Today was picture day at work. Remember picture days in elementary? I didn’t. I completely forgot what it’s like to have my picture taken. Add in the fact that they’re completely revamping the website after work and these will be our bio pictures for all to see. Aaaagggh!!
So, 20 minutes before my time slot I took over the bathroom. Changed into my chosen shirt (Lord knows I don’t trust myself to wear it all day without spilling something on it). Brushed hair. Spent 10 minutes vacillating in the ultimate hair-down vs. ponytail debate. Put on make-up (which I promptly scrubbed off 5 minutes after the photos). Hiked up the stairs to the temporary photo studio on the 4th floor, only to find my access key didn’t work on that exit door. I walked all the way down to the 1st floor and to the elevator on the far side of the building only to find that the elevator wasn’t working. And that’s why I trudged up the stairs to the 4th floor again. Awesome. Who doesn’t love red-faced photos? =)
Fifteen minutes later and 20 photos of me trying not to squint as I looked into the camera, I was done! I now have such a renewed awe for my clients. It is way easier to be on my side of the camera. He gave me directions on how to turn and lean, but I felt completely blind. I had no idea what he was seeing. He let me look through them at the end and I saw one photo where I looked relaxed with a genuine smile. That’s the one! Now that I know what I looked like, I asked him to let me try again. I walked back to my spot confidently but my confidence dissipated the minute I looked at the camera. I knew how I wanted to look, but I had no idea what to do to achieve that look. And that’s the difference between models and well, everyone else. Models spend time honing their craft, practicing over and over again in front of a mirror. They learn how each slight change in angle or expression will look. Most of us don’t have that level of self-awareness.
And that’s where your photographer comes in. I always tell my clients “trust me, I’m not going to let you look anything less than absolutely beautiful.” They can’t see what I see through the eyes of the camera, so I have to be their eyes. Part of what I bring as a photographer is just years of coaching people, making sure their photos reflect exactly how gorgeous they are. And the biggest secret is finding those moments when they forget about the camera and focus on each other. There’s no posing, no direction, just the emotion of a special look, unexpected laughter, or a sweet kiss.