How comfortable are you on camera?

At what point over the last few years did the world slip into this notion that everyone should feel comfortable in front of the camera?

I must admit, I’ve always harboured a certain fondness for being in photos. A couple of years ago, a friend did the old classic joke of asking a few of us to pose for a photo, but instead took a video of us. Everyone else gave up after 5 seconds or so of posing, but sure enough, I was still standing stock still in my pose for about half a minute before I realised the joke was on me. However, if I’d known it was a video from the start, even though my desire of being in front of the lens wouldn’t have changed, I would certainly have been a lot more self-conscious.

Is it the invention of Skype that means we should be completely at ease at seeing ourselves ‘live’ on camera? I’ve known people to smarten themselves up before a Skype call. Sadly I don’t know anyone exciting enough to get glammed up for when making a video call- apart from when I was doing my finals in Dublin and my boyfriend was in Paris. Unluckily for him though, trying to look nice for that one call when my only other company for the rest of the day were a load of books and a bunch of other library goers was a bit too much to bother with at the time. It seems to be that video messaging is such a convenient tool these days that it’s as easy as picking up the phone, and therefore requires little effort for both parties.

The second question is, do we act very differently when on camera? Certainly Mum might have if she knew her video camera was on in a recent Skype call. It was only because I could see her sorting through her papers on her desk that I knew she wasn’t listening attentively to me. But perhaps that’s acceptable and even commonplace now? The reason, after all, that we were Skyping each other, was because it’s free, so what does it matter what she was doing in the background? If it had been a phone call, I’d have been none the wiser that she was more interested in sorting through her bank statements.

So when did this general shift to being comfortable on camera take place? And how did I not notice it as an exact time? Certainly most of our home videos from when we were children are incredibly ‘affected’. I would probably not have given such an intricate and elaborate dance performance to The Contours “Do you love me?” if our poor nanny wasn’t standing there with a video camera filming the whole charade… I just wish she’d missed out the bit where my brother and I start fighting about who’s taking up more space in front of the camera.

Do you have any funny stories about being filmed? Where you didn’t realise you were? Or you recorded someone else who didn’t know they were being filmed? How comfortable are you in front of the camera?

Let us know!

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