't starting taking photos until I feel as though my client is comfortable in their surroundings. I have relaxing music playing in the background during the headshot session and selection process which is great for ambience, and I keep the the entire headshot session lighthearted, relaxed and carefree.

Every single client leaves our studio in a more positive frame of mind than when they first came (I constantly hear "that wasn't so bad" or "That was a much nicer experience than I thought it would be"), and that surely is the best kind of job satisfaction there is.

Book your Headshot session with The Headshot Studio (even if you suffer from Scopophobia) via email or by calling 07917 825 318.

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