Today, we are having a conversation about how to feel confident in front of the camera.
If we have not met, hello friend! My name is Tristan, and I am the CEO, founder, and head brand strategist for Wild Womn Haus.
We are a collaborative brand and marketing agency that works with visionary female and female-identifying entrepreneurs.
One question I get asked often is “how do you show up so bold and confident on camera?” In today’s article, I am giving you 6 new tips for how to feel confident in front of the camera.
I say 6 new tips because back in January of 2022, I wrote an article called How to Feel Confident in Front of The Camera – 5 Quick Tips.
So consider today’s version an “extended edition” of the original 5 tips.
But before I do so, I want to preface this conversation with an important distinction. I was not born knowing how to feel confident on camera…I had to teach myself.
Our business lives revolve around content creation as our primary form of organic marketing. So going into business in 2016, I realized that this was going to be a huge part of my journey.
And let me tell you that being confident in front of the camera was not as easy. There were a lot of curves. There were a lot of obstacles I had to overcome. And most of those obstacles had to do with my own self-image, the way I perceived my value, and the way I viewed my body.
I’ve been there too. There have had huge areas in my life of being insecure and feeling really awkward on camera and just feeling awkward as a person in life.
Growing up, I hated my smile. I had what I call British teeth, where they seemed to be coming out of all different angles in my mouth.
I had to be in braces for two and a half years. It was extremely painful and very embarrassing. Considering that my era of braces and my era of wanting to explore dating was a true cluster fuck.
Why universe? WHY.
I used to think that I had an extremely gummy smile. So I used to never show my teeth and photos. Literally from second grade or third grade all the way to my freshman year of high school, there is no photo of me smiling with my teeth.
While I used to hate my smile, now I always show up on camera smiling. My unique smile was something I had to learn to embrace and view as a unique characteristic of what makes me, me.
I’ve also had a lot of insecurities about my body. In part, because I used to struggle with an eating disorder in the past, but I also have PCOS or polycystic ovarian syndrome.
The combination of those two things has led my body on a very wild journey of changing shape, size, and proportions.
And that does a lot to your psyche. It does a lot to your emotional body.
But in going through that challenge, I learned how to take care of my body. I learned how to respect its needs and how to manage the hormonal symptoms of PCOS.
So learning how to work with my body from that side of things, but also from the body image side of things was a big journey. And it was something that was a huge part of feeling confident in front of the camera.
I share this story with you to say that I had to teach myself to be confident. I had to teach myself to let my outgoing, extroverted, and unapologetic side out.
But at the end of the day, what will help you overcome camera insecurities the most, is having a vision that is stronger than your fears.
Facing our fears of being seen becomes so much easier if you can find a fiery, passionate reason “why” you must conquer this challenge.
Ultimately, when you have a drive or a vision or a reason that’s bigger than the fear, you become a lot more willing to do what it takes to get out of your comfort zone and find solutions.
There are three things that have really driven me to overcome my insecurities about being on camera. I wanted to
To be successful in my business, I knew that I was going to have to be comfortable on camera, taking photos, and creating content.
So instead of fighting and saying, “oh my gosh, why do I have to create content” There’s no way I’m going to be on camera and be seen.”
I chose to get uncomfortable.
I was willing to overcome as many challenges as I needed so that I could:
Those became stronger than the fear or the insecurities of wanting to hide and not be on camera.
The second thing that really helped me overcome my camera insecurities was shifting my perspective around content creation as a whole.
I started viewing it as art rather than work. So one of the reasons that I enjoy creating content, doing my own photo shoots, and putting together outfits and creative directions and mood boards is I view them as a creative outlet.
They’re still part of my job. But for me, creativity has always been a huge piece of who I am.
I actually grew up wanting to become a professional artist. So I toured art schools such as RISD (Rhode Island School of Design) and SDA (School of Design and Art) in New York. I was hell-bent on going to an art institute and becoming a well-known artist.
And then something happened when I was making the transition from high school to college. I had the realization that the paradigm of the “poor artist” is a very real thing.
And rather than sticking to my guns, I let the fear stop me from pursuing my passion.
I retreated from art and I ventured into a more “safe” career route when what I really wanted to do was to be an artist and to be creative.
It’s hilarious to me that this passion has come full circle in my career. Now, I get to be the creative visionary and strategic thinker for my clients.
From content creation, photography, fashion and style, and all of these different mediums that we get to work with spark my inner artist.
I share this story with you to illustrate that the perspective you view being on camera can make your break your ability to enjoy your marketing.
Instead of thinking “I have to do this because this is part of my marketing. This is part of my sales process. This is part of my advertising.”
What if you approached being on camera through the lens of “this is a form of self-expression for me, this is a form of creativity for me. This is a way for me to share my perspectives, my likes, my dislikes, my interests”, etc.
The third thing is that I’ve wanted to start capturing more of the beautiful memories from my life.
When I look back, I don’t have a lot of images of college. I don’t have a lot of images of grad school. I don’t have a lot of images of certain moments in high school.
And that’s because I personally didn’t take very many. I didn’t capture very many videos or images during that time. And that’s something that I really wanted to work on cultivating for my own happiness and my own fulfillment and my own ability to look back and go, “oh my gosh.
I remember that moment. The feelings, the sounds, the smells, the people around me, I remember it all,”
I want to have those vivid memories because that’s part of what makes life so beautiful. Even though the content that we’re creating is related to our business and our brand, they are still capturing moments in time.
The content we capture is still reflective of moments in time when we were on a journey as entrepreneurs. What our goals were, what our fears were, what our ambitions were.
It’s like a snapshot in time that you get to create when you put more energy into your content, and ultimately when you show up confidently on camera.
I encourage you to find a big reason why it’s worth it for you to work on being more unapologetic on camera, being bolder on camera, letting more of your personality back, and not holding back.
We are in the era of unapologetic, social media.
If you look around, there are so many people who just do not give a fuck, and truly let themselves be seen. That is so beautiful because if you look at history, there has been so much repression of self-expression. There has been such a dampening of individuality.
But now we are in an era where you really just get to let yourself shine.
Sure, there’s bigotry. Sure. There’s hatred. Sure. There’s negative feedback. That’s always going to exist to some extent, but never before have we lived in a time where self-expression was more encouraged.
We literally have a tool called a cell phone in our hand that we can use to express ourselves to the world and have a global audience.
To take advantage of this opportunity and I’m going to give you six tips on how to cultivate your camera confidence.
But remember, it starts with finding a reason for showing up that is bigger than the fears and insecurities.
Once you’ve addressed the insecurities and grounded yourself in a reason for why you want to be more visible and unapologetic on camera, here are 6 tips to help you take your next steps forward.
If you follow me on TikTok or Instagram, you’ll see that I post content about brand archetypes.
Brand archetypes are something that is based on Greek mythology in combination with centuries of psychological data. There are 12 big themes in personalities that keep showing up throughout every generation, century, and millennium.
These personalities continue to show up because they’re part of the human psyche. Some examples of these personalities are the:
For example, let’s start with the lover archetype.
To visualize the lover, think of glam, Hollywood, sexy pinup type of energy. Think of the Kardashians or anybody that really leads with sensuality. The lover connects with people through sensuality, intimacy, love, and romance.
Now let’s go to the opposite end of that spectrum with the explorer archetype.
The Explorer would be rugged. They would be more of somebody that constantly has dirt under their fingernails. They want to get out into the world and they want to just get their hands dirty.
These are polar opposite archetypes.
But you can see how based on the example of these two archetypes, you would show up on camera in very different ways. You would have very different “on-camera energy”.
And when you know the archetype that you fall into, it gives you guidance on how to exemplify and express that archetype so that you feel super confident on camera.
I am a combination of the creator, the rebel, and the lover. So I show up with more sensual energy in my photography. But I am very creative and expressive, and I like to show you my process. So I give you a lot of behind-the-scenes breakdown videos. But I also embody that rebel energy, which is bold, unapologetic, breaking the rules, looking for new ways to do things, not afraid to stand out, etc.
Ask yourself, “what archetype(s) do I embody, what are the personality traits I exhibit, and how can I bring that energy on camera?”
The second tip has more to do with the actual planning of a photo shoot.
If you’re going somewhere new to shoot photos, you need to experience the space before the day of your shoot.
For example, if I’m going to shoot at a hotel, a pool, or a restaurant, I always want to see the space first.
I want to walk around it, be in it, and get ideas. Being able to be in the space is important to assess what the furniture, lighting, and foot traffic are like.
You need to be able to see the colors and the backdrop and the props you could use. And it’s important to identify the specific spots at the location where you could capture some great shots.
Go to the spot and just walk around. Get a feel for the space, get a feel for where you feel the most comfortable.
If you’re somebody that’s going to immediately shut down if somebody walks by, maybe you want to try and find more of a secluded location.
If you’re somebody who doesn’t care if people see you, then you have more flexibility with your location.
Once you’ve gone to your location, my third tip is to create a shot list.
A shot-list of photos with varying angles and poses that you want to get during your shoot. One really easy way to do this is to go on Pinterest and look up different body positions or different shots that correspond with your brand archetype.
Let’s just say, for the sake of consistency, we’re working with the Lover and we’re working with the Explorer.
Well, if I’m doing the lover archetype, which is all about connecting with people through intimacy, sensuality, romanticism, love, etc, I’m probably going to want to go to more of a moody, dimly lit space. The shots are going to be soft, more feminine, more sensual, more enticing, and maybe even a little provocative.
Conversely, the explorer would be most at home in the outdoors. You’ll want to look for photos that inspire the concept of discovery and adventure. You could do shots of you looking out oer the horizon, or power poses that exude confidence and determination.
For your shot list, you want to think about your:
If you are working with a professional photographer, asked to see photos throughout the entire shoot. Ask to see photos every 20-30 shots.
You want to be able to evaluate the light, your posture, and your facial expressions. As humans, we are usually unaware of what we’re doing with our faces. You might think you look happy when in reality, you’re giving major RBF.
If you ask the photographer to see the photos that you’re taking, then you can make adjustments so that you get the results that you’re looking for.
If you’re doing your photos by yourself with a tripod, clicker, or timer, do the same thing. Set your phone to auto-capture.
Do a couple of different poses and then stop and go look at those photos and say, “okay, I really liked that one”. But whatever I was doing in this photo, we’re going to stay away from that because my face was weird or I was making a really bad expression.”
It’s all about looking at it from an artistic perspective. You’re trying to capture an emotion and a feeling that you can tell through the story of your photography.
Ask yourself, “Is this photo telling the story that I want to tell?” and practice you get the result your after.
The fifth tip is to get a variety of angles. If you ever come across a really beautiful, aesthetic Instagram feed, you’re gonna notice that they use different angles in all of their photography.
One account I absolutely love is @lexiconofstyle. She is a fashion and lifestyle influencer with a fantastic sense of humor. Her account is a great example of showcasing different types of angles, perspectives, and lighting throughout her photography.
This makes your feed visually interesting.
Instead of having every single photo be a closeup of your face, try adding some images where you’re further in the background or really close.
Find an example of an account that shows a lot of different angles and try to incorporate that into your feed. It makes your content very visually interesting for your eye to look at.
Everything tells a story. So you want to make sure that the narrative you’re sharing is interesting and streamlined.
Let’s move on to the final tip in this series.
Now, this is something that I have learned to do. It took me a while to figure this out, but the minute that I started implementing this tip, my content creation got easier. My engagement got better. And the overall quality of my content made some big improvements.
Tip number six is to get some B roll footage. If you have not heard of B roll, think of it this way.
Let’s say you’re out doing a photo shoot. You’re working with a photographer and she’s taking photos of you. But in addition to your photographer, you also have somebody in the background on their phone that is filming you.
They’re capturing video of all these different poses, as you’re laughing, as you’re talking throughout the whole thing, as you’re walking to different locations.
This is called B roll.
B roll is like the background, the backend, the behind-the-scenes. And the ways that you can use b roll footage are practically endless.
You can very easily turn b roll into:
Video content makes your social presence and your branded media so much more interesting, lively, and relevant considering how video IS marketing and social media these days.
So that is the end of my six tips on how to feel more confident in front of the camera. I love talking about this topic because to me, content creation, photography, and videography are all about self-expression.
I hope these six tips helped you out, gave you some perspective, and if you’re wanting, even more, check out How to Feel Confident in Front of The Camera – 5 Quick Tips.
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Connect with the Author:
Tristan Thibodeau is the founder of Wild Womn Haus and is a brand strategist for entrepreneurs in the wellness, beauty, and lifestyle brand industries.
She specializes in helping companies create and maintain their image. She works with market research, industry analysis, and consumer trends to offer strategic insights for brands so that they can enhance their marketing efforts and grow their bottom line.
Tristan also hosts The Wild Womn Hotline, which is a podcast that features expert-level conversations for growing your brand in bold and strategic ways.
Follow her on Instagram @tristan.wildwomnhaus and follow the agency on Instagram @wildwomnhaus and TikTok @tristan.wildwomnhaus!