These comments often are texted, emailed, or presented a few days before the session during my confirmation. The voice or style of presentation is usually quick and panicked. They sound a lot like these: I don't need any images with me in them because I'm not where I want to be body wise. I'm doing this for my kids so I don't need to be in them. I'm so nervous about the photo session. What do I wear? You have to make me look thinner. I'm chubby forgive me. Can you photoshop me thinner?
I hear you. I will take responsibility and ownership that I have been stressed and not feeling well the past six months so I have not been able to lose "it." Women relate to the "it" that I'm talking about. It is mainly those 2 areas of my body that I would prefer to be liposuctioned immediately even if I were disproportionate. I've used photoshop liquify to play around and it looks horrible when you only lipo 2 sections. I'm unhappy with my health and look so I'm working with professionals to change that and yet, I'm still hopping in front of the camera. I have a 4-year-old that is amazing that can care less about my body shaming issues.
Here are a few thoughts that get me into my session successfully.
5. You can love your body exactly the way it is right now.
Don't shake your head at me. Yes, you can. I give you permission. My body gave me my son. It is amazing. Take a deep breath right now. You did that without a machine. Maybe you needed a machine but you could do that!!! I'm so grateful for that gift. Is my body perfect? Let's talk about that. I'm NEVER going to have Cindy Crawford's body. I'm not her. She's never going to have mine. I can have sculpted muscles, weight control and health that I believe she maintains but I look like me and I am going to be ok with that every day. Comparing is not healthy and it keeps us from appreciating what we have right now. There is no physical body that is better than your body. You are unique and it has given you life. Embrace it. Hug it. Love it. I will!!
4. The clothing I wear can be comfortable and flatter my body shape.
I'm spoiled because my sister is a stylist and she is also pretty direct with me. Larissa, step away from the empire wasted clothing and look for a-line dresses. Every time I wear an A-line, I get a compliment. Grab a fashionista friend, hire a stylist for an afternoon and go shopping for STYLES of clothing.
Often, women wear baggy and I will say that baggy does NOT help you in images. Too fitting does not help either. And please be comfortable. What is "dressy" for me is not comfortable for you. If you are a jeans and t-shirt person then ROCK IT!! If you are some gloves, hat, pumps, and lips person then ROCK IT!! I wear my favorite outfit because I feel good and that can change often. The beauty of a session is that I will change over time and I'm documenting my life at this time. I coordinate Dave and Bryan around my outfit. I keep it solid and coordinated. Check our Pinterest here for more ideas.
If you need help, call me. I have gone shopping with clients. It was so fun and the images were gorgeous because she was so confident in the clothing! Confidence is key.
3. What you believe will show in your images.
Oh, yeah. It does. Your body language communicates to the outside world. The more you convince yourself that you are fat, ugly, and undeserving of being in an image; the more awkward you are on photo day. You will pull your face back and increase double chins even if you don't have them. Your beautiful eyes narrow. You convince yourself that you are not worthy.
You are worthy right now in your yoga pants but you have to believe that you are worthy. You have to accept your worthiness. I am still working on that by sticking to my goals and staying away from comparing myself to others. It is daily work for me.
When I am in front of the camera, I turn my mind to what I am GRATEFUL for in my life. I am grateful for all of my gifts and treasures. I am grateful to be able to play with my son, love my family and give my love of photography to others. I share that gratefulness on my face. I promise you that if you think about the parts of you that are beautiful; they will shine in your eyes and love is beautiful at any angle.
2. Trust Your Photographer
This photographer has spent hours pouring over guides, listening to masters and practicing with friends of all shapes and sizes on how to capture the most beautiful version of you. I have studied and practiced choices from the lens, the angle and size of my lens and how I position your body. I get feedback and critique on my images.
I love it on Facebook when my LDE family encourages one another. Women supporting the images of other women. Share your fears, worries and anxiety with me before the session. It helps me when I pose you. Your worry does not have to be my worry but I will share all the love I have with you and my love can be your love. My favorite part of being a photographer is getting a text from you afterward that you LOVE your images. The beauty of digital is that I can play real time with the angles to see exactly how to capture the best images of you. I can take a few, show you how you look and adapt the pose, your hairline, and smile. Usually, women light up for the rest of the session. There are times when they say; I'd rather look like this so we adapt and then they light up. I'm good with that as feedback only serves to give us stronger images. I want you to LOVE them 30 years from now.
1. Have fun, let go and be Beautiful!
Before the session, I think of three reasons why I'm celebrating. Is it a holiday, time with family or beauty in nature? These are the times when I usually have my images captured with a professional. I immerse myself in the background and pretend we are on an adventure. I sing a song that empowers me to feel confident. I allow my photographer to be as creative as possible. We try some crazy things that may or may not work. We play. We laugh. We love.
I allow myself to be beautiful in those moments. I look at the camera and through my eyes, I try to send love through the lens. Life is beautiful. Our journey exists to be celebrated no matter the challenges. The images will help me recall my journey no matter my size. I deserve and am worthy of gorgeous photos. Seriously, I'm ready for a session right now!! I hope that you are too!!!
If you need to chat more about how to get comfortable in front of a lens; please contact me. I want you to enjoy the process and if you do not, I want you to share that with me so that you can have fun and be beautifully captured. Much love, Larissa