There are plenty of reactions after seeing sneak peeks of your last photo session--positive or a negative.
I'm going to hit on the two extremes of these reactions. It's been subtly brought to my attention that our (and I'm going to stay consistent with this "our") insecurities rise to the surface when we're placed in front of the camera. I'm confident we all have them, and they all manifest differently in us. I decided a blog of encouragement was in order.
I am the perfect example of working through insecurities, and I specifically have examples that involve being in front of the camera. Let me take you back to my high school senior pictures. I was the ultimate winner of insecurities. I could not feel comfortable in front of the camera; I was hyper-critical with the results; and I ultimately did not enjoy the whole experience because of this. Doesn't that sound…horrible? Sad? Had my confidence, selfishness and worth been placed elsewhere, I would have told you that my senior pictures were: "amazing", "so much fun", "a wonderful memory of my high school years". But if you notice, that's not how I remembered those pictures, unfortunately. I truly want to change this mindset around for myself and for my clients.
Here I am on the other side of the camera, and I have plenty of encouragement for you and wait for it…myself!
Jordan and I took pictures with other local photographers last May, and I began to notice old tendencies: I still found that I was hypercritical of myself. I felt uncomfortable in front of the camera, and in the beginning, I just couldn't quite enjoy it. And then it hit me….I, I, I.. me, me me!
During and after our photo shoot, I asked myself, "Why not just have fun with Jordan during our shoot?" "I should just relax and be in love, like I am?" "Do I want to enjoy these photos forever or be negative?"
I came up with 3 suggestions to seeing yourself as beautiful in your photos. These are three suggestions to seeing yourself as we do, as your spouse or fiancé sees you and more importantly how God sees you--how He created you. Uniquely you. And yes, I use these, and they are what have encouraged me throughout the years since my high school senior pictures.
1. These are for you, but they're not.
When you think about it, your senior pictures, your engagement pictures, your family pictures, are you the only one who's going to enjoy them? Isn't your fiancé excited? Your grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles? Take away the selfishness and the "me, me, me" of the shoot and think, "my grandchildren will enjoy seeing us so in love someday" or "my parents will love having a professional senior picture of me showcased in their living room". I mean, how much can your family really enjoy having these prints made to display if they know every time you walk by it, you will pick out the negatives that nobody else notices?? I had to tell myself this in my most recent session- these are currently for me, but someday they will be a great memory to pass down to my children and grandchildren- "their parents and grandparents were so in love!"
2. Be uplifting.
You're only beating yourself up if you see your photos and immediately critique them. The Bible has something to say about this: "Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear." Ephesians 4:29
Matthew 15:18 talks about whatever comes from out mouth precedes from the heart and defiles a person. Our thoughts are so impacting! My encouragement to you and me is to stop those negatives thoughts at the root when they begin. When you see yourself, think positively: "man, my hubby (or fiancé) looks cute!", "look how big my smile is!", "these will definitely be cherished", or "hey, I'm fiiiine!" ;-) Just flatter yourself, okay!?
Start doing this…yesterday!
3. View yourself how God sees you.
Quite simply, my most comforting verse through my darkest days of insecurities in front of the camera or not, was: "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb." Psalm 139:13
Okay just take a second there…and meditate over that. Helllooo!! You're gorgeous in His sight! I can't imagine He's smiling when you're critiquing your every square inch in that photo. He wants you to see yourself the way He sees you.
All to say, if you enjoy your spotlight in front of the camera and if you can take away the selfishness and criticism, photo sessions can be so much fun. As a photographer, it's saddening when beautiful people overlook the beauty, love and joy from their photos because their blinded by their insecurities. This is your time to be engaged, to be graduating, getting married, celebrating an anniversary, and the list can go on! ENJOY it and everyone else around you will too…forever!
I truly hope this is encouraging to at least one person, because I know I could have used this during my high school years. I hope this reaches those who most need it, and I would love for it to be shared.