Scopophob: Fear of Having Your Picture Taken

Today many people fear having their pictures made. While this is a real phobia, most people have difficulty just being themselves when they know the camera is on them.

Even world-famous singer Adele has this phobia and is reported to have undergone ‘photo-healing therapy’ with a Californian hypnotherapist!

As for the reasons for fear of having your picture was taken (Scopophobia), they can run the gamut from what others may think about the photo to the fear that some part of your soul or spiritual essence will be captured and imprisoned in the camera or picture.

Many things can trigger anxiety. I understand having a little concern about having your picture made with all things that shouldn’t upset us. I think it is normal.

When photographing people, I like to get to know a person. There are many reasons to do this. First, when people start telling me about themselves, they slowly reveal facial expressions that give a peek into their personalities.

If you pay attention, you will see those moments when a person comes alive. I look for those moments and then capture them later while photographing because I paid attention to them being themselves.

New research shows the brain can be tricked into feeling pain relief. It is called neuroplasticity. This is the idea that the brain can change in response to experience.

I find that just having a person concentrate on the answers to my questions makes it harder for them to focus on being photographed. This is me using neuroplasticity to help relax a person.

I was photographing a counselor today, and when we finished, she said, “You Disarmed Me.” She didn’t have a phobia, but the comment let me know she was a tad bit anxious, but we took care of that together. We got some great photos of her.

So, someone or something disarming makes people feel as if they don’t need to use their weapons or powers because they think less hostile, less suspicious, friendlier, and more trusting. In other words, disarming people and things are soothing, charming, or putting people at ease.

I got her mind off of being photographed and just being herself and having a pleasant conversation.

Photography is more than just knowing how to work a camera and lights. When it comes to photographing people, you have to know about them. I guess my social work degree is still being used today. I am using some of those skills to put people at ease in front of the camera.