Posts tagged honest blogs
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.

Sundays
"Today, part of my self care was opening a book that took me three years to crack the cover and has taken me two years to get to the midway point. This book is both thrilling and unnerving. It's the source of both joyful and disquieting self-examination. In the oddest of ways perhaps..." | Self-Care Blog | Mental Illness | Struggling with Bi-Polar | An honest look at Mental Illness | Running a business with Mental Illness | Mental Disease, A Blessing and An Obstacle | Self-Care with Manic-Depression | Jasper & Fern, Winston-Salem, NC 27101 | The Beauty of Being Yourself | Creativity and Mania | Balancing Life | Winston-Salem Entrepreneur | Woman Entrepreneurs | Self Care Rituals | Self Acceptance Journey | Women's Portraits

I do my best to keep the practice of not working on Sundays. There's a reason the seventh day was made for rest, after all. For the past few months, I've been making time on Sundays for refilling my body and soul; I am making efforts to get in a better routine of self care. That means anything from spending time with family, napping, cuddling with my puppies, napping, making good conversation with my husband without distractions, walking, napping (I like naps), taking a hot bath, creating and (another favorite) sitting in silence surrounded by nature. I'm stepping outside of my habits today to share part of my self-care journey with you while it is fresh on my heart and I have the words to say what I mean.

Today, part of my self care was opening a book that took me three years to crack the cover and has taken me two years to get to the midway point. This book is both thrilling and unnerving. It's the source of both joyful and disquieting self-examination. In the oddest of ways perhaps, it is a source of self care.

You see, the woman who wrote this book, as an autobiography and memoir of her own struggle with bi-polar disorder, seems like she wrote MY biography. Her experiences, her actions, her struggles - they resonate with me on a deep level. For so long I've felt alone in my bi-polar. I've felt alone in the darkness of my depression. I've felt alone in the joys of my mania, never sure which loneliness is worse - not having someone who understands the depth of the pain in the darkness or the emptiness of seeing the most beautiful moments and experiencing the highest levels of joy and having no one to share that experience with. Now, don't get me wrong, I have wonderful people in my life whom I am incredibly thankful for that love me and share space with me and share deep relationships with me but, the pain of being alone in my experiences with my bi-polar... that is a loneliness I struggle with.

That's where Kay comes in. I've never met her but I feel like I've known her my whole life. I feel like she's me - the me that knows every nook and cranny of who I am, the me that gets my existence. The Me that can relate and explain to me in my struggles what's going on, where I need to be careful and how to take care of myself. On many levels, reading this book allows me the opportunity and perspective to care for myself. It reinforces my confidence that I am not alone; it helps me watch for signs no one else may see but I may notice and helps me know how to care for myself during these times. It helps me accept me for me - especially when I'm struggling.

Through my own journey, I've come to learn that self-care can come in many forms. Accepting and learning about You is a big part of that care. Setting aside time for your mind, body and heart to recover is an integral part of that routine as well. So, after turning a few pages while cuddled with my pups and giving myself the opportunity for introspection, I'm going to take a nap and continue this #selfcaresunday routine.