How To Start Being In Front of The Camera Instead of Behind It

So this marks the first of my photography based blog posts. The first of many for sure. Despite this part being the first thing you read, this was the last thing I typed. And I can assure you, I loved writing every word of this. this. So I hope you enjoy it as much I did creating it, whether it’s a quick skim read or reading it from start to finish. Let me know your thoughts in the comments! I will be doing more detailed posts on how to take shots soon.
Before I get into the posts that will be more in depth about photography and my experiences on the blog, I thought I’d start simple, and more importantly, at the beginning. For those that have been with me for a while, particularly on instagram, you’ll have noticed about 3 months ago, there was a slight shift in my style of photos.
I’m now physically in my pictures.
Before, it was product after product after cat after pair of legs on a white bed. I wanted to make it MINE. There’s now a face, a body, a style, a person actually on my instagram page instead of behind it. And I couldn’t be happier (despite the nasty algorithm, but I think I’m boring myself with how much I go on about it so I’ll leave that there).

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I know of SO many girls (no boys as of yet) that want to start taking pictures of themselves, create more fashion/editorial style content and just have more fun. But most, like past me, have no clue where to start and how to make that first leap of faith. Because that’s what it feels like.
A leap of faith.
Anything you post on the internet gives people the opportunity to judge. Which may be why some people, particularly 45 year old Mums on Facebook, choose to show only the best parts of their lives. Fair enough. You do you. But the thought of someone judging how you’ve styled your hair, done your makeup, what you’re wearing, how you’ve posed, if you’ve facetuned your skin too much etc etc…is a lot more daunting than someone judging what blusher you’ve papped and posted on instagram.

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So this post is me giving you that push to take the plunge. It’s like a friendly nudge on the back. But also a firm ‘YOU CAN DO THIS’ shove. Like when I learned to ride my bike and that last little push on the back of the saddle from Dad was all I needed.
Please don’t assume that I REALLY know what I’m talking about. I’m new to this too, hence why I’m writing all of my thoughts and experiences as I learn. These are just my pointers/tips on starting to be in front of the camera instead of behind it.

Feeling Comfortable

The first step for me, was feeling comfortable. This can be applied to YouTube videos too in the sense that, you can always tell if someone is looking a little uptight, tense or just not themselves in photos.
I’d hate for you to think I’m just sat here saying ‘FEEL COMFORTABLE’. It’s like telling someone who’s clinically depressed to cheer up. I’d like to offer advice on feeling more and more comfortable.
Instead of me just saying ‘practice makes perfect’ which I feel most people are aware of by now, I’d suggest doing some shoots on your own first if the thought of someone else taking a picture of you posing is a daunting.  Because I am with you on that one.
Take some time to set up a tripod – an actual one or one made out of books, boxes and whatever else you have the skills to balance a camera on or even just your arm – and snap away. The more content you create including yourself and your body, the more chance you’ll fall in love with the process and eventually, the images.
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Start Small

If having a full, head to toe picture of yourself posted everywhere is a little too much. THAT’S OK! Start small, whether that’s a single item of clothing like some shoes, skirt, the neckline of a blouse. Something simple. The details of some jewelry or the buckle on a belt. Don’t feel like you have to go all out with lighting, top of the range lens and a blogger street in Notting Hill. These types of photos are still really popular on instagram!
Believe it or not, it really does help with posing. Even if it’s just your hand in the picture. You start to get the feel of what poses work, the positions you may find yourself in and the level of ‘silliness’ you originally experience. That fades after time don’t worry.
Then, in time, you start to discover a real passion for photography. I wrote about my recent discovery here, but I have a feeling a lot more posts will be coming. Maybe one on my love for portrait photography.

Review Review Review

The moment you get a glance at a photo of you, it’s like it automatically boosts your confidence. Rocket up the arse style. You start to see changes you’d like to make to the angle, lighting, the way your stood, what your hands are doing etc. Don’t look at it negatively like ‘Oh god I look fat, my top shows off my weird armpit bulge, my tops clung to the wrong parts of me’. Take is as ‘That pose doesn’t work for me, lets try something else’. POSITIVE POSITIVE POSITIVE
Don’t snap away in the hope you’ll get one good one. It just doesn’t work for me. I have to either see what I’m taking when I’m taking it (I connect it up to my phone so I can see what the camera is capturing on my phone screen – post coming soon) or constantly have a flick through the snaps. My last shots are nearly always my best.

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Let It GooOoOo

HAVE. FUN! If shooting an outfit/makeup look/or just yourself for no reason because why not fills you with absolute horror. Then don’t do it. Refer back to the previous point and start small.
Look forward to shooting. It’s you time. IT’S SO MUCH FUN AND NOT VAIN AT ALL.
I feel people, mainly not from the blogging world admittedly, are so quick to pass judgement when you ask to take a photo of them or see you posing. Before I started blogging, I was always snapping away at friends, even when they didn’t ask, because I knew they wanted a picture. People LOVE having nice photo’s of themselves. They’re nice to have. A keepsake of the night or trip away. My whole ‘IT’S NOT BEING VAIN’ rant is for another blog post, but you get the jist.
Ignore those feelings of paranoia and let go!

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Practise EXPERIMENT!

This is obvious. So I won’t say much. But what I will say is, experiment. In the same sense as experimenting with girls and boys I guess. See what you fancy. Whether it’s the lighting, shadows, depth of focus, style, filters. Don’t be afraid to do what YOU want to do.   Deffo calls for another blog post!

Learn Your ‘You’ Pose(s)

One final bit of advice, is learn what works best for you. In the same sense that, people suit different types of winged eyeliner because of the shape of their eyes. People suit different stances and poses due to the shape of their bodies. I don’t know if anyone’s tried, but back in the say where I was scared of liquid eyeliner (ok still am a little), I would try and copy tutorials on youtube. It got to the point where I nailed it and was doing exactly what shanxo or BabsBeauty were doing. But it still didn’t suit me.
The penny dropped and I realized I needed to find my own shape and style. THIS IS THE EXCITING PART. Again, experiment, review, experiment, review. What ever pose you like best – take a mental note on that one and save it for later.
Just don’t be disheartened when you imitate a certain pose from an instagram account and it doesn’t quite work. That’s ok. Find your You Pose!

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This one turned out to be super lengthy, but I’m just so enthusiastic and have so much to say on it. I want to help as many people as possible get to the happy point I’m at – even if instagram is being a lil poo about it all.

What did you think? Would you find any more posts beneficial?

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13 Comments

  1. Megan McCoig
    19th August 2017 / 1:31 pm

    This post has given me so much motivation to start snapping my outfit pictures myself. For the longest time I’ve waited for others to be free todo it but I need to try it for myself and see how it turns out. Can’t wait for more photography posts, I LOVED this one ❤️

    • lexilife
      22nd August 2017 / 3:59 pm

      Aw megan thank you so much babe!! xx

  2. 19th August 2017 / 10:11 pm

    LOVED this post as always!! I found it so so helpful as I’ve been thinking about starting to be in front of the camera instead of just behind it and put a face to my blog instead of just photos of beauty products. I’m definitely going to take your advice on starting small and gradually take shots of myself until I can fully put myself out there. You have given me a nudge to just do it! Also, can’t wait for more of these types of posts! Your photos are absolutely gorgeous so I’m definitely going to take your advice!! Keep it up gal, also loving your YouTube 💗💗

    • lexilife
      22nd August 2017 / 3:58 pm

      Aw amelia thank you so so much. Being in my pictures is the best thing that’s happened to me, not just because of the growth and following, but for my happiness and satisfaction! Please try it and don’t give up! Thank you xxxx

  3. 20th August 2017 / 10:02 am

    Good post and great pictures. I have been using tripods for years and doing self portraits…I just haven’t loved any of them enough to really share. Everybody else seems to love them if they ever see them but I don’t love them. Your post is good for inspiring people to step outside the box. I will keep reading to see how things go for you outside the box :).

    • lexilife
      22nd August 2017 / 3:58 pm

      Thank you so much for leaving this comment! One day you will see what everyone else sees in your pictures! xxx

  4. 20th August 2017 / 10:45 am

    Ahh I loved reading this! You look so gorgeous in all of your pictures 🙂 I want to start taking more outfit shots and I find I’m so awkward and get so nervous about it x

    Jessie | allthingsbeautiful-x

    • lexilife
      22nd August 2017 / 3:56 pm

      Thank you Jessie!! You’ve just got to own what you’re doing, think of the end result instead of the awkwardness of here and now. It’ll be so worth it! xx

  5. 21st August 2017 / 11:18 am

    This post was so unbelievably helpful! My boyfriend is really good with photography so I might enlist him to help me a little more because I’ve been wanting to add more personality to my blog photos for ages now, thanks for the great advice Katy!

    Jess x
    http://acornlifefitness.com

    • lexilife
      22nd August 2017 / 3:55 pm

      Aw jess thanks so so much!! Yes grab your boyfriend, if he’s already into photography that’s a win win. Go for it! xx

  6. 21st August 2017 / 6:12 pm

    I absolutely love reading this post! I’m trying to incorporate more and more photos of my face and body into my blog, but I find being in front of the camera so uncomfortable. I have pretty low self-esteem, o when I’m flicking through photos of myself, I struggle to choose one that I think looks ‘best’ but I feel like after reading this post, I just need to get out there and experiment a bit more – not just with poses, but with makeup looks, hair and clothes until I feel comfortable and happy whilst having my picture taken and with the pictures that come out.

    Olivia – The Northernist x

    • lexilife
      22nd August 2017 / 3:55 pm

      Aw this makes me so happy. Thank you so much for taking the time to leave this comment! I really really hope you start to feel more comfortable and love the photos you’re in. Once it happens for the first time and you find one that you love, it snowballs. I promise! x

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