Updated: May 10
I hear it almost everyday.... women telling me they are terrible at having their photos taken. They aren't ready for a session, their bodies aren't worthy of being documented. I have heard it all and I have a different take on what they actually need. One that doesn't involve bypassing their concerns or steamrolling their fears. Here's why you don't like your photos - the true version.
In my opinion women just have not had the opportunity and space to settle into themselves in front of the camera, to feel safe and empowered. Unless you know your photographer well and you have spent time with them beforehand, a professional photoshoot can feel very transactional. Add in the pressure to perform and the expectation that once you are in front of the camera you will know what to do and is it any wonder you aren't enjoying yourself? Finally, let's not forget the time limit. You know you only have the photographer for a set period of time, so you feel a sense of expectation to execute and perform.
Unless it is your job to be in front of the camera, how often do you actually have the opportunity to feel truly comfortable in that position? Posing for professional photos is not something we are taught to do. Yet we expect to be able to do it well and when we don't we blame ourselves, our bodies, our deservingness...Or maybe you have been shamed, called vain or told who do you think you are posing for photos?
Wouldn't it be nice to learn these skills by taking your own self portraits while gaining confidence with light, posing & the tech...without the pressure to perform?
You need to learn the skill of sitting for photos. You can't be expected to cook a gourmet meal your first time in the kitchen right? The same applies for photos. Logically, unless you are posing professionally, how can you be expected to be comfortable or know how to position your unique body for an image? How can you know how to create shapes that the camera will read, as flattering to you, unless you learn these skills?
You also need to feel safe, and have trust learning these skills in order to feel at ease. You need to feel comfortable navigating and practicing these new skills to avoid the tendency to perform or avoid the camera altogether. You need to be with others who are willing to move past their conditioning, be vulnerable, and grow together. In the Self Portrait Studio we examine all of these layers. We bring in connection through rich conversation and community by sharing our portraits, and learning who we are in front of the camera, together. Without the pressure to perform.