How to lose your fear of the camera when recording your on-demand videos
Losing your fear of the camera when recording your videos on demand is possible. If thousands of people are already fluent in front of the lens, why shouldn't you be?
First things first:
Why are we afraid in front of the cameras?
According to a study published in the Harvard Business Review we humans are programmed to go into "fight or flight" mode if we feel we are being watched. This means that our stress levels shoot up when one or more people are watching us, and in the 2.0 era this also applies to cameras.
The reason for this behaviour lies in our subconscious mind, which interprets the observer as a potential predator, even if they are a good friend who only wants the best for us.
Fun fact: If you've ever wondered what camera fear is called, it's called scopophobia and it's estimated that around 7% of the world's population suffers from it.
As you may have deduced, this is also the reason why we tend to do a poorer quality job when someone is looking at us, regardless of whether it is an area we have mastered to perfection.
With this in mind, it seems difficult for actors, presenters or youtubers to perform so effortlessly in front of the camera. Is there a trick to it?
Yes, there is.
Everything in life can be learned, even hacking your subconscious mind to lose your fear of cameras when recording your videos on demand:
How to lose your fear of the camera when recording your on-demand videos
Take deep breaths before recording your videos on demand
When we feel nervous, it's normal for our breathing to speed up, our thoughts to get out of control and for us to make easily avoidable mistakes.
Stopping for a few minutes before recording and concentrating on your breathing is a great way to release tension.
If you are a fan of the spiritual world you can also do some kind of meditation before you start recording your on-demand videos, 5 or 10 minutes will be more than enough.
Implementing these techniques in your everyday life (even when you don't have to record) will help you to maintain a calmer and more mindful state on a regular basis, which will help you to lose your fear of the camera when recording on-demand videos.
Use a camera that allows you to see yourself (or use a mirror)
Although we follow a series of techniques to get good angles and framing, the harsh reality is that we can't know how the camera sees us until we check the final result.
This lack of knowledge increases our fear and makes our thoughts fly. Will I get it right? Will I have to repeat the shot? Will I find myself in the frame?
The most effective solution is to connect the camera to a computer, so that you can see yourself while you are recording, some cameras also include a small screen that you can turn to see yourself in real time.
What can you do if you don't have the equipment necessary for the above tips?
Place a mirror between you and the camera, so that it does not interfere with the recording, but allows you to see how you are doing it. This will considerably lessen the fear in front of the camera when recording your videos on demand.
Remember: If the final quality of your on-demand videos worries you too much, you can click here and discover our top tips on how to improve the image with little effort.
Record in solitude, to reduce the anxiety of being watched
As we saw at the beginning of this article, our fear increases when we feel we are being watched, so the fewer eyes on you, the less fear you will feel.
Choose a time and place where you can record in total solitude, close the doors and windows to avoid sounds from outside and also to make sure that no one is listening to you, this will make you feel more relaxed.
Remember, if no one is there, no one can judge you, you can repeat a shot as much as you want, experiment as much as you want and take as many breaks as you need. It's just you and your camera, enjoy your company, make yourself look good and everything will go smoothly!
Focus on the rhythm of your voice, it will help you to relax
One of the most common symptoms of feeling nervous is being unable to control the tone and pace of your voice.
When you speak on camera, pay close attention to what you say, but also to HOW YOU SAY IT.
What does this mean?
Mainly, it is a good idea to choose a slow pace, neither too fast nor too slow, and also a firm but soft tone of voice, without shouting at any time (unless you give a very powerful course and at some point you come on top, this is common for example in fitness).
Focusing on your voice while you speak will not only help you speak better, it will also keep your thoughts focused and prevent them from wandering into unfounded fears.
Allow yourself to make mistakes when recording your on-demand videos, you can always retake a shot
Perfectionism and peace are not friends.
Remember that you are recording in total privacy, there is no one else, no one else can criticise you and you can always repeat a take.
What happens if we are in the middle of a live performance?
Absolutely nothing at all, making mistakes makes you look human and brings you closer to your audience, give yourself a break and allow yourself to make them, you will feel better and you will get on-demand videos of higher human quality.
Get to know your camera and how to programme it to look good
Not all cameras are the same and not all configurations will record you in the same way.
To set up your camera optimally you must first answer some key questions.
Do I want to focus only on my face, or do I need to record the whole body? Is the background important? Do I prefer autofocus or manual focus?
Camcorders usually have a special face focus mode, which records faces without distorting them. In case this programme is not selected you can get on-demand videos in which your face looks bulging, elongated, or your features look a bit different than they really are.
I don't want to focus too much on this aspect, as every camera is different and it is best that you know your camera and the optimal focus for the result you want.
Why is this important to lose camera fear when shooting your on-demand videos?
Because it helps you look good in the end result, filling you with confidence and always wanting to shoot again. You make sure that the result is what you want and you don't need to do it again.
Minimise distractions to help you concentrate better
If you are thinking that the kids might come into the room, that the dog might cross in front of the camera or that you need to finish quickly to do something else, your anxiety will increase.
The best time to shoot is when you are totally free of distractions. How do we achieve this?
- Choose a relaxed day: when you can take the time you need.
- Remember to do it in solitude: In addition to reducing the fear of being observed, you eliminate possible distractions.
- Keep children and pets out of the room.
- The camera and all equipment should have sufficient battery power. Keep power sockets close at hand in case you need them.
- Close doors and windows: To eliminate outside noise.
- If your body is unwell, it is better to record another day.
Look directly into the camera as if you were a person
Talking to the camera when there is no one in the room can make us feel uncomfortable, as if we are doing something out of place, which increases our anxiety almost without us realising it.
The reality is that, even if there is no one there right now, there are hundreds of people behind the camera wanting to learn what you have to tell them, so imagining that one of them is present right now, listening to you warmly, will help you lose your camera fear when recording your on-demand videos.
To further reduce your stress levels you can imagine that it is a familiar person, even better if it is someone you know wants to know what you have to tell them, this way you will talk to the camera as if it were that person, obtaining a more natural result.
Maintaining eye contact with the camera lens, as if they were the person's eyes, will also achieve a warm effect of closeness.
Rehearse before filming, in front of the camera or (better still) in front of the mirror
Doing something for the first time is not the same as doing it for the second, third or fourth time.
To lose your fear of the camera when recording your videos on demand, you can make the content of the video in front of a large mirror (full-length if necessary) to know exactly how you look and make some changes if you consider it appropriate.
Another tip is to do the same, but in front of the camera, so you can learn the "script" while you get familiar with it.
Want an even more effective tip? Follow this tip with the camera on, you'll be surprised how many times you get a perfect result the first time just by doing it without pressure.
Practice losing your fear of the camera
That's all. I want you to think of something that you are fluent in right now, it doesn't have to be a big task, it can be something simple, even doing the dishes!
Already have it in mind?
Now, remember in detail the first time you did that task.
Did you perform with the same ease?
The answer to this question is always a resounding NO, and the good news is that all aspects of our lives work the same way. Even if you have camera fear now when recording your on-demand videos, it will disappear, and as it dissipates, your videos will become higher and higher quality, allowing you to proudly fulfil your dream of making it in the world of video streaming.
Join PLAYBAK by registering for the BETA version, be one of the first 50 to join and do it for free. Become a #Playbaker and get traffic today.