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Help Your Clients Overcome Their Fear Of the Camera Lens With Peter Hurley At TEDx

By Hanssie on November 3rd 2014

If you’ve ever met Peter Hurley, you’ll know that he is more than just a strong jawline and the Squinch. Peter Hurley just has a charisma and magic about him that translates directly through his images, which is why he is such a well known headshot photographer. Peter has a way of photographing people that allows an emotional connection to peek through in the resulting image. I was able to hang out here and there with Peter and his gorgeous wife, Yelly, this week at PhotoPlus Expo and I can tell you that the former Ralph Lauren model is more than just a pretty face.



Why do people in general feel so self conscious in front of the camera? I partly went into photography to avoid having my photo taken because when I’m on the wrong end of a lens, I feel awkward, self-critical, uncertain and uncomfortable – and many of your clients do as well. In this following TEDx talk, Peter Hurley teams up with psychologist, Anna Rowley to help people “overcome their fear of the camera lens.” Calling it “Psyphotology,” a combination of their two specialties, Peter and Anna discuss self-acceptance and how the camera exposes the gap between who we think we are and who we think we should be.

If you’ve taken portraits for a bit of time, you know that the photographer is more than “just a photographer.” You are a philosopher, a stylist, a digital plastic surgeon, and a psychologist to your clients. They place trust in you to make them look not only their best, but to capture the likeness of the the person they want the world to see. In the following ~14 minute video, Peter and Anna delve into some of the psychology of taking someone’s portrait and how to overcome the fear and judgement that comes when a camera is pointed at them. They discuss “exposing the true self” of the people you are photographing and how to capture the beauty that is in every face.

A big thank you to B&H Photo for sponsoring the SLR Lounge team coverage at PhotoPlus Expo! It was the most exhausting, jam packed, exciting and fun week ever!

[Via Fstoppers]


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Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at Follow her on Instagram

Q&A Discussions

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  2. Clare Havill

    Great video, I love the psychology of portraits.

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  3. Vipul Jivan

    So simple and yet very effective.

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  4. Dre Rolle

    Great lecture. It’s funny how I’ve learnt more from videos you guys post compared to some courses I took when I was in college.

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  5. Andy Van Patten

    I love the emotion you can feel from Peter. Shows that he really does love his work

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  6. Peter Nord

    I watched this more than once. I’m getting my students to watch it. Be good for your photographic soul to watch it too.

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