If you come across a photo of me between 1980 and, maybe, 2012 you will probably find me sticking my tongue out. I’ve hated having my picture taken for as long as I can remember. HATED. IT. My way to communicate my displeasure was to stick my tongue out. Not very grown up, I’ll admit. But effective.
But why? It probably has a lot to do with not only FEELING fat and ugly but also being told many times as I was growing up that I was fat and ugly. I’m not going to go into a sob story about what a rough childhood I had, about how I didn’t feel like I belonged in my own family and about the abuse and dysfunction – face it, many of us have been through that. I’m not special. I’m just going to say that period in my life probably has a lot to do with the WHY.
But I got to thinking – cancer will do that to ya – that if I were to be gone from this earth my kids wouldn’t have any photos of me smiling, enjoying my life (which I do!) or just being ME. How long would it take them to forget what I look like? How will they tell my great great grandbabies about me without a photo?
There was that and then I took a photography class the first part of the year and we talked about printing photos and I realized I haven’t printed out a photo, especially of me, in a VERY long time. They all sit here on my computer or my phone collecting dust.
So I decided to change the whole photo taking and photo printing dynamic. I sent out an order to the first company I found that printed Instagram photos and I went back through my account and printed out a whole slew of photos of myself (and some of family members too).
You know what? I don’t hate them. And when I shared them at a family dinner recently my kids were calling “dibs” on which photo they wanted. I can’t begin to tell you how loved I felt
So how do you Get More Comfortable in Front of the Camera?
- Take photos of yourself. Selfies give us the chance to practice in front of a camera. And you know what mom says, “Practice makes perfect”. Or at least less awful. Selfies aren’t just for the teeny bopper fashion bloggers either. Let’s show the world what a grown woman looks like.
- Give family and friends the OK to photograph you. You will feel more comfortable with someone you love behind the camera.
- Be patient and take (or allow others to take) lots of photos. Just like when I’m shooting a project for this blog – I might like 1 out of every 30 shots – so take lots.
- Be natural. Do things you normally do, hold items that you often have in your hands. Keeping with your regular routine and props will allow whomever is taking the photos to get a more candid photo.
- Try not to make too much of a fuss. So what if you blinked or your hair is misbehaving. Just go with it. This is real life.
- Be silly. Allow some shots of you being totally silly.
- Try to forget that the camera is there. This will help you relax and not fret so much.
- Finally, you don’t HAVE to look at the photos. I mean, if this is a real hang up for you allow them to be taken and then taken away. Just allow your children to have those memories of you.