Want Better Portraits? Become a Master of “Psyphotology”

Do you hate getting your photo taken? When you do, do you look at the image and find a bunch of things you hate—do you see your big nose, double chin, round face? The thing is, you see something in yourself that others don’t. And you need to get past it.

You need to find and accept your inner beauty and get over your fear of the camera!

And for those of us behind the camera, we can help your models let go of their fear of judgement and criticism to reveal their true selves:

Professional portrait photographer Peter Hurley and psychologist Anna Rowley have come up with a way to bridge the gap between the way we see ourselves and the way the world sees us. “Psyphotology” combines psychology and photography and offers a way to overcome your fear of the camera and work toward self-acceptance. (Via PetaPixel)

If you change the way you view yourself, you can feel better about yourself. As Rowley says, as human beings, we are both attracted and repelled by our appearance.

“The choice we embrace depends upon our level of self-acceptance.”

Since the camera shines a light on it, if the gap between who we think we are and who we think we should be is wide, then the worse we are likely to feel in front of a camera.

People deal with being in front of a camera differently, we either:

  1. Own It. These people are grounded and confident.
  2. Pose. They become something other than themselves.
  3. Diminish. They become smaller and try to hide from the camera.
  4. Avoid. Hurley calls them “runners.”

The kicker: how we cope with being in front of a camera is indicative of how we cope with real life. So, what do you do? Do you suffer from PAS (Picture Avoidance Syndrome)?

fear of camera photo

You can reframe the way you think and feel about yourself. The practice of psyphotology, they say, can help you focus on the things about yourself that you honor, cherish and celebrate. Are you resilient? Courageous? Focus on that.

If you apply these steps in front of the camera, as well as behind it, you can shift the perception from surface to substance.

photographing the true self

As photographers, don’t we want to expose the true self?

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2 Comments

  1. Claude B. says:

    I’ve met the famous Yusuf Karsh to do a filming of sessions, And he was working that way, he talk to them to make them react. https://images.search.yahoo.com/search/images;_ylt=A0LEVy22VGZUF2gACOpXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTB0bWs4MTQ2BHNlYwNzYwRjb2xvA2JmMQR2dGlkA1ZJUDI0NF8x?_adv_prop=image&fr=aaplw&va=yousuf+karsh

  2. Lois Bryan says:

    outstanding!!!!

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