I realize that for some having their photos taken can be stressful and even overwhelming. My daughter used to love having her photo taken! She would always be herself and jump in front of the camera with no fear. As she matured she really does not enjoy having her picture taken, because she feels self conscious. She can not relax and enjoy it. But why is this? Why does she feel this way? Why do most of us feel this way?
Think about a professional photo that you have had taken in the past. What happened? What were you asked to do? Did it feel natural? Did it feel comfortable?
When I got my photos taken, when I graduated from nursing school, I remember the photographer telling me to do specific things to position my body a certain way. He said things like sit on the edge of the chair, lean forward, now turn your head slightly to the right, no too far, back a little bit, sit up straight, relax you shoulders and sit up straight. By the time the photographer was done giving me instructions I was barely even in my chair, I had a forced smile, and I was undoubtedly UNCOMFORTABLE! However, I did without question everything he said. Why? Because I wanted a beautiful picture. I wanted to look beautiful.
There can be some benefits to posing for pictures, more negative space, connection between people, curving lines, or slenderizing our physique. If you get someone to lean towards the camera then their head appears smaller and their body appears smaller when the picture is taken. If you stand to head on with the camera you look wider. If you stand at an angle you can appear smaller. And so on… By the end of posing for photos we may have a nice looking photo, however I can’t stop myself from wondering, was all the uncomfortableness worth it? What was the cost? Did we loose anything as a result?
The reality is when we put pressure on being a certain way, standing a certain way, or having the perfect pose. We sacrifice us in the process. We loose out on personality. The personality of who you are and who people know you to be. You would not walk down the sidewalk turn half sideways with your head in front of your feet. But we pose like this for photos so we can have a more flattering result. But, I question is that flattering result really that flattering when we loose out on a persons natural personality?
I went to take pictures of someone a while back. She was desperate for me to tell her what to do, where to stand, where to put her hands, and how to move her body. She told me that she wanted and needed me to tell her what to do. She told me that she wanted to look perfect. We put too much pressure on ourselves to be magazine perfect, because we are afraid that we are not enough. We want to be accepted by others and look beautiful/handsome.
You are a perfectly imperfect and that is what makes you the amazing you that you are! Being you is more important than any perfect pose or the acceptance of others! When we except ourselves we are able to shine like no one else!
When I look back at photos of my daughter as she was little, I sometimes giggle! Oh My Goodness! They are so 100% my little girl! One of a kind and never to be duplicated, Miss Byrd! The most treasure photos I have are candid moments! Moments where she was being herself and nothing more. When we change ourselves we end up changing the whole look of the picture and missing out on all of those things that make us unique and that people love about us!
Having your photos taken should not feel so uncomfortable. We need to leave behind the times where it is expected that we pose ourselves or have the photographer pose us. I know this thought might make some people nervous and they might ask me “then what do I do when I am staring down the lens of your camera?” Be yourself! You have your own natural signature body gestures, body language, and personality! I might say stand over there in that lighting, look this way, look over there, make her laugh, kiss her cheek, or whisper a secret. I might say pretend there is a bird outside the window and you look and snap. Doing things in photos rather than posing in photos for me seems the best way to capture the beauty of you!
What do you think? Am I wrong? Am I right? What is your experience?