Almost every one of my clients tells me that they are completely un-photogenic and hate having their photograph taken. They look at my photos and they think everybody I photograph is stunningly beautiful, except for them. The irony is, most of the people in those photographs thought and said the exact same thing.
I think that they book their shoot, thinking it’s months away and then, as it draws closer and they haven’t lost an unimaginable amount of weight or haven’t had time to get their hair done, they wonder why on earth they’ve signed up to this kind of torture.
And I totally sympathise. I’m a woman. I hate my wobbly bits. I wish my hair wasn’t so frizzy when the air is damp and I’m really not a fan of having my photograph taken, either.
However, one of the most incredible parts of my job, is making every woman and young lady I photograph feel beautiful.
And everybody is beautiful!
I’m aware that that sounds cheesy and clichéd, but since doing this job, I’ve learned the real meaning behind that statement. I look at people differently now. I see them, rather than their hair or outfit. And it is totally true, that you can find beauty in everybody.
It’s not magic, it’s just about opening your eyes and your mind and discovering that beauty is about more than what we see in magazines. It’s about looking at each individual and finding their own version of beautiful, rather than expecting everybody to conform to an ideal. Is it in their sparkling eyes, or their coy smile? Do they have an infectious personality that needs to be captured on camera?
Every one of my models is different and unique. And every one of them is loved by somebody, whether that is their parents, their partner, their children… When I photograph them with their horses, my aim is to create images that will make them fall in love with their horses all over again. However, at the same time, I also want to take photographs that will remind those special people in my clients’ lives of all the wonderful qualities they love about them.
And I’m beyond proud to say that there have been perhaps one or two occasions, out of the 500(ish) I have worked with, where my clients, after telling me how much they hate themselves in photographs, have come back and told me that they don’t like themselves in my photographs.
For the most part, my clients see their images and in a surprised voice, say ‘Oh, I look great!’ Yes! you do! What an incredible thing to be able to do for someone. To prove to them that, even though they usually don’t like pictures of themselves, they are beautiful and the images from their shoot prove it! And to show them that this is what everybody else sees when they look at them.
And I would lay money on the fact that you are beautiful, too!
Happy International Women’s Day!
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