My Favorite Picture of Myself
Today I'm sharing a confession: I don't like to be photographed.
I know, I know, GASP! How can a photographer dislike being photographed? When I spend all of my time telling my clients how much they'll cherish their images and how wonderful it is to have memories? Well, I promise you, when I talk about the value of having images to document and remember your lives, I truly mean it. That's why I DO take my own advice and torture my poor hubby with professional portraits
every year or two. But does that mean I enjoy it? No.
I'm much more comfortable on MY side of the camera than I am in front of it
, as I think many photographers are. I have all the same insecurities as the average girl. And they all come shining through when I see a portrait of myself. Friends, trust me, I know that when we inspect photos of ourselves we see the flaws we know are there. Mine are big arms, a slight double chin, a big forehead, and thick thighs. Sound familiar? I have two things to say about this:
1. We're the only people who see those flaws. Your loved ones and friends, when they see pictures of you, see the person they love. So don't let the things you see stop you from sharing and enjoying photographs of yourself.
2. Despite those flaws, it is still important to give our loved ones the gift of memories of us. None of us know when our last day in this world will be, and the photos we might cringe over just might be a great comfort to someone someday.
Now to the real point of this post! My new favorite picture of myself. This week, while attempting to be very productive, I spent an evening backing up photos to an online storage gallery (I have lost a hard drive of personal photos in the past, and it's devastating, so get your memories backed up in multiple places, including online!). While perusing through our honeymoon photos, I came across a shot of myself that surprised and delighted me. It was a photograph that my husband took while we were at dinner one night on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. I can't believe it took me five years to single this image out and truly enjoy it:
My brand new hubby had taken my camera and photographed me, caching me mid-laugh.
I'm humbled by this image. To me, it's myself through my husband's eyes. It's a very happy me, as a brand new wife starting out on this journey of marriage. It's a reminder that a photograph isn't about the camera gear or the training we receive- sometimes it's just about how the photographer sees the person on the other side of the lens. And in this shot I see the love my hubby has for me. He'd probably tell you I'm romanticizing things a little bit, but he's not the hopeless romantic that I am.
To my clients and brides:
Don't fret over the little insecurities that we see when we look at portraits of ourselves. We are who we are, no photograph is perfect. Don't be critical of yourself, and try to see yourself as the ones who love you do.
To my photographer friends who really don't like being photographed (I know you're out there):
Hand the camera over a little more often. I know I'm going to do that from now on, and put my hubby to the test now that he's proven himself a pretty impressive amateur shutterbug.
Let's make sure we leave this world with a flurry of memories for the people we treasure to enjoy, shall we?