We are our own worst critics! We spend so much time focusing on the negative, we forget our own beauty and greatness. As a photographer I am often saddened by the horrible and judgmental things that clients say about themselves. We all need to be a little easier on ourselves because it keeps us from leaving a legacy of photographs for our children. When they look back at photographs as they get older, they will CHERISH images of themselves with their mom (and their dad too!)
So why DO women hate to be have their portrait made?
1. I need to lose 10 pounds. This excuse comes in a few packages… I’ve heard “Ugh, I hate my double chin!” “I have tummy pooch.” I’ve even heard someone exclaim “Eww my arm looks fat!” Really? Smacking with sarcasm, I want to say, “Yeah, that’s the first thing I noticed when I looked at that picture too!” NOT! Our personal body image issues all sound that ridiculous to others. Seriously. Let’s agree to learn to practice acceptance and embrace where we are now. You look great and you are the only one concentrating on those minor details and making that judgement. Everyone else just sees you for the amazing, beautiful, talented person that you are. Be comfortable in the skin you have today.
2. I don’t like my smile. Well I’m here to tell you that everyone else loves your smile! What you might be responding to is the forced smile you make when you stop to pose for a photograph that you’re dreading to have taken. The job of a professional photographer is to help you relax and get comfortable and bring out a natural a beautiful smile that shines from the inside out and lights up that natural sparkle in your eyes. But if you’re interested, here’s a tip: Keep your chin down just slightly and turned a little to one side. And try to RELAX and HAVE FUN!
3. My teeth aren’t white enough. Your kids won’t care.
4. I need a haircut. Don’t over complicate it! When you look back, what will you really remember? What was happening in your life at that point. Some of the big milestones for the kids. Maybe you’ll be reminded of a specific memory because of the location or setting. More than likely you’ll have an emotional response and experience a feeling. What you WON’T remember is that you needed a haircut!
5. I don’t know what I’d wear. This is the easiest one. And the most complicated. The easy answer is wear something that makes you feel good! The complicated answer, well that’s another blog post, maybe even a webinar. I’m in the process of putting something together with Lee Heyward of Style with Lee about this topic. STAY TUNED.
So what’s the bottom line? Women are often blatantly absent from photographs of their family and children. Myself included. Why? Because we have a list of excuses for why we don’t like to have our picture made. But how does our family feel about photographs of us? They will absolutely LOVE THEM and cherish them. They won’t put us under a microscope and judge what we see as flaws. All they will see is that we are wonderful and fun and quirky and cute. AND they will see how much we LOVE THEM. They will one day know that we loved them enough to get over it and get in a portrait session.
I hear too many sad stories of people who wished they had a great photograph with their mom or dad. Even as adults and as our own parents begin to age, it’s nice to revisit the idea of family portraits.
Do you have a photograph you cherish? Or a story of a missed opportunity?