Feeling Beautiful & The Fear of Being Photographed

It’s been a while since I’ve shared personally over here on the blog. I’ve posted short little thoughts on our Facebook & Instagram, but sometimes – I need more than a few sentences.

We are in the thick of wedding season right now and it’s been amazing. We truly have had some wonderful clients who have made us feel so welcome and invited us in to one of the most important days of their lives & given us a front row seat. What a privilege to get to capture these moments for someone and for them to trust us to do so.

We’ve been photographing tons of families, engagements, and portrait sessions this year also. I have been able to see a lot of our past clients and meet some new ones.

Can we just talk about the elephant in the living room? 

Insecurity.

I’m not sure that anyone shows up to a photoshoot FEELING like a model. FEELING like they look 1,000% amazing. But I can tell you that most of my clients tell me how nervous they are, or how much they want the pictures to “turn out”.

Friends. You are not alone.

You are not alone when you are looking through your closet trying to find the right outfit. Wondering if this shirt goes with those pants, and if your spouse’s outfit will clash with you own.

You are not alone when you are standing in front of the mirror wondering if you should have done your hair a different way.

You are not alone when you get in the car and hope that you look beautiful in the photos.

You are not alone when you have insecurities.

You are not alone when you wonder if you are too _______ **insert adjective here**.

I have insecurities.

So do my friends who I swear are gorgeous in every way.

So does that person you think always looks perfect.

So do husbands.

So do parents.

So do children.

Even the people who we think would never not feel beautiful. They probably have moment when they feel insecure too.

If there is one thing I have learned, it is that we all want to look our best in pictures. We all want to look at pictures and not notice the things that we so often get caught up on.

Can I tell you what I started doing?

I started saying the thoughts out loud.

Pre-marriage, when I would feel insecure about being too (big, tall, loud, etc.) I would just dwell on it. Which in turn didn’t cause the insecurity to go away. Nope. No way. It just grew and grew the more I thought about it. Oh friends, our insecurities are such liars. They just lie lie lie, but so often we believe them

So. When Kyle would notice me getting into my head and starting to focus on my insecurities, he would ask me what exactly I was thinking.

OH MY GOSH.

Talk about nerves.

Having to actually say out loud the things we are afraid of, or insecure about, or anxious about. It’s the same as turning the lights on in a dark room. What seems big and scary in the dark turns out to be not that scary in the light.

So I started answering honestly. It wasn’t easy, but it has gotten much easier.

Telling Kyle. “I feel like this makes me look fat.” -or- “I’m nervous for our photo shoot because I don’t want to have a double chin.” -or- “I feel like I am awkward in pictures.” WHATEVER I was feeling/thinking, I would tell him.

And guess what happened?

The things I was nervous about seemed a lot less scary once I said them out loud. Once we turned the lights on, it seemed a lot more like something I could handle than when it was sitting in the dark.

…How does this relate to photography?

Well, friends/clients/random readers.

You need to know that you are not alone. You are not the only person who shows up to a photo shoot hoping that they look beautiful. You are not the only one who feels like you might not be a part-time model. You are not the only one who gets nervous. EVERYBODY is in the same boat. I promise.

So when you show up, know that the things you are worried about? 

You are the only one who notices them. 

Harsh?

No.

True.

When I would tell Kyle the things I was insecure about, he was honestly surprised. Not because he is oblivious and doesn’t know what I look like – but because the people who love us see the very best in us. Our friends and family know that we are beautiful, regardless of how we feel.

It’s a mixture of two things, this whole “Feeling Beautiful” challenge that I’m going to give you.

First. You gotta get off the comparison train. You looking in the mirror and thinking how you aren’t as ____ as _____ is never going to make you feel beautiful. You know what? You probably aren’t.

You probably don’t look like your best friend.

Because you aren’t supposed to. 

You are supposed to look like you. 

And looking like you is exactly what the people around you LOVE about you.

The second thing is, you’ve got to start letting yourself be seen.

Which means you have to allow yourself to be photographed. Not just by professionals. But by your besties when they want to take a selfie for girls night. By your husband when he thinks you look gorgeous. By your family when you are together for the holidays.

Don’t run from the camera because you don’t feel beautiful.

Insecurity will steal joy from every occasion you let it.

BE IN THE PICTURE. 

Because you look like you. 

And YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL. 

Kels

 

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