“I hate that one. I look horrible.”
We all have flaws that we dislike about ourselves. We know that we’re our own worst enemies when it comes to how we look, and we often feel bad about how we’re represented in photos. Everyone has things they don’t like about themselves - but there’s a reason you need to be open minded about how you look when you have your photo taken.
“I look so fat. I need to lose weight.”
Maybe you’re a little chubby, like me - whether that’s from having kids, or just being comfortable - it can be hard to see past things like that in photos. Your eye is always going to go to your perceived flaws first. And we are so harsh on ourselves. Too harsh. Maybe you have wrinkles. Maybe you’re waiting to have photos done when you just ‘look a little better in a few months’.
I know, you’ve heard this all before. You should love yourself more, you should feel good about your body. But here’s the truth - sometimes we just don’t. Sometimes it’s just like that.
But I know one thing for absolute certain. It’s something of a secret, but one I wish we all kept in our minds.
We do not look the way we think we do.
At least, not to the ones who love us.
Think about your children - how they see your extra padding. You know what they think? My mum is so soft, she gives the best hugs. Think about your partner. Your partner thinks, ‘wow, when she laughs she gets this little dimple in her cheek, and I would do anything to see that dimple.’ Think about your friends. They think, ‘she has the most wonderful smile when she talks about the things she loves.’
"I love the way she smiles.”
“I love her passion and seeing her light up talking about the things she loves.”
Here’s the truth - you don’t see yourself when you are expressing real, genuine emotions. When I take your portraits I ask you to talk about the things you love, or think about funny moments, or even tell jokes to make you laugh. These genuine moments capture you at your most real and authentic. The feelings within shine through and, ladies, let me be the first to tell you - it’s breathtaking.
"I love the way she feels soft in my arms.”
Capturing those shots of your laughter, your smiles, your contemplative moments are what drives me. It fuels me with a passion. Because that’s the real you, and when you look back at your prints, or your photo albums or your canvasses in the years to come, you will see the real you, the you that your loved ones see everyday, the you that will be remembered in the hearts and minds of your children and their children and all the ones that care for you.
You may not like every single photo of yourself. But in the future, you’ll have a true representation of who you were and who you are as a person. And that’s a gift. A gift to yourself, and to your loved ones. In fact, there’s no greater gift than a memory - a photo stays true long after the memories fade.