January 11

Do You Suffer Camera Anxiety Like I Do?

In all the many years I produced television and videos, I have mostly been a behind-the-scenes gal.    I was the videographer, tape editor and/or field producer, scriptwriter.  In part, I chose that path because I hated being seen on camera.

Today, I manage to routinely go on camera and I DON’T throw up, or even come close.  Three cheers for progress!

In my early days in video production, I left that on-camera stuff to the ones who actually enjoy wearing make-up and hair spray. I was waaaaay too nervous to be on camera. After all, someone might make fun of my big fat nose! EGADS!!!!!!

I was so camera shy, that going in front of the camera was not even doable back then.  I simply could not relax, so I came across like a bozo.

Do you have this problem too?  Read on to see how you can conquer it.

video camera operator

Now, one of the “drawbacks” to being a behind-the-scenes person is we usually lose out on all the glory.  The audience never really stops to think that anyone other than the people they see had anything to do with the video.  That’s OK by me.  Actually preferred it that way.  I am, in no way, shape, or form, a glory seeker.  Besides, I definitely like being anonymous out in public.  On-camera people always have to be ready with the face goo and hair paste.  (My terms for make-up and hair spray!)

Let ’em have the glory.  What drove me nuts was they made so dang much more money than I did!

I had to face facts.  Appearing on camera is generally more lucrative, whether you are working in broadcasting or using online video.

The #1 reason people give about why they procrastinate and never make the online videos they want to, is because they hate the thought of being on camera!

Trust me, I know the feeling.

I managed to get over it. There’s money on the table, folks!

Today, I can sit down in front of the camera and not be any more nervous than I ever was behind the camera. It helps to know that I am in total control and can reject anything I want. I’m also confident that the lighting, background and yes my HAIR look as good as possible under the circumstances. I hate hairspray, but sometimes you just gotta sacrifice. 🙂

I always read through the script several times out loud and practice before bothering to turn on the camera.

Practice, practice, practice.  I even practiced at times without a camera.  It helped to hear my voice out loud, so I could start feeling comfortable speaking with authority and confidence, which is not my norm.

It took me quite a while to become comfortable being on camera. Today, clients tell me I am good at it!  They assume I always went on camera.  I suppose, although I myself doubt it.  I think I do OK, but not great.  Apparently, it is plenty good enough, which is my point.  I was too nervous and it was unreasonable.

We are our own worst critics, and so I am harder to please than stranger.

Becoming comfortable on camera is critical to making video for the internet. Since I’ve gone through the agony of camera shyness myself, I think I can really help those who wish to become better with their on-camera appearances.

If you’d like to hear more on this topic, drop me an email!

Thanks for reading Video Production Tips.

Lorraine Grula


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