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How to be Confident In Front of the Camera

The NUMBER ONE QUESTION I get asked is how to stay confident when posing.

For some people, getting photographed is a lot easier than for others. There are ones who are anxious, nervous and overall confused when they get in front of the lens.

 

Have you ever said or thought one of the following:
''I freeze when I see a camera in front of my face.''
''What should I do with my hands?''
''Am I required to smile or not?''

These are all valid questions, but it's easy to underestimate them. I want to share with you my own experience when it comes to being in front of the lens.

If you have been following me for some time, you know that I have a rich background in self-portraiture.

That allowed me to feel confident in my skin not only when I am also the one behind the lens, but when I am being photographed by others too.

I think it's very important to gain that self-confidence and to feel comfortable in your body. 

Yes, it is easier said than done, but here are some tips to help you along the way.
 

1. PRACTICE MAKES.... BETTER!

isabella bubola self portrait

Try this to practice 'posing' and get to know yourself:

  • Look at yourself in the mirror and try to find poses that suit you and that make you feel powerful
  • How does your face looks like in different lighting situations? What kind of poses work with different light sources (sunlight, a lamp in the house, a reflection from the sea)
  • Take selfies in good light and tilt your head, move your shoulders - explore how your body moves and what kind of poses work best for you.

We all walk, laugh, sit in a different manner and it's all part of what makes us distinguishable and interesting.

I can spot some of my friends from far away, before I see their faces clearly, because I can perceive the way they walk and my brain knows it can't be anyone else but them.

Knowing your poses will help you be more relaxed in front of the camera and once you're comfortable enough with those, you will have enough space to try something new.
 

2. FOOD KEEPS YOU FEEL MORE ENERGIZED

healthy lunch

Junk food tastes jummy! What's better than a freshly baked pizza with oozing mozzarella and a lot of basil on top?

That said, junk food is called like that for a reason. It's mostly food that we enjoy a lot, but it isn't exactly the best for our gut health. 

Fruits and veggies will make your body a lot happier, as well as a healthy amount of proteins. They will also make you feel more energized and that feeds confidence!

I have a lot of problems with gut health and food intolerance and you can immediately tell if I've been eating proper or not just by looking at my face. 

(Btw, I am currently working very hard to make my health better because my immunity had recently reached a low point.)

Long story short: healthy food is good in the long run, but don't forget to treat yo'self from time to time! My favourite treat is small pizzas, of course! Made with puff pastry, mushrooms and tuna.


3. EXERCISE BOOSTS ENDORPHINS

It has been proven that regular moderate exercise helps beat depression, increases the quality of sleep, strengthens the heart and lowers blood pressure. 

And guess what else? 

You could see this one coming - exercise boosts your self-esteem too!

How is that possible?

Well, when we exercise, our brain produces chemical substances that are called endorphins. They trigger an elevated, positive feeling in the body, reducing the feeling of pain. In a way, they act as analgesics.

Have you ever danced, swam, biked or ran and, although you were dripping in sweat, you still felt SO GOOD? Those are endorphins at their best - giving you, as what is often referred to as a ''runner's high''!

It has been proven that such a simple yet frequently underestimated activity such as walking holds huge benefits for our brain. 

Any kind of moderate exercise and physical activity is surely going to lift you up and provide a kick of self-confidence.

Give it a try!

isabella bubola model

What is it that makes you feel good and more self-confident? Have you ever experienced a runner's high? Share your thoughts in the comments below :)

Finding Vivian Maier's privacy

Have you seen the documentary about Vivian Maier?
If you haven’t, you should.

A strict nanny, but also a photographer whose works haven’t seen the light until a few years ago, Vivian Maier made thousands upon thousand of photographs during her lifetime.

Those works have been found and revealed by John Maloof who accidentally bought a huge box of negatives on an auction and found out they were really, really good. He was curious and wanted to know more about the artists herself - who WAS this Vivian Maier?

He tried Google - nothing came up. Strange, isn’t it? He had all this amazing work from a completely unknown photographer and decided to scan the negatives and try reaching for Vivian’s family and friends because Vivian herself passed back in 2009.
There came a surprise - she did not have any family left and not many friends either. The people who remember her most are the kids she used to babysit and they've got both joyful and dark stories to tell about her.

(Photo source HERE)

Deciding to create a documentary about Vivian’s life, even though he’s never met her, Maloof sets out on a mission to connect the bits and pieces of her life.
He was granted access to her storage unit and found a massive pile of Vivian’s stuff like letters, her hats and coats, newspaper articles, undeveloped film, tickets, flyers etc. from the 70s and the 80s.

I won’t be writing a movie review here, but I’ll rather focus on the matter of privacy.

Wikipedia describes privacy as the ability of an individual or group to seclude themselves, or information about themselves, and thereby express themselves selectively. The boundaries and content of what is considered private differ among cultures and individuals, but share common themes.

 

With phone and computer hackings, privacy has surpassed being a right and it is now a privilege. Who does have that sort of privilege?
I assume that only a small percentage of people have the freedom to keep their documents private without leaving a trace.


Vivian was a very private, reclusive person. She needed a lock in her room and didn’t allow anybody to come in. She was also a pack rat and her room was the reflection of a typical hoarder: chaotic, with stuff all over the place and so many stacks of newspapers that you could barely walk.

Now that she’s gone, the author of the movie revealed all this information about her to us, the viewers. He revealed the things that she kept in secrecy and didn’t tell anyone about.

There have recently been committed privacy crimes in terms of leaking nude photos of celebrities. Is this much different?
That internet leak of photos was meant to harm and embarrass.
John was fascinated by the splendid works of a photographer the art world knew nothing about. He made sure to have the works exhibited and promoted, therefore promoting the name of Vivian Maier herself.

Would she have approved? And how much does it matter, now that she’s not among the living?

 

(Photo source HERE)

(Photo source HERE)

From one standpoint, it’s unethical to disrupt someone’s privacy, but from another stance, now we’re given the opportunity to enjoy her work. The Egyptians surely didn’t want anybody rumbling around their pyramids, yet hoards of tourists visit them every day. Many works of art were hidden for decades and, once found, presented to the audience in museums or galleries.

Dedicating yourself to archive and exhibit in public places so many works made by an unknown artist, like Maloof has done, could be a long and nerve-wracking but, in the end, extremely valuable act. We can learn so much not only about the artist, but also about a certain period of time by looking at paintings, photographs, sculptures and other works that emerged from it.

What is the point of creation if you keep it all to yourself? Have those photos actually been created for the eyes of others as well as Vivian’s?

I think I’ve come to an unanswerable question. I find her photographs splendid and I’m glad I can take a sneak peak into Vivian’s world and way of seeing things. 

The best thing to do is watch the movie and judge by yourself. And pssst, rumour has it that the documentary could be nominated for the Oscars!

Let me know in the comments below what you think!
Was it wrong to publicly display all Vivian’s things? Is art meant to be enjoyed by the public?