Tips on How to Overcome Shyness and Be Camera-Ready
Working in front of the camera can be a daunting prospect for new talents — learn how to overcome your shyness and banish those nerves with these tips.
Did you know that according to a study carried out by Dove, 77% of women are camera shy while 57% feel that how they look is going to have a negative impact on how they feel in front of a camera. And believe it or not, even aspiring models and actors (both female and male) also suffer from frazzled nerves once they get under the studio lights.
The point we’re trying to make here is that camera shyness or feeling nervous when you hear the words ‘smile’ or ‘action’ is perfectly normal and something that many people suffer from.
But yes, you’re right — if you’re looking to forge a successful career in the entertainment industry, then camera shyness is something you’ll just have to get over. And that’s exactly what we’re going to help you do with these simple tips.
Accept your shyness
As we said earlier, feeling shy in front of a camera is perfectly normal behaviour especially if this is something that you have never done before.
So first things first — accept that you’re shy and that those butterflies in your stomach actually exist. Remember too that even the most famous movie stars and models most likely felt just the way you do right now and things turned out okay for them.
Get familiar with on-camera work
You know what they say about how practice makes perfect? Well, we’re not going for perfection here at all, we’re going for predictably normal.
Your practice is going to involve striking poses, practicing your smile, and perhaps even reciting lines from a movie (more on that later). Now, there’s no doubting the fact that this is going to feel weird and a little silly in the beginning, but the truth is that all of this practice fosters a sense of familiarity that will help you overcome your shyness.
When it’s time to get the camera out, you have two options — you can do it alone or have someone help. We reckon that having someone help is a good idea as this gets you used to the idea of a person being behind the camera. In some cases it’s their presence that actually causes the shyness and not the camera lens.
But before you start, set the scene like you would when filming a self tape. Find yourself a quiet space where you won’t be interrupted and try your best to make it feel like a professional setting. This could mean setting up a backdrop and perhaps even lighting the space with a ring light. You want this to feel like a professional shoot so that when you find yourself in a well-lit studio, you’re not too overawed by the new environment.
Script that practice
And by that we don’t just mean grab a copy of some movie lines and recite them, we’re talking an all-out plan of action. You don’t want to simply jump in front of the camera and start doing whatever comes to mind. Instead you’ll want to have a plan and follow it to the letter.
For modelling practice, this might mean having a variety of poses that you work through along with both close-up and full body shots.
For acting practice, you’ll want to have a scene mapped out and your lines learned so you’re not holding the script. If the scene includes dialogue you can ask a friend or family member to be your reader. This means they will sit off camera and read the lines of the second character in your scene.
Remember, if you really want to overcome your shyness, try to treat your practice runs like they’re a real paying job. So learn those lines, practice your poses, and review your work to see how you can improve.
Get used to seeing yourself on film
When you have finished taking your photos or you’ve filmed a couple of takes, it’s time to sit down and take a look at yourself on film. Now, most of us are our own worst critics so don’t be too surprised if you think you look awful or sound terrible. Anyone who is new to the industry will feel the same especially when it comes to hearing your voice on film. For some reason hearing yourself always sounds weird. But you really need to get past that feeling of awkwardness when you look at yourself on film.
Try analyzing your performance and take some notes on things you think you can improve on. Then get up, do another session in front of the camera, and rewatch it again. In no time at all, you’ll find that you can look at yourself objectively with a professional eye instead of cringing at your performance.
Make on-camera work part of your weekly routine
If you’re serious about making a splash in the industry either as a model or an actor, then you’ll understand that you need to keep your skills sharp. This might mean weekly acting classes or modelling lessons or it could mean spending some time practicing your skills with friends or your peers in the industry.
Whatever it is you do each week to improve your skills, you’ll need to incorporate some on-camera time into your routine. We may sound like an old-school CD stuck on repeat here, but the absolute best way to get over that shyness is to practice so much that being in front of a camera simply doesn’t faze you at all.
As you can see, getting over shyness and being camera-ready simply takes time and practice. And trust us, even if the thought of being on camera sends shivers down your spine, with a little effort you can become as confident as an A-lister or supermodel — all it takes is practice!
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