My good friends Caitlin and Reggie encouraged me to do a photo shoot for the better part of the last year. They kept telling me that I belonged in front of a camera, even though I’ve always preferred to be behind the scenes. I kept putting it off until finally one day, I decided to face my fear. The first several shots felt super awkward, but after a little while it became pretty natural. Caitlin was telling me about these old, behind the scenes photos she had seen of Marilyn Monroe. She said that for every amazing picture of Marilyn, there were at least 30 around it that were not as good. There could be several hundred photos taken, but often just a few make the final cut.
Caitlin explained why so many people feel like they look bad in pictures. If you just take someone’s photo once or twice, oftentimes they are not comfortable yet. So when they look at the photos and see their awkwardness, they often write themselves off as not being photogenic. Social media adds extra pressure to feel perfect. A friend of mine took a photo the other day of three of us and before anyone could really see it, she had cropped the bottom half out because she thought her leg looked fat. I’ve never seen someone edit a photo so fast in my life, but that’s the norm these days. Many people take a photo, stare at it, dissect their flaws, then delete or edit it beyond recognition. My photo shoot experience was just the opposite, as Caitlin had the sense not to let me look at any photos until the shoot was over. I was shocked at how many photos I loved. I know a huge part of it was not getting all in my head about it. There were several pics that were awkward, but I could also tell when I was in my zone. When I was having fun, listening to music, and dancing around, you can see the genuine smile on my face. When I was trying to do too much, it was obvious as well. Caitlin was able to capture me in a way that I had never seen myself before and I am so grateful for that. I realized that to change the way you see things, sometimes you have to change the way you see yourself.