Do You Feel Naked In Front Of The Camera – Part 2

Since I published this post last year, I’ve been routinely asked if I would do another. It wasn’t in my head until people asked. So I’ve thought about it a lot over this past year.

How do I replicate a previous post? Or if not replicate, how do I create a follow up that is in the same vein and still feels authentic without being an exact replica? After all, I’m not the same person I was last year at this time. And being naked in front of the camera literally or now in a blog post…it’s not easy.
Being fully dressed in front of the camera is equally hard for many and I recognize that, too. It’s not easy to be truly seen.

But it’s still something I hear regularly from clients.
“I don’t like being in front of the camera.”
“I don’t like how I look in photographs.”
“I feel naked and exposed when being photographed.”
“I’d rather go to the dentist than be photographed.”

I know how these people feel.
With the exception of going to the dentist. I’m one of those weirdos who loves going to the dentist.

In the past year, my goals and objectives shifted.
Personally and professionally.

I’ve been more intentional about the example I’m setting as a mom.
I’ve put more miles on my running shoes + swim goggles this past year than any other.
I dropped twenty pounds.
My business focus has shifted in how I will handle + grow certain aspects in this coming year.
I’ve hired others for their expertise + guidance.
A facelift of sorts is coming to my business.

Yet some things haven’t changed and I’ve only grown deeper in my beliefs.

Kind words can always be found.
If given the time to form.
Asking questions is key to understanding others.
I ask a lot of questions.
I find other humans to be remarkably interesting and love spending time with people individually. I love learning what unites us and what makes us different.
I love celebrating those similarities AND the differences.

And it is still incredibly important to me to hold a safe space for others.
I will not hide behind my camera or put up walls.
I find value in openness, honesty, and vulnerability.
While that certainly opens the door to being hurt, I’m finding my relationships are more gratifying when built solidly on truth + kindness. Without censoring words + thoughts for the sake of being PC or taking the easy route out. I find there is more value in being seen + known.

In the coming year, I will be actively and intentionally working to connect openly, honestly, and kindly with others.
Whether I’m behind the camera or not.
I’ll be working to create safe spaces filled with acceptance and free of expectations or judgments.

You be you.

If you hire me to photograph you, I’ll make it as comfortable for you as I can so you forget there’s a camera pointed at you that can feel like a big black box of scrutiny to many.
I promise you that I’ll be looking for all the good.
To capture you in the best light, with the most flattering angles + expressions.
With guidance when needed or requested.
And of course, encouragement + support.
Because we all need a little more of that, don’t you think?

“The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved; loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves.” Victor Hugo

Naked woman with camera in one hand and covering herself in the other. Faceless woman reaching around to cover the naked woman's breasts.

Behind the scenes information, full disclosure, and the fine print about creating this image.
I’ve known Sara since 2000 and she’s my chosen family. She is my champion, kindred spirit, wished-for-sister of decades, and speaker of harsh truths. This past year was made easier and better because of her conversations, encouragement, and finally hugs when I flew to Austin last month to visit for a long weekend. We had to work quickly because there would be a hard stop when her littlest woke from his nap.

We worked out room set up and basic posing on the second day I was there while I was still dressed. With no one else in the room, posing was a bit trickier to offer guidance in ensuring I was appropriately/PG-rating covered. We did have a mirror set up for me to see myself, but most of my lower body was blocked by a table holding my second camera body. Which made for a lot of back-and-forth checking on the back of the LCD screen and re-shooting of images.

The intent was no different than last time in that I did not want any aspect of this image to be sexual, only openly vulnerable and honest in how it can feel to many to be photographed. It can be scary and uncomfortable and I know how it feels. I will do everything possible to put others at ease in front of my camera. I want it to be a fun and enjoyable experience for everyone involved because 1) I want to have fun when I go to work and 2) I want you to have photographs you love and make you happy every time you see them.

The only parts of the image touched in Photoshop were outlets + door stops that I removed as distractions, as well as Sara’s hand over her shoulder holding the remote to trigger my camera.

This was shot in natural light on a Canon 5DM3 with a Sigma Art 35/1.4 lens at 1600 ISO, f/3.5, and 1/160.

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