Scopophob: Fear of Having Your Picture Taken

Today many people fear having their pictures made. While this is a real phobia to some most people have a hard time just being themselves when they are aware 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 a fear of having your picture taken (Scopophobia), they can run the gamut from the fear of 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.

Anxiety can be triggered by many things. With all things that shouldn’t upset us I understand having a little anxiety with having your picture made. I think it is normal.

When I am photographing people, I like to get to know a person. There are many reasons to do this. First of all, when a person starts telling me about themselves they slowly reveal face expressions that give a peak into their personalities.

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

There is 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 concentrate on being photographed. This is me using the 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 together we took care of that. 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 feel 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 us having a pleasant conversation.

You see 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 just am using some of those skills putting people at ease in front of the camera.