Thoughts of a self-conscious / awkward photographer

I am an awkward photographer.

I love taking photos. I’m certainly not a professional, but it’s something I enjoy doing and am passionate about. Especially while I’m travelling, I’ll never be seen without my camera.

I follow so many photographers and professional content creators on Instagram, and I truly enjoy all of their work! Sometimes I wish I could shoot as well as they do. But I’m also too awkward and shy to get the shots I want.

major ragretz.

Most of the time I regret missing out on certain photo opportunities because I was too shy or too self-conscious. And so instead of getting my shit together and stop being such an awkward photographer, I decided to share my awkward thoughts here on the blog:

not wanting to look like a typical millennial

I’ve always taken photos of anything and everything, even before Instagram or social media permeated our everyday lives. But now that it’s an assumption that everyone takes photos “for the gram” (which I admit I do), I get so much more self-conscious when I’m getting my camera out for a photo!

(Presenting photos that would’ve been clear if I bothered to take my time and check my shots, instead of rushing through it so that I wouldn’t look weird and hold back the eating. )

“The camera eats before you do.”

That’s a saying nowadays, because we take photos of our food before we even start eating. And I hate being that stereotypical millennial who takes a million snaps of one meal before I get digging. SIGH. The struggles of being a young person these days. Is this a #firstworldproblem??? I’m not sure why I shame myself when others probably don’t give a crap about what I’m doing hahaha. -_-

Of all the people who takes photos of their food, I’m the awkward photographer who takes the photo but act like I’m not very interested in doing so. I don’t know why I bother pretending. Everyone does it for the ‘gram these days, don’t they?

taking photos of food

I guess this is the case be it in a foreign country, or in Singapore. In fact, I feel more self-conscious in Singapore because I’m not a tourist. Somehow not being a tourist makes me feel more cringe when I’m taking a commemorative shot of my meal. WHY DO WE DO THIS TO OURSELVES?

Being too shy to pose for a photo

The idea of posing for a photo in front of a crowd at a tourist attraction really puts me off, and it gives me some sort of stage fright. Plus since I’m usually the one holding the camera anyway, having to get someone else to take a photo of me just seems like another barrier. I’m also so awkward with posing, I…just…can’t… Hahaha. I went by the entire Hong Kong and Bangkok trip with my mum without taking any touristy shots. Here’s the one of three photos I took (only because the place was fairly empty):

rushing myself into getting the shot asap

To be honest, I suppose no one cares whether I’m trying to take a photo or not. But out of the fear of judgey side-eyes, I tend to rush myself into getting my shot as fast as possible, even when no one is rushing me at all. I’m just the awkward photographer who doesn’t want to inconvenience anyone else!

For example, I try to take photos while walking, so that I don’t hold anyone up. (Though most of the time they don’t realise that I’ve stopped in my tracks to snap a photo hahaha.) I also try to take photos of the food while telling people to go ahead and eat, so I don’t inconvenience anyone while I’m trying to get my photos.

(Would’ve gotten better street shots if I weren’t trying to take them while walking…)

sometimes I bring my camera out but not use it at all.

Whenever I decide to bring my camera with me at the start of the day, I imagine all the amazing shots I’m going to get with it. Like candid shots of my friends, the yummy food at the restaurant, or nice photos of the place I’m heading to.  But being the awkward photographer I am, sometimes I’m simply too shy to get my DSLR out for a photo. It seems a little OTT (over the top) to me no? I get embarrassed and I end up keeping my camera on my lap or in my bag, instead of using it like I intended to.

(I would’ve taken more photos of Tanuki Raw – other than the food – if it wasn’t so mad crowded and I felt very exposed sitting at the end of the table on my own LOL.)

Then I regret after the photo opportunity is over.

feeling regrets sad

Often after I get home I check through my photos, and I realise that they are either blur (because I was walking while shooting), or they’re not good enough (because I only took 2-3 shots to be quick). Then I’d hate myself for not being shameless enough to take all the time I needed to get a nice photo. No one knows how you got the photo at the end of the day anyway right~ Just another awkward photographer alert…

And now for the biggest internal debate ever:

Do i disconnect to live in the moment, or get my camera to capture these moments forever?

This is by far the toughest dilemma for me when I consider getting my camera out to take pictures. Especially when it’s just a casual dinner with friends, or a get-together with the co-workers. I mean, sometimes everyone’s having a great time, and no one’s on their phones. So in times like those, it would be great to capture the moment, but at the same time I feel like I’d ruin the atmosphere for everyone if I start pointing my huge-ass DSLR in their direction.

I guess when it’s a relatively larger crowd, I feel like I could get away with snapping a few pictures. But I suppose using your phone or a smaller point-and-shoot camera is the easiest way to get a few sneaky shots during these social get-togethers. Particularly when I’m trying to get candid shots of my friends 😉

I would love for anyone to enlighten me on what you do in times like these. Sometimes it works out well, like during this company dinner, but other times I end up not using my camera at all – which defeats the purpose of me bringing it in the first place.

the struggle is real.

are you an awkward photographer like me?!
Which of these do you relate to the most?

With love,