Pride vs Self esteem

May 05, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

I just finished the second of two shoots that should have been so easy.  One was a high school senior and the other was a mom of a high school senior.   Both ladies were very attractive.  Their skin was smooth, their hair was styled, they clothes fit well and were in fashion.  Both were smiling, arrived on time, and were very pleasant.  We discussed their photographic needs, I positioned the lights, added the colored gels, and took the light meter readings.  Then...I moved to the camera and things changed.  

As I was adjusting the proper settings, I noticed my subjects stopped talking.  They commented the idea of being photographed brought them a great deal of anxiety.  One had been told she was ugly in a photo--the picture was bad-- and needed to be redone-- without the goofy grin.  See had been 6 years old.   The other had been told to embrace her bad qualities because pride is a sin.  I have been photographing people for over 30 years and I have heard this before.  Some people are looking for compliments, some reassurance, but some are near the edge of the cliff and really need support.  

I want to impress two things today.

  • We are most critical of ourselves.  It is hard to see yourself honestly.  And in today's world, everything is okay even if it is a poor choice.  Find someone you can have honest dialog with and trust their opinion.  They want to support you and will tell you if you look "great" or if you really shouldn't wear those pants...that way.
  • There is beauty and value in everyone.  I shoot--pose, light, coach--people differently for different reasons for different outcomes. The passport image is not the business image which is not the image for grandma and not the image for that dating site.  The people who love us want to see that familiar smile or the 6 year old with the missing tooth or the grandmother with the white hair.  I can make you look great; but, I still want it to look like you.

 

So if your husband's passport is less than flattering or your second-grader has their school image with a silly grin, don't tell them they ruined the photo or the picture is ugly.  That hurts and you missed the point.  As a photographic artist I focus on telling a story in the photo.  Sometimes that is edgy, raw, and bold.  It may be full of light, soft, and delicate.  It may be just silly.  Either way, it is beautiful. 

 


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