I just want to lose some weight first… I always look so terrible in photos… I am terrible about putting outfits together, we won’t look as good as those families… My schedule is so busy… My husband hates family photos and will never go for it.
Does any of this sound familiar? Is there an ugly voice in your head keeping you from capturing your today? That’s right, I said ugly voice. That is just what it is. Many of us struggle with this voice. We are always made to feel like we aren’t good enough. We need to be thinner, prettier, taller, and acquire the more expensive stuff to show your worth. We need to do it all and organically to show how we much we care about our families. Well, I’m here to tell you that you are good enough and you don’t need to change a thing. Have you heard the song “Try” by Colbie Caillat? You don’t have to try so hard.
We see beautiful images online and think how much we would like to have images like that of our family. Then the ugly voice chimes in. That mom is beautiful, I’ll never be that pretty, so why bother? That mom is so thin, I just need to lose some weight first since the camera adds more weight. They look so put together, I’d never be able to come up with such cute outfits. “Oh well, maybe one day.”, you say to yourself and close out the website never to return.
Well, I’m here to tell you that family pictures are about LOVE. They are about the love you have for your family and they have for you. Your family is growing every day and before you know it your thoughts of “one day” will turn into “too late”. Don’t let it slip away because of your insecurities and the ugly voice in your head. I know, it’s not easy, but things that are worth it seldom are! I think you are beautiful. Your love for your family is beautiful. Sure you may not be the size you want or have a nose you aren’t self conscious about (raising hand), but you have your family. You will walk away with images that you will love because they show how much you love each other. In 2 years, you will look at them, smile and say to yourself, “I’m so happy we did this.”.
Your self image.
I wish I could change this for you, but I cannot. I can’t even change my own self image. I can’t make promises to make you look thinner or prettier or taller. I will not photoshop you into a supermodel. My goal is not to change who you are or what you look like. My goal in a session is to capture connections with you and your family so that you are focused on that, not how you look. Your love and joy will shine through the images and be what draws you to them. Those feelings will show how happy you are. Your happiness is not measured by your waistline or the size of your nose. It’s measured by the ones that make every day worth living and smiling for. My hope is that you feel beautiful in your images because you look comfortable and connected with your family. That you smile and think how beautiful you are because you are happy and blessed. I also have to say, you are probably way harder on yourself than you should be. Many of us have this idea of how we look, but it’s not the reality. Just keep in mind it may be worse one day and not better, lol. I swear my nose is growing with age!
This is where I can help some. My clients are always welcome to send me images and ask for help with deciding outfits. I have been there! It’s often easier selecting outfits for others than it is for your own family. You can read Choosing wardrobe for your session.
Making the time.
You can make the time. If you don’t make the time, you will regret it! I was so busy working with my own clients that I never made the time to have my family photos taken. I was so ashamed. More time was passing that I was missing out on having captured. I finally contacted my photographer and said lets set a date because time is just slipping away. It is now a priority to me! I don’t want regrets because I couldn’t carve out one night for photos. Make the time! It’s too important not to. I photograph families on weeknights and weekend nights from May through September. So there are many options to work with. If your schedule is very difficult, book early to ensure I have a date you need.
Let’s talk about the husbands. I think some husbands don’t like photos because they also have insecurities. It’s important to build them up and encourage them. Most are also used the the studio posed portrait sessions. These often bring out our stress smiles. If you work with me, we do attempt the smiley camera aware photos, but they don’t consume the session. Show him my work. Explain that there will be play and fun, not sit still and smile *wagging finger*. Most husbands end the session with a smile and say tell their wives it was a lot more fun than they expected. Tell them how much it means to you and that they will thank you in 10 years.
Let go of any visions of perfection you have in your head. You just have to let it go *refraining from singing here*. There is no creating a “perfect” photo. The most perfect images are the ones that happen naturally during the session. You have to be open to just smiling through no matter what happens. You have to be ready to play with your kids and snuggle with them. Go in with the attitude that the perfect image will come when you’re smiling and just focusing on your favorite people. If you stress over the perfect shot, you will not relax and enjoy the session to create those beautiful moments that melt your heart.
Photography is a luxury. You don’t need photographs for your survival. I’m sure you can think of many luxury things that you spend your money on over the course of a year. How many of those things gain value over time? How many of those things that you purchased a year or two ago make your heart melt? Don’t think that photography is not ‘affordable’. You can absolutely afford photography if you choose to and budget for it, just like you would do for any luxury purchase. The average client spends $500-$900 with me. If you were to set aside just $50 a month, you would have $600 for portraits in a year. Instead of you and your husband trading gifts for an occasion, choose photography instead. Do you have parents who still give your gifts for holidays? Ask for help with a portrait session (we know Grandparents would love some photos to show off their family). Whenever we are asked what we would want to save from a burning home, the answer is mostly photographs. Doesn’t that tell you just how important they are?