What Is Camera Shyness?

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  • Written By: Nicky Sutton
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 08 October 2019
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Camera shyness is a personal trait where an individual avoids having their photograph taken. It varies in intensity from person to person and can be caused by a lack of personal confidence. Self esteem may have been damaged in the past by seeing an unflattering photograph or video. Some people think that they are not photogenic, causing them to be shy. A loss of control over the use and distribution of a person’s image, for example, on social networking sites, can also cause shyness.

People who are reluctant to have their photograph or video taken are said to be camera shy. These people tend to raise their hands over their face or run to hide whenever a camera or video camera is pointed at them. Some people are not camera shy with photographs but develop camera shyness in front of a video camera. Personal confidence issues with public speaking or feeling physically awkward are exacerbated in the presence of a video camera.

Camera shyness can develop if a person has seen unsatisfactory photographs of themselves in the past. Being presented with an unflattering photograph that, for example, shows a big nose or excess weight, can produce a reluctance to ever be photographed again. The camera shy person may wish for others to never see unfavorable photographs of them and therefore never give a photographer a chance to take a snap.


Control plays a role, where someone has no control over the selection process of someone else’s photo albums. Someone with camera shyness takes control by refusing to be photographed, rather than allow their image to be used and displayed ad-hoc by another person, even a friend. The use of social networking sites and other social internet platforms have created camera shyness in those who do not wish their photograph to be broadcast against their will.

Lack of personal confidence can cause camera shyness. An individual may perceive themselves to have physical flaws that they do not wish to be captured forever or displayed for all to see. Keeping a low profile is important for some people and their confidence levels prevent them from allowing their image to be repeatedly viewed.

Individuals who think they are not photogenic sometimes have camera shyness. Often they appear different in photographs to how they see themselves in the mirror. If this happens repeatedly, the person avoids damaging their self esteem by saying they are not photogenic, rather than accept that they look like the photograph in real life. Being shocked by a poor photograph can damage self esteem and personal image so badly, that a person will refuse to experience that hurt again and refrain from ever being photographed.


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Post 1

I am camera shy. I hate having my picture taken. I don't like a lot of things about the way I look, and I strongly dislike being reminded of those things in a photo.

What's worse, though, is when I decline to have my picture taken and people try to force me to do it. That's so rude!

The only photos I like of myself are those that were taken at my wedding. I don't know what it is about those I like when I hate most photos of myself, but I really like the ones in my wedding album. Go figure.

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