Fat and Uncomfortable

UNCOMFORTABLE, that's the description I hear most often when people come in to have their photograph taken. It's incredibly common to not like being in front of a camera. Whether it's because you feel fat, old, ugly, tired or what-have-you [insert your own reason here], having your portrait made can be unpleasant.

You are not alone. Based on my own experience with clients, I'd say 9 out of 10 people are uncomfortable having their photograph taken. Even I am uncomfortable in front of the camera. One of my biggest fears is looking fat in photos and not looking like the real me (whether that's looking too good or too bad - although I don't mind the "too good" as much). 

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Take this photograph, for instance. This is a VERY recent photograph and, oh my gosh, I HATE it. I look dopey, ghostly, have no jaw line and look chunkier than I feel I actually am. I have no eyebrows or eyes and I feel like a big pile of gross blah. I. Feel. Ugly.

My husband even, once I told him I really wanted to untag myself in the photo, said he contemplated untagging me because it's not how I look in real life. Like, it's a BAD, BAD photograph - and it's out there for the world to see, thanks to social media.

Now, I've had uncomplimentary photographs before and I've been working on being comfortable getting past my own vanity and appreciating the moment and the people I'm sharing the memory with. This latest picture is definitely testing my self-appreciation methods though. I'm attempting to be thankful for the humbling reminder to keep my vanity in check and always do my best to represent who my clients truly are. While I might look uglier in photos than I see myself, I am choosing to focus my attention on remembering that I love the people in this photograph and the time together this photo represents.

While there is little we can do about the quality of the photographs shared and tagged on social media by other people, any time you have photographs made with a photographer, you can always open a dialogue with them. I want to know your insecurities. I want to know which side is your favorite. I want to know what you are learning to like about yourself. I want to know all of these things so that I can be sensitive to where you are at and capture you in the best light, as the best representation of you.

It's natural and normal to feel uncomfortable in front of a camera. It is normal to have fears and insecurities; and, it is expected that, at a vulnerable time like when you're having your portrait made, your uncomfortable feelings may come out. Just remember you're not alone, your opinions about yourself matter and I'm going to do my best to photograph the most beautiful version of you.

Celebrating Julie : Overcoming Camera Anxiety and Shoulder Surgery
Anxiety does not photograph well, ugh
— Julie concluded with frustration.

Being the librarian for an online international college, it was important to Julie that she have headshots that showed her fun-loving spirit, quirkiness and approachability.

"What I'm needing is not so much a Glamour Shots experience as a professional headshot with assistance," Julie's email read with a bit of stress. She went on to explain that her employer had recently provided headshots for her but she needed assistance "minimizing [her] double chin and reminding [her] to smize." Additionally, Julie wasn't happy because she felt anxious and uncomfortable as the portraits took place in a lobby full of people. "Anxiety does not photograph well, ugh" she concluded with resounding frustration. 

Julie's recent shoulder surgery had also become an added obstacle. "I'm needing some assistance with hair and makeup partly because I rarely wear makeup anymore, but also because I recently had rotator cuff surgery and cannot reach my eyes with my right hand at the moment. I can't even put my hair in a ponytail by myself." 

Even though she was frustrated with the situation, there was a strength behind Julie's words. Admirably, her previous unflattering photographs had not deflated her confidence and, when we finally met in person, she left me smizing myself. 

We provided Julie with hair and makeup services for her headshot session and matched four different outfits, ranging from relaxed and business casual to traditional business attire. After 20 minutes in front of the camera, Julie had a great selection to choose from. Check out the video of her session below to see the two favorites she chose!

Celebrating Jacey
Just because you have a certain diagnosis, doesn’t mean you have to live your life like you’re dying.
— Jacey

On the day of her session, Jacey washed into the studio like a wave greeting the shoreline. She was grounded, excited and ready to have new portraits with her hair all grown back.  From the moment she walked in the door, Jacey had a bounce in her step and a propelling energy in her smile.

As a Face of Komen, Jacey is not only a cancer survivor but has also had a reoccurrence of her cancer, which classifies her as Stage 4. You'd never know she'd been fighting so much because her positivity radiates. Once you get to talk to her, however, you start to realize just how much of a fighter she is - constantly staying positive throughout her treatment. 

Come and be a part of her session by viewing our behind the scenes video!

Champagne Party : A Thank You

I had an absolutely wonderful time seeing so many faces that I love at our Champagne One Year Anniversary Party. My sincerest THANK YOU to everyone who has supported us in our first year in business. I find myself grounded, moved, emotional and thankful reflecting on all of the wonderful people I've gotten to know and all the forms in which you all have shown your love and support. I appreciate each and every one of you. Thank you for being part of my life and the life of my business. Sending my love and gratitude to all of you. <3

Alyson LawtonComment