7 Tips for the Camera Shy Author

7 Tips for the Camera Shy Author offers suggestions for taking selfies and headshots aimed at people who are particularly uncomfortable having their pictures taken.

Social media is filled with pictures of sexy young things staring confidently into their own cameras, smiling with their shiny white straight teeth and sparkling complexions of youth. All hail the selfie!

But what if you’re not a sweet young thing, not sexy or at least don’t see yourself that way and you are anything but confident about your appearance particularly when there’s a camera pointed in your direction? What about if your teeth aren’t straight and pearly white?

If you’re promoting your work online, be it a business, a blog or a book, chances are you are eventually going to be asked for a headshot or you might even want to do a selfie or two to use with your social media. Well, maybe feel like you should do a selfie, but maybe would really prefer NOT to do one?

Confession time here: I ABSOLUTELY hate having my picture taken. As a teenager I dealt with acne and thick glasses. Throughout my life, my weight has fluctuated, and I have one annoying crooked tooth right up front where everyone can see it if I smile widely. And since my twenties, I’ve been dealing with greying hair and now the wrinkles are creeping in. Laser eye surgery got rid of the glasses, and if I write a bestseller (or win a lottery!) and make millions I have grand plans to check out veneers or braces and deal with that tooth! But the honest truth is that I’ve never felt comfortable in front of a camera and cringe at the thought of having my picture taken. Can you identify with that?

I suppose we could all do something like Sia and wear a wig or grow really long bangs (fringe for my UK readers!) and hide our faces, or maybe we’d like to do something like Anonymous and wear a mask? Or, how about the Unknown Comic? Paper bags anyone?

While we might start a trend, it’s unlikely and all joking aside, I think we just have to face (no pun intended) facts that the world, or at least our online social network, wants to put a face to our name and this isn’t exactly unreasonable.

Photography Tips

So for those of us who feel we need all the help we can get with selfies and headshots, here’s a few tips!

  1. Keep your chin up.
  2. Bring your face forward to accentuate your jaw line and lessen the appearance of double chins.
  3. Use good lighting.
  4. Use your good side. (If you don’t think you have a good side necessarily, use your least bad side. :-))
  5. Keep the camera at eye level.
  6. Relax.
  7. Consider using a photo editing app like Photo Editor-Selfie Effects to help with blemishes and lighting, etc.


Peter Hurley is a headshot photographer. He’s quite entertaining and I think you’ll enjoy these videos if you have time to watch them. There’s a lot of great information here.

It’s all about the Jaw! (15:22 minutes)

Bridging the self-acceptance gap with “psyphotology” | Anna Rowley & Peter Hurley | TEDxCambridge (13:41 minutes)

(Would it make you feel better to know that in one of these videos he talks about a former Miss Universe who hates how her face looks?)

Final Thoughts

I hope this gives you some confidence and helps you, whichever side of the camera you happen to be on, to take better selfies and headshots.

If you learned something here, or would like to add a tip on the subject, please let me know in the comments.

Photo credit: Fuji X100T Selfie II via photopin (license)

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