I know how you feel.
No really, I do. This past weekend, Kyle and I had photos taken of the two of us. I LOVE how they turned out, but I get it. The stress. The anxiety. The nerves about being photographed. I understand insecurities and things we wish could be “photoshopped” or changed. I understand wanting to have good hair, no giant pimples, white teeth, and only 1 chin.
Let me be real honest. The last time Kyle and I got professional photos taken was on our wedding day. Just 8 months ago. I think that was the prettiest I’ve ever felt. I had a beautiful dress, people helping me with my hair, makeup, nails…you get the picture. I felt REALLY good. So imagine my fear when I had to walk into my closet to pick out a few shirts and pants for this shoot. NOT as exciting as picking out a wedding dress. I hadn’t spent months running on the treadmill or working on my tan. This shoot was me. Normal me. SCAAAARY. Dear Jesus, please help me not look ugly. Dear Meghan, can you help me with my hair and makeup. Dear Kyle, does this sweater make my butt look big?
I want to tell you though, that I am SO glad that I have these pictures to look at. Because they are REAL. They are Kyle and I. Yes, the photos were taken by an AMAZING photographer who knows how to pose, light, and work her camera. But she didn’t change who we were. She made us feel comfortable in our own skin, and took photos of us. Being us. So even though I have things I wish I could change about my appearance, I am glad that our photos reflect who we really are. What we really look like.
But when Kyle and I looked through the gallery of images that Jessi sent over, he kept saying “Babe, you are SO pretty” or “Look how good you look!”. Where my first thought is to look for my flaws, his first thought is to look towards his favorite things about me. Kyle isn’t the only one. Your friends and family LOVE you. When they see a photo, their first reaction isn’t to pick you apart. I promise.
I had a client tell me once that she needed to cancel her photoshoot because she hadn’t reached her goal weight. I understand setting goals and wanting to look your best. But I also know that it’s been over a year and we haven’t rescheduled. Why? Because there will always be a reason to not feel beautiful. There are plenty of articles telling me every day on Facebook how to drop 10 lbs. How to clear up my skin. How to whiten my teeth. And while all of those things aren’t necessarily bad, I have to know that even without whiter teeth, clearer skin, or smaller hips, I still am valuable.
My husband plays guitar. In my opinion, he’s AWESOME at it. But, there are guitar players that are better than him. What if one day he decided, because he’s not the best in the world, he’s never going to play again? We would all think that is silly. Because not being perfect doesn’t mean we stop trying. It doesn’t mean that we aren’t good enough. Yes, we might have areas where we could grow, learn, change. But that doesn’t mean that you aren’t perfectly ENOUGH right where you are. How you are. How you look.
So please, I know being photographed is vulnerable. It can feel scary. But the right photographer can help you feel confident. Help you feel comfortable. You deserve to EXIST in photos. To not have years of your life where you hid from the camera in hopes that it wouldn’t catch your flaws. Nobody is focused on them anyway.
Here are a few of my favorites from our photoshoot.
Photos by : Jessi Deal of Echo Photography. Go to her website, see her work, pick your jaw off the floor. She’s FANTASTIC. Jessi, working with you was SO fun, and SO easy. Thank you for being not only an excellent photographer, but a wonderful new friend. Looking forward to seeing you again!