My New Year’s Resolution was to blog three times a week, and we’ve all seen how that’s been going this month! Sorry, friends — life has been so hectic, but I’m trying to prioritize the blog and writing multiple posts a month like I used to! Today’s post is answering a question that I get a ton when I tell people I’ll pose for pictures anywhere. How do you do that without being afraid of making a scene?
It’s a good question. Before I started blogging, I’d take pictures around other people, but if there were huge crowds or I felt like people were staring at me, I’d immediately stop and try my best to fade into the background. I’m pretty outgoing, but I didn’t want people to think I was self-centered or obsessed with social media or narcissistic.
So what’s a blogger to do? Honestly, even if you aren’t a blogger, it’s nice to have attractive pictures in front of cool backgrounds. But how do you pose in public and look natural? It’s been a work in progress for me. I definitely struggled in the beginning, and during one of my first blogger photoshoots, I’m so painfully tense that I’m sure anyone who sees this picture wants to tell me to take a deep breath.
It’s a perfectly fine picture, but you can tell if you look closely that my smile is fake and my arms were bolted to my sides because I was so self-conscious! In order to post pictures that people can relate to, you have to be able to ignore any stares and flaunt it, baby!
I’m still not ready to hold posing classes, but I have learned some things during the past few months. If you have anxiety about standing out from the crowd, here are some tips that may prove useful to you.
If you’re inside a restaurant or coffee shop, ask for permission before taking pictures! Most of the time, people don’t care — and you’ll feel so much better knowing that you don’t have to sneak around.
Spend Time Warming Up
Just like any other performance, you need warm-up time! It may feel weird to “warm up” before you take pictures, but if you’re going to get relaxed, you need to give yourself some time! Have your photographer crack a few jokes and let you loosen up a little bit, and you’ll look natural in no time.
Remember That No One Really Cares
I’ve visited dozens of places around the country and taken pictures of myself in public pretty much everywhere I go. Most of the time, people really don’t care what you’re doing. If a stranger does care, it’s not like you’ll ever see them again. People may even think you’re a model, which is easily the most flattering compliment you can give someone.
Practice Makes Perfect
The only way you can really get good at anything is by allowing yourself to fail and trying all over again. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten dressed up, taken pictures and…hated all of them. It happens to me less these days, but it’s still something I’ve gone through. If you feel awkward, try again tomorrow!
Fake A Laugh
Yes, you’ll look a bit sinister as you laugh hysterically with yourself, but eventually, that laugh will start to feel like the real thing. The easiest way to relax is to realize how silly your fear is in the first place, and most of my shots where I’m genuinely smiling started with me pretending to laugh.
Take Pictures With Friends
When you’re having a tough time taking pictures that look natural, grab a friend and pose with them! You’ll feel way less self-conscious and also get to hang out with someone you love. How do you relax to take pictures of yourself?
Ayana Lage is a fashion and lifestyle blogger based in Tampa, Florida with a background in digital media and content marketing. She’s worked for Bustle, the Tampa Bay Times, the Miami Herald, and numerous freelance clients. As a blogger, she’s worked with 50+ lifestyle, fashion, travel and food brands. When she’s not blogging, she’s focused on her day job in digital marketing, watching Queer Eye, or laughing aloud at tweets from @dril.