I use to hate my nose. From the side, especially. I used to think that everybody could see every little pimple underneath my make-up and that my legs looked too big to wear shorts in the summer. I was self-conscious about the way my hair looked, especially if it wasn’t perfectly straight. Let’s be honest, our hair has a mind of its own in the sweat-drenching, humid Wisconsin.
I’d find myself comparing my Instagram profile and Facebook images to other girls – wishing I would have a little bit more of this and a little bit less of that. And while there is nothing wrong with the girls that I was comparing myself to, what was draining my soul was the lack of ability to realize my own worthiness and unique features that make me who I am.
And all those insecurities? Guess what - no one really notices! And if they do notice, they are too busy worrying about their own insecurities to care enough. No one pays attention to your nose, big thick strong thighs, or frizzy summer hair. Your worst critic is you – own it, embrace it, flaunt it.
As a photographer, my job requires me to put people in the spotlight. It’s like throwing them on stage to give a big speech, more than likely without having any practice or much experience in public speaking. Public speaking is terrifying! And for some people – being photographed can feel just as daunting.
It breaks my heart.
All the moms who miss out on photographs with their kids because they haven’t shed the 10-15 pounds they’ve wanted to lose. The couples who feel like they don’t show enough emotion. The seniors who feel like they aren’t photogenic. The guests at the weddings who run from the camera when I start photographing them with their family and friends who they haven’t seen in YEARS and quite possibly may never see again.
Photographs are documents of time that we will never get back. Each milestone, event, senior year, wedding, and growth of your family is just a passing second that you will never get to have back – ever. The ability that we get to photograph these passing seconds and preserve them is AMAZING!
Maybe I am a little biased as a photographer, but really – think about that. The world is just a never ending cycle of life moving forward, in a world where we often forget to live in the present – and a photograph can preserve moments we can’t get back.
It’s natural to feel a little uncomfortable when you first step behind the camera. With a little guidance from your photographer and finding someone you are comfortable with can certainly help ease that awkward tendency to wonder where to put your arms and legs. And while a good photographer should remind you that you are doing great and looking beautiful – what they can’t ensure is that you feel and believe that you are worthy of being photographed. You truly have to believe that you are enough and that your nose is the perfect size and your legs look great in that favorite dress.
Your kids will love you in their pictures because you’re their mom. They don’t see the extra weight that you’ve wanted to lose before the photos – they see the love and embrace that you’ll give them. Your friends and family don’t see the flaws you make judgment of during your senior pictures because they love you and think you are perfect. You will only get engaged or married to that person once, and when you grow old together you’re going to look back on your photographs and remember the sweet young love you shared, without even blinking about how frizzy your hair looked. The couple’s wedding you attended where you didn’t run from the camera, will get to show their children someday their great aunts, uncles, cousins, friends and family who maybe don’t have the privilege to walk this earth anymore and they can remind the generations to come of who has shaped them and played a part in their lives.
You are worthy of being photographed. You are beautiful enough and perfect enough to share in those memories with your family, spouse, or senior pictures. Don’t let a few pimples, dress size, or judgement of others stop you from feeling confident in preserving the moments of your life you will never get back.