Live in the moment
Make it so beautiful it is worth remembering
As a photographer, you have a special privilege of capturing memories and being on the “inside” of many individual’s intimate moments of thoughts, fears, insecurities and memories. Maybe you were asked to capture the moment a young man proposes to his love.
Or maybe, the moment their first born enters the world and takes their first breath.
Possibly you were asked to capture a first kiss, on their wedding day. No matter what the moment captured, as a photographer, it is an honored moment.
Today my post is going out mainly towards women. Yes, you know who you are. We women are the ones who insist on family portraits and as long as that photographer can hide all our flaws, we are happy to stand in the back row and let them take a snap shot or two of us WITH our family. OR we insist on being the one behind the camera to capure sweet moments with friends & family, but never willing to be in front of the camera because we are ashamed. I am guilty of this as well, before I became a photographer for sure. Having our photos taken causes every fear of imperfection to rise in us that possibily could. May I encourage you in this post to change your mind, and your perspective, about being perfect in every photograph, but to be you…as you are, right now, in this moment….and possibly as the only individual in front of the photographer’s lens (as scary as that sounds).
We, as women, have fought for a long time to be recognized as equals in the world of men. Don’t get me wrong, I am not a women’s libber, but I do believe God created us, men AND women, in His image. I do not believe that God created one to be greater than the other in His eyes. With that, the one place we certainly do NOT want equal share is infront of a camera. Ladies, mother of your own or friend of those God intrusts to you, may I remind you the importance of a photographer capturing the real you. I know it can be so awkward and uncomfortable, trust your photographer.
If you have hired a good one, or a friend is practicing on you, do all they ask…..even the silly stuff! Why, because they will capture the best you possible, that everyone and anyone who knows you will love, all from the silliest request. May my memory of a beautiful woman of God and gift placed on this earth for a time and a season encourage you to think differently.
Meet Jackie. Amazing Wife, Loving Mother and Loving Friend. This image was taken two years ago. I had just met Jackie at a homeschool moms women’s retreat in GA. I had known her, and many of the women there that weekend, for as many as ten years through our online community of homeschool moms that were all using the same curriculum. I cannot even begin to describe this community to you and all it’s amazing connections of the heart. Jackie and I had never met before this 2013 retreat in real life. I admit that the reason behind this shoot wasn’t because I wanted to capture memories for everyone, well….I did and it is always my goal, but really my reason for offering the mother/daughter shoots was to protect myself from being known and possibly hurt. I didn’t want to let anyone in that weekend, for I was terrified of finding out what these ladies might really think of me once they knew me. Think of online dating…..it would be similar to that. Fear of being known. Knowing your FB presence may not represent the real you in real life. Yes, I chose to hide the best I could that first day behind my camera, because that was WAY easier than being with the ladies there. So I created a sign up sheet and I offered mini sessions.
Jackie and Shelby were my first mother/dauther to sign up. I was nervious, but was in my element. Here is what I remember best about that session. I walked out to these woods behind our cabins. The fall leaves were beautiful and I could see it would be a great place to shoot. I was in shorts, not the best decision while in the Georgian woods. I don’t know what was biting my legs that whole time, but it was not pleasant later. We all have a few funny memories from that…..all I have to say is “activated charcoal paste….and Mom’s Love Rub” they do not mix if you want to get the charcoal off later. Yep, Jimmy Crow had returned by way of my bug bitten legs. I digress.
Jackie and Shelby were the best first subjects I could have possibly had.
Jackie’s bold and joyful personality immediately put me to ease and by the end of our half hour I felt like we were great friends. She didn’t judge me. She didn’t presuppose who I was. She only thought the best. It is rare, I am finding, people who only think the best of others. Jackie was one of those people.
Even when I asked her to throw her head back and give me a good laugh, she thought I was a little crazy, but tossed her head back, gave a nervous laugh and then her daughter, Shelby said something, that made Jackie truly laugh. Gone were the nerves that originally had her holding back and she totally let loose. I love when I get these moments especially. While Jackie didn’t particularly love this image of herself, Shelby and I (and sooooo many others) agree it embodies all of who Jackie was. Yes, I say was. That is the purpose of this post.
So many women refuse to have their photo taken or to show the one they had taken as they didn’t like something about it. I don’t always like photos of myself either. The funny thing is, NO ONE notices that little thing(s) we women notice about ourselves. The only thing our family and friends see is the woman they know to be us and if you have a good photographer, they will remember you for who you truly are! Beautiful, vibrant and full of life!
Yes, those moments are worth remembering and worth capturing.
So, when you feel uncomfortable, let down your hair, be determind to find that happy place and don’t fear being yourself in front of the camera.