Uncomfortable Being Photographed? No Problem, We Got You!

May 16, 2023 | Business Headshots

– It’s Normal To Feel Uncomfortable Being Photographed –

When it comes to a professional headshot session, many people can feel uncomfortable being photographed. However, it’s totally normal to be uneasy in front of the camera. That’s why it’s essential for the photographer and the subject to approach the photoshoot with the right mindset and use certain techniques to create a comfortable environment. 

For us at Pizzuti Photography, we’ve developed a system focused on a few simple concepts. First, communication prior to the shoot sets the tone and expectation for the client’s experience. Next, kindness and empathy are personality traits that every photographer needs to employ during the shoot. Lastly, we rely on the idea of collaborating with the client, giving them agency in the entire process. Using this system can really ease the process for people who are uncomfortable being photographed. 

Communication Eases Uncomfortability

Communication is key in any photography session, but especially with folks who might feel less than comfortable in the studio. It’s important to establish a rapport with the subject before the shoot, discussing expectations, and making them feel at ease. Being photographed by a stranger is much more difficult than someone you know. Therefore, we will ask questions to learn more about the needs and expectations of the client. We will explain, step by step, what we are going to do over the course of the shoot so there are no surprises. This also allows the subject to explain what they want to achieve, making this an inclusive part of the decision making process. 

Kindness Sets The Tone And Helps Reduce Awkwardness

Setting the mood with empathy and kindness are also crucial elements when it comes to working with people who feel uncomfortable in front of the camera.. It’s our job as headshot photographers to create a safe and welcoming environment. Knowing when the subject needs a break or is feeling uncomfortable is a special skill. Addressing this immediately and alleviating the stress is necessary for success. Moreover, Knowing how to pose and direct the subject is crucial in capturing the best shot. Using appropriate language such as “passive voice” for posing and expression yields better results than demanding instructions. 

Collaboration Ensures Satisfaction

Experience with people who aren’t familiar with photography has shown us that working in a collaboration is ideal. For example, allowing clients to see the images as the session progresses is paramount. The live feedback allows us to make adjustments in posing, expression, lighting and wardrobe. Clients love this because not only does it give them a sense of the progress, but it gives them a say in the outcome. 

A great headshot relies on many different things coming together, such as posing, expression, hair and wardrobe. If any one of these are off, it can really put a damper on the results. Collaborating during the shoot allows us to pivot if we need to and is a great  way of ensuring success. 

In conclusion, headshot photography is all about creating a positive environment, especially for anyone uncomfortable in front of the camera. This can be achieved through communication, empathy, kindness, and creating a collaborative environment with people who aren’t familiar with being photographed. Personality, demeanor and our confident attitude make our subjects feel more at ease. This welcoming atmosphere yields amazing results for our headshot clients.

If you’d like to see some results from previous headshot sessions, visit our portfolio page

Here’s a google review (followed by some portraits) from a recent shoot that conveys our approach: 

“I have always wanted to have professional head shots done so I finally took the leap with Pizzuti. I’m glad I did. Richard’s studio is centrally located in Mill No.5. The studio is filled with natural light and various background props line the walls. I mentioned that I wanted my pictures to convey a certain tone and I feel he really captured that. I was surprisingly nervous at first, but Richard is really good at chatting and creating a relaxed space. There was a noticeable difference between the first few shots where I felt stiff and awkward to the last shots where I looked more at ease.” – Suchitra Mumford, director of Artspace Maynard