Every time I pick up my camera, I ask whoever stands in front of it to relax. To let go. To trust me. I ask that they free themselves of any insecurities they have – for they are beautiful, especially amid their (supposed) flaws. I squeal when the light hits the curves of a woman’s face just so, or when her eyes glow, her hair blowing ever so gently in a soft breeze. This is my passion – documenting life, capturing the true and unique beauty that each soul possesses.
But when it becomes my turn in front of the camera….suddenly the quiet confidence, the belief in myself, the ability to turn off insecurity goes away. I’m a giant bundle of self-loathing complete with body image issues and ugly duckling syndrome. I laugh and say that’s why I’m the photographer – I hate getting my portrait taken, so I make sure I am the one behind the lens, not in front of it.
That all changed a month ago when I went to visit my dear friend Anda for a mentor session. A photo session, with yours truly as the subject, was on the agenda. The purpose was partially so I could have some photos to use on my website and other materials that didn’t involve me staring at myself in the mirror, face half eclipsed by my Nikon, and partially so that I could finally see firsthand what it’s like for my clients. An exercise in relaxing in front of the camera, trusting my photographer and her vision, believing in myself and my beauty.
Below are some of my favorites from the warm, golden light filled, winter afternoon:
Anda: Thank you. For helping to give me better vision – stronger sight – and belief in myself. In so many ways. I am forever in your debt.
To my clients: Thank you. For being exactly who you are – each and every individual, unique, beautiful one of you. And thank you, from the bottom of my oversized heart for trusting me. I would not be where I am without you and I wholeheartedly love each and every one of you.
To anyone who has ever been nervous or afraid to step in front of a camera: I hear ya, purring, kitten. But do it. Believe in yourself. Trust your photographer. And smile. Be. Love. Live. Dance for no reason. Throw back your head and laugh. Wink. Breathe. Deeply, if you have to.
It’s worth it.