One of my most frequently asked questions is why I always take pictures with sunglasses on. In the past people have asked if I have a squint or a problem that I’m hiding. Others have asked from a more general point of view having observed that I’m always accompanied by a trusty pair of sunnies in my content.
Today I wanted to share some snaps without my sunglasses and explain the reasoning behind my decision to wear them when sharing content.
I’d say this is the biggest reason I wear sunglasses even when creating content on rainy and overcast days. Although I’ve had this little space on the internet for a number of years now, I’m still not that confident in front of the camera. I’ve got better over time and I’ve learned what angles I prefer and what poses work for me however it’s still something I struggle with. My sunglasses are almost my comfort blanket and help me get in the zone or put my game face on as they say to get on with the task in hand.
I wouldn’t say the problem relates to other people watching me as that happens frequently if not 100% of the time and I don’t really care what people think about what I’m doing. It’s more about my own self confidence and being able to be comfortable, execute the ideas I have in mind and bring them to life. People are generally understanding, say hello or comment on my outfits etc which is really lovely. More recently I’ve been challenging myself by shooting in public places like parks which are busier and pose a bigger challenge in terms of getting the lighting and composition right as well as posing in a more open forum.
2. Blink & You’ll Miss
The second biggest reason I wear sunglasses is down to having a strong ability to blink in pretty much every photo taken without them. I don’t think I blink more than the average person, I just don’t seem to be able to co-ordinate my blinks with the snaps being taken and that’s without flash. My eyes are also extremely sensitive to light therefore even the slightest glimmer of sunshine will have me squinting which isn’t a good look. I would have to spend a lot more time taking photos in order to end up with a sufficient amount with my eyes open and as this is a hobby and something I do on the side, time isn’t always on my side. I take my photos at the weekends when I can rope friends or family in to support and generally try to cram anywhere between 5-15 outfits in to a single shoot. This enables me to plan ahead and phase my content over the weeks ahead, buying me time if the weather is bad and I can’t get out for a few weeks. If I had to spend more time on each individual photo, it would reduce my ability to produce enough content to publish at my current rate and consistency is something that’s important to me. The sunglasses enable me to make the best of the time I have available while ensuring the content is useable.
3. Not Naturally Photogenic
I’m not a naturally photogenic person. I don’t know what happens when a camera comes out but it just doesn’t capture me in the most aesthetically pleasing way. The photos I like best are the ones I genuinely didn’t know were being taken if that makes sense. Photos taken off guard are often the best in all settings however it’s not exactly possible to have someone secretly capturing you without knowing all of the time. It would be rather creepy if that was the case to be fair. When I’m creating content I’m not only thinking about the outfit I’m showcasing, I’m also considering if the background is aesthetically pleasing or complimentary to the outfit or colour palette, if the light is right and if I’m in focus. I’m not a photographer, I’ve learnt everything through trial and error and I can assure you there have been many epic fails. Dozens of photos have gone to the trash bin, mainly as I don’t like my pose/face but some have been down to not getting the composition right. Having all of those things on my mind while I’m in front of the camera is not ideal and probably the main reason I can look a bit stoney faced or stiff sometimes. I do try and focus on being in the moment but it doesn’t always reflect in my face or body language.
Without sounding like I’m blowing my own trumpet, I’d say my eyes are probably my best feature. They are extremely blue, changing tone or becoming more vivid depending on the light. While I don’t share everything online, it’s nice to keep something to myself and it creates a bit of mystery. This is a hobby and something I do on the side of a full time job. I like to keep my work and personal life completely separate and for some reason the sunglasses help with differentiating between the two very different worlds.
I do understand the sunglasses can be seen as a bit of a barrier and it’s difficult to read someone if you can’t see their eyes. It’s something I’ve been actively working on and will continue to try and improve. I do many instagram stories without glasses and I’m getting more confident with videos and reels. Hopefully in time I’ll be more confident and able to share more candid snaps.