Over the past two weeks, I have been talking a lot about loving yourself, finding confidence, and actually being in pictures. Last week, I shared my post Confidence from Catastrophe, and just yesterday, I had a conversation with a client of mine whose family I photographed a while ago, but she has yet to purchase prints. She contacted me about scheduling a petite session and a family life story too. She mentioned that she knows that she never purchased from the last session, but her husband had been hesitant because of his weight (he’s down 92 pounds from our last session). This got me to thinking about how, as adults we make so many excuses to not do things based on how we feel about ourselves. I began to think about what if we never took a picture until we were 100% happy with ourselves? We would never be in another picture again. Or for some of us, every picture would be tightly cropped to exclude that part of our body we don’t like.
If I had a dollar for every time I heard a client say, “this is only from (here) up, right?”, indicating that I shouldn’t photograph them full frame, or “you can Photoshop 10 pounds off, right?”, or when a pregnant mom complains that she’s “fat”…. I wouldn’t have to play the lottery because I would have been rich a long time ago! You can’t image how it pains me to hear someone tell me “as soon as I lose these last 10, 20, 50, 100 pounds, I would love for you to photograph me” (photographers everywhere just let out a collective sigh). The fact is, we all are who we are in this very moment. There are seven days in a week and someday isn’t one of them. There will come a day, sooner or later, when pictures is the only proof anyone will have that we ever existed. I am SO happy that my mother and grandmothers and their mothers, even though I didn’t know them, stood in front of a camera so that someone could document their existence. I know, just from looking at those pictures, that they had love and happiness in their lives. And I never even thought, “she should have lost weight before having that picture made”, I just love that I have it.
I challenge every mom, dad, daughter, sister, brother, husband and wife to not cheat your future children, and grandchildren out of a life of memories that only a picture can elicit. Be present in a sill picture with someone you love today and promise to appear in a professional portrait as soon as possible. The generations to come; the ones you will never meet; will be grateful.