So, as some of you will know, I’ve recently started vlogging. I’m a little late to the game, what with being in my 40s. OK, very late to the game! But it’s been good for me. I wouldn’t blame you if you thought I was obviously very much not camera shy and that I had a confidence for being on film. However, you would not be further from the truth which is why I decided to write this post. I promise it isn’t a post trying to urge you to subscribe to my channel but if you do then here’s the link (!) https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCv3nvG6ZuQNhgO0NCP59Iw
Then, why the need to write this? Well, I have always hated having my photo taken. Ask my children. I spend most of my time with my hand out in front indicating a definite ‘NO’ blocking any camera that they try to put in my face. I am very much not part of the selfie generation. For goodness sake, I haven’t worked out which is my good side or whether I even have one. I don’t know whether I look better in black and white or in colour. I’m guessing black and white but, give me a break, I don’t have enough photos of me to play around with to work it out for sure. I haven’t even yet worked out whether I like smiling in photos or whether I should adopt Victoria Beckham’s non-smile policy because I haven’t given the whole smiling or not smiling in photos a proper chance for some real scrutiny and evaluation. And I haven’t found the whole filter app craze yet either! What is that even all about?
So, why on earth, would someone who is so ridiculously shy in front of the lens feel the absurd need to start vlogging? Seriously, I have absolutely no bloody idea! I must be mad! But I had this notion that perhaps I could give it a go. How very stupid of me?! However, I pressed record and well, quite frankly, it was the best thing I could have done. Admittedly, not for you, the viewers, I admit and apologise, but for myself. I got over that whole ridiculous shyness and started to accept me for who I was. I knew I wouldn’t look like the flawless celebrity photographs because they aren’t real. There was no photoshopping or editing involved in any of my videos. Not out of choice but because I haven’t got a clue! What is this obsession of looking like a panda or having a flower crown or having a rainbow pouring out of your mouth?! OK, that’s probably because I’m in my 40s!
But on camera I got to see me in a different light. I stopped trying to get the best angle and photo. I got to see the real me. I’m not trying to be all poignant and deep and meaningful here, I promise. I don’t think anyone is able to see who they really are unless they watch themselves on video. I got to see me perhaps as who my children see me and who my friends and family see. It gives you a totally different perspective on who you are.
Surprisingly, their is very little research into this. So many people I talk to comment that they hate their photo and they are not confident enough to be filmed. There is definitely a theme of a lack of self-confidence but the main research out there points to the fact that we are familiar with our image in the mirror but this is not how we appear when on camera due to reflection being different to our actual image on film. According to the psychologist, Robert Zajonc, in 1968, he stated that this is the ‘mere-exposure’ effect where we are happier with the image that we are more familiar with – that of the mirror image. This could certainly explain why so many of us frown at images of ourselves on film. The overall research was minimal, though. Anyone fancy doing a paper on this?
However, I think anyone who is camera shy owes it to themselves to turn the screen onto their face, press record and see who they really are. Surely, our children need the videos and the photos for the memories. Be brave, do it. You might surprise yourself and overcome the shyness. Let’s learn something from the youth of today in their self-confidence in front of the camera and stop giving ourselves such a hard time. OK, not the silly selfies and absurd selfies but the not taking ourselves too seriously. It felt really good to get rid of the shyness and ridiculous self-scrutiny. It felt really good to let go of that. Go on, give it a go … you might surprise yourself … and if you feel ok about it come do a vlog with me … just saying!