I recently received a message from a client that both thrilled and broke my heart… and also called me out. Her words were my own.

“It’s been a long time since I’ve had a picture of me that I actually like.”

So If you have looked around on my website, you have probably wondered where I am. Well, duh, I’m hiding behind my camera, taking beautiful photos of my clients and avoiding being in photos!

Many of us women, myself included, hide from the camera for one reason or another – we’ve gained too much weight, we haven’t lost enough weight yet, my eyes bug out, we always have a double chin, I’m not photogenic, etc. etc.  (The bug eyes part is my own insecurity shining through there.) But there is this really harsh reality that we women need to face :

When our kids look back through family photos with their own children – we won’t be there.

It seems that no matter what we do, it will never be enough to make us shread that fear of being photographed.  We all can assume the root cause of our feelings is the media objectification of “the perfect woman”. But who cares? That’s never going to change. What needs to change is us.  Our self-confidence, our self-love, and appreciation of just who we are as we are.

Our kids, families, and friends love us just as we are, why can’t we love ourselves that way?

alexshelley_grandmother

I love this photo of my grandmother. Wasn’t she a Betty? She wasn’t small, she wasn’t “skinny”, but she was never “fat”. Her eastern European genes gave her hips for children to ride on, big strong legs for working, and the ability to survive famine. And I inherited those genes.  I should own that proudly, right?  My client is gorgeous, kind-hearted, and so fun, which you can see in her photos. She should own that, right?

So let’s not shy away from having our photograph taken, especially by a professional photographer.   You have nothing to fear, and here’s why:

High-end cameras and long lenses really do make you look better.

Long lenses, which most portrait photographers use, compress the images.  I won’t go into details, but trust that the camera can actually take OFF 10 lbs.  It’s not the same as your cell phone camera or even a consumer grade DSLR and the lens that comes with it in the box.

When we say “great light” we mean it: that stuff is awesome!

With the right lighting, wrinkles, bags, and bug eyes can virtually disappear.

Different angles enhance different features and make others disappear.

A good and experienced photographer knows how to accentuate the features you love while minimizing those you don’t.

Photoshop is a miracle worker.

Now, I don’t mean that your photographer should do the full magazine cover overhaul, and personally, I won’t.  I will, however, erase major blemishes, soften those wrinkles, and make those dark eye circles magically disappear. Ain’t nobody got time for that! And they’re just wrinkles; people Botox those things every day. That being said, don’t trust just any photographer to do this. Inspect your photographer’s photos. You should not be able to tell that a wrinkle was erased. If a face looks like melted plastic, run. Run far, far away…to another photographer.

Be real!

Have you noticed that candid photos always look the best? Why? Because you are relaxed and staying true to yourself.  When that camera comes out, we tend to freeze up and are suddenly concerned with what we look like. Give it up! Relax, have fun, be real. Laugh out loud and enjoy what God gave you.

I hope this info gives you the confidence to get in front of those cameras.  Make memories with your family be sure to document yourself in those moments.  Better yet, call me. I’ll do it for you with my long lens.

I’d love to know what makes you feel confident in front of the camera.  Leave your hints and tricks in the comments and maybe they will help someone else.

Remember, you are enough!

much love,
alex

P.S.  I got another text from my client. Her new Facebook profile photo got 347 likes/loves/wows, and 75 comments!  That will definitely boost a girl’s confidence!

 

 

 

 

 

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About the Author Alex Shelley Photography

Alex Shelley a birth and lifestyle portrait photographer in Dallas-Fort Worth. She loves coffee, long walks through Target, and kids who use sarcasm fluently.

2 comments

  1. One hint I have is to dress in what you are comfortable & confident in. As your discomfort can travel all the way up to your face when wearing something that you keep having to fidget with. Obviously sweats and a T-shirt won’t do for a photography session, but something you feel beautiful in, will. If jeans and a v-neck feel good, wear that. Or wear a maxi or midi length dress that you feel confident in. Or if you’re not comfortable showing your arms, wear a cute cardigan, floral pants and a T-shirt underneath. Whatever you feel confident, comfortable and beautiful in, will set the tone at your photography session. : )

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