So you “hate the way you appear in pictures”?
Do you know how many times I have heard that?
My main photography work is all about children portraits, however, I usually encourage mums to be present on a few snaps too. I feel they should take the opportunity and just go for it. At the end of the day, you don’t have a professional photographer on hand every day, do you? I do my best, despite being told straight away “oh, my hair isn’t in the best state, I am not photogenic, watch your lenses as they may break, are you sure you want me to ruin my child’s pictures”. I have heard that so many times, nearly every time I take pictures!
So what does it mean? We are trying to be amusing but actually, it shows, most of us ladies are insecure about the way we look. We prefer to stay away, to not to look into the camera screen, or just say in advance how ugly and untidy we are. Are we, really?
How can I help you?
So if you decide to take part in your child’s photo session and if let me take a few pictures, I am going to try my best to show you in a most favourable way. To explain you what I mean I decided to share this comparison picture of me and my baby girl:
Both of them had been taken by my husband, in the same room, on the same day, in the same lighting conditions (natural window light from the left). I had the same makeup, the same hair and the same level of energy (roll on newborn nights!) But I hope you will agree there is a difference between them two images. I could say that I hate the way I look on the left one. My eyes got dark circles, my nose looks bigger and not quite straight, my lips look dark. So how come the same person could look so much better on the other picture? The key is positioning the model against the light! My hubby takes good photos but I can say frankly I wouldn’ t show this picture from the left to my client. Probably I would move them to a better light before taking a picture.
(It’s worth adding my baby girl looks utterly amazing no matter who, how and when is photographing her. Babies just do that, eh?)
So as you can see I am able to control the way you appear before I even take the picture. I can also do my best during the editing time, when I will beautify you, smoothing your skin, lighten your teeth or emphasise your cheekbones…
But you know what…it won’t be good enough
I used to feel quite low about my photoshop skills, when after the whole lot of work I put into editing, a mum told me “well, I don’t think I want to keep this picture, it’s not your fault I just don’t look good enough”.
Here we are, mum’s curse of the year. Not good enough!
Still too much weight, too many wrinkles, dark circles, spots, damaged hair, stretch marks. We believe one day we will change into a new version of Julia Roberts but for now, we prefer to stay in the safe bubble of our prejudice. One day we will be ready for self-acceptance but…not this time.
We still have some time on this Earth, do we?
Once upon a time, there was a mum who did a lot to make herself beautiful but she never felt satisfied when she looked into the mirror.
She had a lot of makeup but still failed to cover what made her unhappy.
She styled her hair every day but wasn’t proud of them. Yes, she was one of them ladies who would say “oh, don’t take a picture of me, please crop me off, or show me now at the back of your camera, oh no, you have to delete it right now!”
She spent a lot of money on clothes but always repeated: “I am so fat, I need to go on diet, from next week I will control myself”.
And you know what, she started losing weight eventually. Very soon she got to the point she could even fit into her daughter’s leggings! There was one problem though. Apart from losing her weight, she has been losing her hair too. Doctors made her aware this will happen after the treatment she received for her cancer…
She passed away last year. Her daughter is wondering what to do with all the clothes she left.
This is harsh. I know. Perhaps upsetting. Far from sugar-coated images of ever happy mum and daughter.
But I just wanted you to know I really hope you are going to have a lot of luck in your life and hundreds of occasions, when you will decide you look good enough to have your pictures taken. I really wish you all the best but please take a moment to think:
Is constant displeasure something you want to waste your time on?
Do you want to teach your daughter how to moan about the way you look every single time you see your face in pictures?
Is that how you want to raise her?
And now recall a favourite picture of your own mum and think if it really matters to look like a photoshopped celebrity on your family pictures?
Will your children care if you had full makeup and hair done?
Or will they be grateful one day, you have found time at some point of their life to preserve the most beautiful memories for them?
So yes, I can find the best light and the best pose for you. I can arrange my creative makeup artist to make you look “better”. But perhaps there is a work to be done on your mindset level?