Do you have a fear of being on camera?
Building a personal brand means you need to be out there in photos and videos to attract your audience. But how do you do that when you have a fear of being on camera?
Do you look at photos of yourself and instantly think about all the things you dislike about yourself in it?
You can see photos of other people and appreciate the photo of them as the fact that they are showing up for their people. But the photos of you, you instantly pick apart with the inner voice of “ not good enough” and you “should” all over yourself and your appearance.
Sound familiar? I only know it because I do it too. And after 15 years as a professional photographer, trust me when I say that we all do it.
It’s easy to hate photos of yourself. Which usually leads to having a fear of being on camera.
For our entire lives, we’ve been told through media, magazines and the weight loss industry how “not enough” we are.
Even BritneySpears sang about being not enough in “Piece of Me”
“I’m Mrs. Oh my God that Britney’s shameless!
(You want a piece of me)
I’m Mrs. Extra! Extra! this just in
(You want a piece of me)
I’m Mrs. she’s too big now she’s too thin
(You want a piece of me)
Everywhere we turn there are messages telling us that we should be different looking than we are.
And it’s hard not to believe it right? You think
“If only I was 10 pounds lighter.”
“I should have worn a long sleeve shirt”
“People will pay attention to me more once I appear to have authority.”
These are all stories we tell ourselves.
When we subconsciously believe that inner voice who says we are not enough.
Or that we will *finally* be happy with our appearance once we lose X pounds.
But today I want to help you get past that inner voice.
That critic saying you are not enough that makes you feel fear about being in photos and videos.
You are here to build your personal brand, make an impact in the world and truly build your online business, being on camera is part of the deal.
To really be able to build your personal brand, you need to be out there in photos and videos.
You aren’t gonna get the opportunity to naturally connect with people in person when your business is all online.
That doesn’t change that people want to connect with YOU.
To do that in the online space, the only way is to get past your fear of being on camera
You likely have a fear of being on camera if you:
- Avoid sharing photos of yourself.
- Avoid Facebook/IG Lives and other video opportunities.
- Hide behind stock photos or photos of your work.
- Pick apart your appearance in photos and videos. Looking for the parts of yourself that you dislike (and ignoring the rest).
Here are 6 tips to help you get past your fear of being on camera (so that you can build your personal brand and make the impact you dream of):
1 – Control Your Thoughts
Your mind is a crazy powerful thing.
And your thoughts hold a lot of power over you.
In a situation where you are being photographed, or you are hopping on a Live for the first time, thoughts matter.
You need to make sure you are only thinking positively about yourself. And the experience you are about to have.
When you tell yourself that this will be a horrible experience, then you are creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. Of the worst kind.
Because your mind looks for ways to confirm your thoughts. It’s called confirmation bias.
If you are looking for how much it’s going to suck, you will show up in a way that will suck and you will confirm your thoughts.
But if you walk into the same situation telling yourself that it will be fun. That you are going to enjoy yourself and that your audience enjoy hearing what you have to say….
Then you’ll show up more confidently. You’ll be less nervous. When you believe in your value and you’ll find yourself having an easier time than you ever thought you could.
You’ll then look at the photo or video, and you’ll see yourself relaxed and confident.
Which will build your confidence to do it again the next time!
So, then next time you are going to be on camera, control your thoughts.
Only think about good things and about how you are enjoying yourself and you want to be there doing that thing.
And your body language will show it and you’ll be so much happier with the results.
Your thoughts show up in your body language, which is read the image.
2 – Believe in Yourself
This next tip falls right in line with controlling your thoughts but goes even deeper.
At the end of the day, do you believe in the impact you want to make? Do you believe in the knowledge that you share? Do you believe that you can make a difference in the lives of others?
Then believe in yourself enough to show up confidently. And make sure to keep the microphone away from that mean critic living in your own head. Because no one else is looking for those flaws that you are looking for.
Your people are excited to get to know you. They are excited to see you show up and share more of yourself and your knowledge with them. People are not thinking about how you are 10 pounds heavier than you want to be. They have no reference to even think about your weight.
If you show up in a way that shows you are confident in yourself and in your skin, then they also see that. And they appreciate you for showing up! And this is how you serve. This is how you make an impact!
And when you show up confidently, even when not perfect, it makes you that more relatable.
Because, while your audience is not thinking about YOUR flaws, they are always thinking about their own.
And by showing up, even with flaws, it shows that you are a human. And it makes people relate even more deeply.
Let’s take Amy Porterfield for example.
She is the host of the Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast and she is a great example of a thriving personal brand. She has something like 300+ podcast episodes about marketing and building a business online.
But do you know her most popular episode is? It’s the one where she talks about her insecurities being on camera.
How she wanted to lose weight and it was holding her back from truly showing up.
She gives massive actionable content on her regular episodes. But the one that people love the most is the one where she shows up a human.
She shares some of her flaws and her struggles. And she is loved even more for it.
So don’t wait till you feel like it’s a perfect time. Show up now, and be human, and people will relate to you that much more because of it!
3- Dress for Attraction (not that kind of attraction…🙃)
When you are showing up in photos and videos as a personal brand, your attire matters.
How you are showing up will attract your dream audience. And that has to do with your appearance.
What you wear is attracting and repelling people. Which is exactly what you want! It doesn’t matter if you choose to be relaxed in your attire, or polished. What matters is that it’s consistant with your brand AND attracting the right kind of clients.
Then show that way consistently!
The consistency in how often and HOW you show up will teach your audience what to expect and what to look for!
I always suggest using your brand colors in your photos. So that your photos work with your branding and can build on your brand recognition. You don’t have to be over the top… but having your brand colors somewhere in your photos is a very effective tool. Either in attire, accessories or props
The thing to remember, as a personal brand, is that YOU are your product.
Showcase your product in a way that makes the people you want to work with interested in learning more!
4- Learn About Angles and Light
The picture here, light is good. Angle not so much. This is what you need to keep an eye out for! 🥴
The magic of technology is that you don’t have to know the bells and whistles of camera gear. Auto works well and you have a great camera and video camera in your pocket all the time.
So don’t worry about the tech side of photography, but learn what angles look best for you.
Practice in front of the mirror to see what looks the best standing, and sitting. See what you like best. Do that when you are being photographed and you’ll know how to stand that will make you look and feel good.
Start paying attention to lighting.
For photos and videos, you want to have the viewer’s eyes brought to your face. So make sure your face isn’t in shadow.
Make sure there are not weird hot spots on your face, and that your eyes don’t go dark. If they do, move to a different location until your eyes are lit. Your face is where people’s eyes are drawn to in the photo.
It doesn’t have to be hard, just intentional.
With these small tweaks, you’ll find what works best for you, and then repeat it! Repeat it each time and you’ll get great results!
Check out my course The Brand Photography System to learn more about how to take photos and videos of yourself to build your brand.
5- Practice Practice Practice
It’s as easy as this. The more you do it, the easier it becomes. And this works for showing up on camera as well.
The more photos you have, the more Lives you do, the more Stories and Reels you share. The easier it will be to show up the next time.
Remember when you were a kid and you learned how to ride your bike? You started out with training wheels and figured it out a bit. Then got a bit more confident and you practiced a ton with those training wheels till you felt ready to remove the training wheels?
The first handful of times you rode your bike without the training wheels, you were wobbly and uncertain. You may have even fallen a couple of times. But then after a week or so, you were riding through the neighborhood with your best friends as if you were born on that bike.
Seeing yourself in photos and videos is like riding your bike.
At first, it’s awkward.
You’ll do it wrong.
You won’t love the results, but you are okay with them.
Then you do it more often.
You like the results a bit more each time.
You find out what works for you. After a little bit of time, you find yourself super confident on camera and you are connecting with your audience!
That fear of being on camera will slowly melt way.
But you have to show up, try and fail a couple of times before you can show up polished. Just practice!
Practice with IG stories. They disappear in 24 hours anyway.
Practice with putting pictures of your face in your feed and see how people interact.
Practice practice practice! Eventually, you’ll find yourself enjoying the process!
At the end of the day, YOU are your product. And when you separate yourself from your photos it will become easier to do. Don’t let your fear of being on camera stop you from making the impact you dream of.
So, put aside your inner critic, and create some photos of yourself today to be able to post and share online with your audience.