life in front of the lens
I am 5’2”, my skin has a lot of discoloration from acne scaring.
I have never thought of myself as a model or even imagined that anyone would even be interested. When I started styling I was very envious of the models, they were beautiful without any make up, stood a foot taller than me and got to get dressed up and done up like they were a barbie doll. Who wouldn’t enjoy that?!
I recently got asked to model for a photographer that was looking for a specific look. He contacted me through instagram and asked if I would model for him. I immediately started laughing. A few days went by and I thought about it more and decided to go for it, what can it hurt? I was very detailed in my response to the photographer that I was NOT a model and that I did not have any experience and that I would need a lot of direction from him. His history was wedding photography so I felt pretty comfortable with him being able to give me direction.
The shoot day finally comes, I am a nervous wreck. I had so many thoughts running through my head.
What if I look bad in every photo? What if he can see my acne scaring through the lens? What if I put too much make up on? What if he doesn’t like the posing? What if I look awkward? What if a ton of people are around and start laughing at me?
We decided to do two different looks, the location was a park in the hills of Los Angeles. Thank god it was a chilly day because there weren’t too many people at the park this day. I stood in front of the lens and froze. I took a deep breath and started to slowly move the way the girls on America’s Next Top Model do. I had researched a few Youtube videos before the shoot as well. I tried to block everything out. The embarrassment that I got when people walked by, the uncomfortable posing, the voices in my head with all the ‘What if’s’ and told myself that I need to act confident and stay focused on the posing. The photographer was shocked. After shooting for 4-5 minutes the photographer was so impressed with my ability to pose he asked again “are you sure you haven’t thought about modeling before? You are posing better than some of the models I have shot before?”. We continued the shoot for an hour or so and I got more and more comfortable as the shoot went on. I didn’t realize how much thought goes on when you are posing, you have to worry about where your hands are placed, how far apart your feet are, what type of smile to have, fake laugh, look up, down, to the side, up and to the side. He showed me some photos that he had captured, we got excited for the edits and then went our separate ways.
I am writing about this story because there are so many reasons that we make up in our heads for us to not do something because we are in fear or not confident in ourselves. This is all about getting out of your comfort zone and owning your self beauty. Don’t get me wrong, I felt embarrassed when people were starring and looking at us, I was uncomfortable and worried about what the people passing by were thinking but I was more focused on making sure my hands weren’t in a funny position and my smile wasn’t too cheesy that the people around us were far in the back of my head. Once the edits came in I couldn’t of been happier, yes, there are some photos that I think I could have posed better, not bent my leg a certain way or smiled less, but these are all a learning process. I can’t be perfect the first time I try something new, although we all wish we could be at times.
Overall I am proud of myself for getting out there and getting completely out of my comfort zone. I have stepped my foot into a different pond and I am excited to see where it takes me, and maybe it doesn’t take me anywhere but at least it is a new experience where I can grow more as an artist and have a better perception as to what these models go through on set. It may look so glamorous but at the end of the day we all have insecurities and fears and it’s nice to step out of our boundaries at times.
I would love to hear about your experience in front of the camera for the first time! Did you feel the same way I felt? Did posing come naturally to you?