Getting In Front of the Camera by Natonya Medford

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Simply Untamed Natonya is about being comfortable in your own skin and allowing inner beauty to become the best thing you wear. All my posts focus on inspiring people to embrace themselves without a care. When it comes to the media and fashion/beauty industry, we are sometimes manipulated to how we identify the outer appearance. My goal is to help re-condition how we see ourselves.

I must confess, I struggle with getting in front of the camera. I find it as this vulnerable place where all your insecurities are unleashed. As I am learning more about myself, I realized being vulnerable isn’t so bad but neither is feeling raw, open and free.

Early July, I finally found the confidence and asked my sister to take a full body photo of me. She was in a rush, so I had to quickly take the pictures. Pressure is a good thing right? It forces you to get stuff done. Immediately, I felt this tightness in my stomach and negative thoughts tried to run through my mind. Before the self-criticism could enter, I told myself: “You Got This. Breathe. All you need is one photo.” I hadn’t really practice my angles but I knew I didn’t want to look at the camera. So I turned to the side, grabbed my mini backpack and exhaled.

The Experience

It has been years since I requested someone to snap a picture of me. I realized my dream of being in the fashion industry will require a high amount of confidence and the thickest skin. Since I’m investing more time into inspirational fashion writing, I don’t want to be someone who promotes content they rarely do. I knew I had to get in front of the camera to be relatable and cohesive with my words.

I told myself don’t be afraid to dress up a little bit. I did my  make-up, which was minimal and consisted of: one application of Maybelline Great Lash mascara, no foundation, NYX Lip Pencil (Plum) and a thin layer of It Cosmetics Brow Power Universal. The hairstyle I wore was a Mohawk braid discovered through various hair beauties on YouTube. I made some changes to suit my texture and I did have some help with the addition of Kanekalon hair, which gave my braid a fuller look.

My outfit:

I’d chosen the rough fence against my floral cold-shoulder dress because I really like mixed textures. The play between the edgy fence and silk-like fabrics is dynamic and different for me. My style is a maximum blend of what I describe as a girly-grungy-sophisticated-edgy-glam look.

When my sister raised the camera to snap the photo, I grabbed my stomach and calmly spoke to myself. The quick photo session lasted 2 minutes. She took three pictures and I was done. I knew she was in a hurry and I didn’t need to let insecurities pour out or I wouldn’t have a picture for this post.

It’s just the beginning for me but here are six tips to getting in front of the camera:

1. Erase Perfection

Do whatever you want, it’s your photo, you set the rules. No right or wrong answer to your picture.

2. Have your camera ready

Set your camera and eliminate one step, all the person has to do is take the pictures. Test out the area with a couple sots.

3. Have a go-to angle or pose

When in doubt, have a go-to pose for those times your friends want to snap random pictures of you. Get inspired through Pinterest photos or print magazine spreads. Studying fashion spreads will help you learn different angles and what looks good for your body. Practice in front of a full-length mirror.

4. Get out of your head

Some of the best pictures come from unplanned thoughts. Let go and enjoy the moment. Negative energy tends to show on camera. Try to think of pleasant thoughts like roses or ice cream but not about the outcome of the photos.

5. Wear something comfortable

I felt really good in what was wearing, which made it easier to pose for the camera so I didn’t feel forced or out of place.

6. Don’t over criticize

Ashley Graham said in her book, A New Model: What Confidence, Beauty & Power Really Look Like

If you think you look good, others will too.

She exudes a healthy amount of confidence, check out how Ashley inspires me.

After taking my full body photo this past summer, I feel more encouraged to try other things that have been holding me back. I learned to let go of the past and not become too critical of myself.

What is a fear you conquered or would like to in the near future?

About Writer

Ever since I held my first Barbie, I always promoted change. By cutting my own clothes and designing the fabrics to fit my dolls, I realized I was being innovative, strategic and resourceful. With my degree in Public Relations, I finally found a way to walk down the fashion runway and it’s through writing. Fashion PR is the best of two worlds for me, fashion and communication. After contributing to magazines and collaborating with fashion companies in affiliate marketing through Polyvore, I’m ready to plant my stilettos into writing. I want to change the direction of the fashion industry by focusing on inner beauty first. I plan to strut down the catwalk of writing with faith and confidence by my side. Ultimately, I hope to inspire others to become their best through motivational and inspirational pieces.


Simply Untamed Natonya



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