Psyphotology: Why people are afraid to be in front of the camera…and how to fix it

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This is a really interesting development in the world of photography and psychology and something every photographer should read more about. These techniques can be utilised in numerous forms of photography involving individuals who are worried or anxious about how they may appear to others in their pictures. We do a lot of headshot work with large organisations, as well as individuals and will certainly be using some of these approaches in the future.


Psyphotology: Why people are afraid to be in front of the camera…and how to fix it


Widely recognized headshot photographer Peter Hurley has collaborated with highly regarded psychologist Anna Rowley to develop a method for people to overcome their fear of being in front of a camera.

The pair call this research and application Psyphotology, a creative wordplay on psychology and photography. Their aim is to influence the world by helping us achieve self-acceptance as opposed to focusing on criticism.

Hurley and Rowley met while working on a project for Microsoft. After meeting and becoming familiar with one another, they realized their shared interest in determining the fundamental reasons for which we’re scared to be in front of a camera.

They recently gave a speech at TEDxCambridge on the subject of helping people to be more relaxed in front of a camera:
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The talk begins with an story that highlights how even Miss Universe, a woman who most surely shouldn’t be self-conscious in the appearance department, had inhibitions about getting photographed by Hurley. Following that, Rowley explains how she too was afraid of finding herself in front of Hurley’s lens and how that worry lead to her wondering what it is that produces this fear and how one could quiet his or her inner critic.

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