My girlfriend is very shy when I want to take a photo of her.

When I tell her I'm going to make a shot or when she sees I'm focusing camera on her, first 10-60 seconds she is just hiding her face and arguing. When finally she agrees, she behaves unnaturally, poses, makes unnatural face because she thinks that she is ugly (which is wrong).

How to make her feel ok when I make photos? How to make her behave naturally?


Do desensitization therapy by having her wear a mask. Something like cool Marti Gras masks or vintage costume party masks or ethnic shaman masks, so you'll get cool photos anyway. Have her model clothing and household items without her face in the shot (a great excuse to splurge on a fancy manacure, your treat). In all that, have her appreciate the good photos you produce (so, show finished result, not the raw light table).

After a few sessions when she's more at ease, say "how about a smile for the wrap-up?". Note that anxiety will have passed by the end of the shoot— the hormonal panic reaction is short lived, and deliberate thought is possible once that's flushed out.

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I know a young woman who was utterly photo averse.
I asked her if I could take her photo on various occasions and show her the result if I would then ALWAYS delete the result.
She agreed.
After a while she started to say eg "Oh, that's nice photo, you can keep that one' BUT I would still ALWAYS delete them. Once she was well accustomed to that I moved to "I'll delete it if you don't like it". That in time led to an adequate "keeper" rate.


I find at an event etc that the "delete if you don't like it" offer often helps.

Two people together are more likely to agree to be photographed than one person by themself. If one is reticent you can often "instruct" the other person to persuade them to have a joint photo. | Interestingly, in some situations a stranger is willing to allow a dual "selfie" but not an individual shot.

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I had the same problem as you. I solved it by the following way:

  • Don't take the photo at the end of a countdown. For example: 5, 4, 3, and take the photo! You take the photo to your girlfriend when she isn't ready for the photo, so the photo is like natural.
  • Or sit at 5 meters of your girlfriend, get ready the camera and call her, and take the photo. Is like the previous solution.

This worked for me. I hope tgis can be useful for you.

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