|"Mom, I don't like that picture of me. I don't think I want to glue it to a card and or add it to my scrapbook."|
We grew up hearing that beauty wasn't just skin deep and that it was in the eye of the beholder. Are those sayings true? I think so. Being a photographer, I've viewed my job as capturing that beauty that is more than skin deep. That sassy personality, the raw emotion of someone who is fighting through a moment or the total surrender that someone can have before the Lord. I met a woman at a recent photo shoot who didn't want to be photographed. She saw the camera and asked me to please not take any pictures of her because she was more comfortable behind the camera than in front of it. This is something that I'm pretty familiar with, because, well, let's face it, if I was more comfortable in front of the camera than behind it, I'd be a model instead of a photographer! Anyway, I joked with her and said that it was just because she had never had the right photographer before and that she had given me a challenge! We laughed and every time she saw me throughout the evening she made a point of acting as if she was hiding from the camera. I didn't, however, take any pictures of her. That is my regret. She is a beautiful woman who didn't realize that she has such a great laugh and smile. I wish I would have taken her shyness as a challenge and captured an image of her where she could see how delightful she really is. I didn't even try, I wanted to respect her wishes and not make her feel uncomfortable, so whenever she was around I lowered my camera and let her pass by. Would it have worked? If I had gotten that great photo in a moment where she was enjoying the evening with her friends, would she have liked it? I'm learning that even if I love a picture and am pleased with the personality that it shows, that the person in it isn't necessarily going to agree with me. I think that boils down to how we see ourselves. Remember, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Have you ever seen a picture of a close friend and just laughed because it showed their quirky personality in a great facial expression that you've seen countless times in real life but never in a photo? Did your friend look at the photo and enjoy it in the same way? I think we view ourselves too harshly. I am guilty of this as well. I don't remember a time in my life where I have enjoyed having my picture taken. There are so many flaws that I see in my physical appearance; my weight, my teeth, my freckles, my big nose with the two angled slope, my over the top facial expressions, the list goes on and on. What's funny, is that years later I can view the same picture of myself that I really hated and think, "Why did I not like that? I don't look bad there." It's all in the way we view ourselves and our image.
Here are a few examples. I'm not to the "why didn't I like these" point yet. I still look at them and cringe a bit. I love that they are moments that I'm enjoying with my daughters, I do NOT love that my body looks the way it does or the fact that I have a lot of wrinkles now or even that I make some crazy faces. Are these bad pictures because I don't like the way I look? No. My family would really like them. My kids see them and say, "MOMMY!" when they see them come up on the computer screen, they are a true representation of what I look like, wether I like it or not.