“What I like about photographs is that they capture a moment that’s gone forever, impossible to reproduce.”— Karl Lagerfeld
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Last week I took my first pictures of myself in a two-piece swimsuit. I was afraid that I would hate how I looked as its different looking at yourself in the mirror compared to pictures taken of you. Why do we care so much about how we look in photos? I would say again the media has a lot to do with it. How many times have you seen the commercials or magazine ads with the before and after photos of a weight loss company? How many of you felt like you looked exactly like that before photo? The before photo is tied to being unhealthy, depressed, and the person hating their life.
Therefore, I feel like we judge our photos based on this subconscious thought of feeling like we must look like the happy, healthy, and upbeat after photo being in the best shape of our lives. That is exactly what these companies want you to feel so you can buy their product or service. I’ve dreaded being in swimwear because I always thought I looked like the before photo. The fact is before and after photos tell you and others that their or your body is not attractive or good enough. These after photos are also usually photoshopped as well which makes the body type even more unattainable. I used to think these before and after photos were an inspiration, but I also didn’t realize there was a deeper hidden issue in them telling everyone who looks like the before photo that they should feel terrible about themselves or unworthy or less valuable.
Well, I call that bullshit and we need to say F YOU to those judgmental before photos. We instead need to embrace who we are right now and enjoy documenting our life with wonderful photos which are full of memories, and joy. Here are some tips on how you can embrace every photo you take.
Realize So Many Photos You Look at Are Edited. Before social media, if you looked at magazines many people don’t’ realize the heavy photoshopping that goes into the photos. Now with social media especially on Instagram, the game is to have the best photos. You must realize that most of the photos that are getting hundreds and thousands of likes are most likely edited and remastered. So don’t feel bad when you take a photo and it doesn’t automatically look amazing there is a lot of work that goes into making photos look exceptional. When I took photos of myself in my swimsuit I edited the photo making the colors a lot brighter and vibrant. I also played with the brightness because the lighting wasn’t the best so I tried to make it brighter. I use picsart for editing my photos and enhancing them. You must also realize that some photos people are editing their face and body. This is why we must not focus so much on a photo where we are feeling bad about ourselves because it is just a photo and more than likely it had a lot of editing done to it.
Take Lots of Shots. Also, if you want a good picture try taking more than one shot so you can choose the ones you like. I took so many shots and there were some I didn’t like because of the lighting or how I posed. Therefore don’t feel bad if you take one photo and you don’t like it you will have to take many trying different lighting and poses to find one you like. If you ever take selfies you know you don’t just take one you take many and choose the one you like this is the same for all other photos of yourself. A photo with family or friends only one photo is taken and usually someone had their eyes closed or someone didn’t smile it was just one or two photos taken so don’t feel bad if you didn’t come out so fabulous. We all have those photos and it just makes us human we all can’t have a special photo op every time we take pics with family or friends.
Bring Out Your Inner Sexy and Have Fun. Some of us take photos too seriously we look like a deer in headlights. I know I am shy in front of the camera and do a lot better when I am taking the pictures myself or away from a lot of people. I’ve learned though that photos are just photos and when you let loose and just feel carefree and you get better photos. Get comfortable with the camera and acquainted with it by taking photos everywhere you go. Try different poses don’t just stand stiff have a little fun and add some personality to your photos it really makes a difference. Some people think people who take selfies and pictures are vain and narcissistic, but I think it is people who just have confidence and want great photos of themselves to look back on. Are there vain and narcissistic people who take pictures? Yes but not all people are that way. I think we are afraid to be judged by other people by feeling great about ourselves. Again, people will always have something to say so if you want to do it do it for you and stop caring about what others say. A lot of people think social media has made us so vain but our grandparents would have done the same thing if they had it. My favorite picture of my grandmother is of her posing like a model in front of a cameraman who was on the street of Las Vegas selling photos. It is a photo I will always cherish of her and it makes me want to be just like her.
Take Photos to Share with Your Loved Ones. Lastly, I think photos are so special and we get to have a virtual album to share with loved ones and people from all over if you have public social media profiles. My Mom never liked to take pictures and it made me sad because I don’t have many pictures of her. We may dread taking photos because of how we look but we don't realize we are leaving fewer memories to share with our loved ones. My Mom has gotten better-taking photos and they mean so much to me. If you have people around who love you unconditionally they will not mind how you look and only enjoy the photos. Again some people will always have negative things to say and some of those people can be family or friends. Don’t let those negative people take your photos away from you and people who are positive and love you. I have had negative statements about me in photos and it was just petty for that person to say but it didn’t stop me from posting fabulous pics I am still living my life!
Embrace your photos whether you hire a professional photographer, take selfies, family photos, or if you want to just have a photo shoot done by yourself. Photos are memories and we can look back and reflect on them which is a great way to remember who you are and what you enjoyed at that time. So take out that camera and SMILE!!