I know – if you book a photographer for yourself, you might get the “why” question from friends and/or family.
“Why are you having your pictures taken?”
Let’s counter that: Why not?
I will be the first to admit that I am not 100% comfortable on the other side of the camera. There are usually more outtakes than good shots of my face, no matter how talented the photographer. That being said, reversing the roles and being photographed myself has been one of the most significant confidence boosts for me in the past couple of years. It was never even as painful as I imagined it. If you have the right photographer, you’re not going to feel stiff and nervous. After a little while, you will be able to relax, laugh, and let go of your inhibitions. In post-processing, unflattering photos are deleted, the best shots are selected, and by the time you receive your gallery, you will be so glad you did it. Having someone else take your portraits gives you a chance to see yourself in a different light; and it is so refreshing.
Most people do not want to ask to be photographed. For whatever reason, we sometimes perceive ourselves to be vain and unjustified unless there is a specific occasion that conventionally calls for a photographers’ services. For the record, I completely disagree – it is not vain at all. And no, I am not saying this just because I am a photographer myself.
You deserve to feel seen. You deserve to do something for yourself that kicks your confidence up a notch and leaves you feeling worthy and realized; and on top of that, one day you will be gone, and photographs will be the only way for future generations to see you. I got this wake-up call last year. My mom sent me a picture she had taken on her phone of a print of my grandmother from the 60’s. My grandfather had taken the picture of her – we looked so much alike! I’d had no idea that I so closely resemble her at that age, until I saw that photo.
So, no: being photographed does not make you vain, conceited, self centered… none of that. It is creating a reflection of yourself at this point in your life – an image of this version of yourself that you will never be again, as you are forever evolving. It means that you value memories and nostalgia, and you want to be able to look back on this time for your own reasons; or you want your children and their children to be able to see you as you are today.
I will give you a few reasons from my clients and myself, but there are many many more.
I am happy and I feel whole – I want to remember this “me” and strive to maintain her.
I am struggling with self-love and need to get out of this rut.
I am a (DV or SA) survivor and want to be comfortable in my own skin again.
I am turning __ next month and wanted some photos where I felt like a sexy __ year old versus a tired mom. (Verbatim quote from a client this morning!)
I am juggling a crazy schedule and I finally have time – why not?
I am always behind the camera, and I need to switch it up.
My business is growing and I need branding content.
I just feel like it!
I’m going to defer to a renowned photographer’s advice here:
“Exist in photographs. For your children, for yourself, and for the people who love you.”