Tuesday, September 11, 2012

What are you waiting for?

There’s a recurring theme when I speak with women about booking a session (be it family or glamour) and it is, “oh, I’d love to have photos but I’d like to {fill in the blank} first’.  The most common hesitation is with regard to weight and I am here to tell you that you are beautiful, right now, today!

In a few days it will be 15 years since my mom’s death and not a day goes by that I don’t think of her and miss her.  My mom was BEAUTIFUL…her smile and the sparkle in her eyes brightened any room she was in.  She was generous beyond measure and stubborn and kind and loyal and an honest-to-goodness poster child for her Zodiac sign of Cancer!  She also struggled with her weight.  I believe that because of her insecurity about her weight she never pursued us having family portraits and, in large part, the only images that exist of her are snapshots.  I can’t tell you how much I wish we had professional portraits done before she was ill, before she was gone. 

A photographer ‘friend’ (we’ve never met in person but I think he’s the coolest!), Edward Verosky, published an article last year (http://www.edverosky.net/blog/2011/03/an-important-time-to-be-a-photographer/) in which he wrote about a conversation he’d had with a salesman at a large photography store in NYC.  Their conversation centred around the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and its impact with regard to photography.  The salesman said this, More people wanted cameras, and I think it had something to do with the fact that they started thinking about how things around you might not always be there.”  And, man, was he right… the people we love, the legs we have today, and the city skyline we grew up with are all transient and we cannot know how long we will have them for.

I recently saw a greeting card that read, “All I want for my 40th is my 25 year old body”.  Isn’t it true that we are so critical of ourselves, on a daily basis, that we don’t spend enough time (if any) relishing in how great we look, how wonderful we feel, how our hair is softer now that we’ve discovered Moroccan Oil :), how much energy we have, how grateful we are for our health, and the list of today’s blessings goes on and on.   Why do we wait for comparisons to the past in order to realize today’s fortunes?

I know firsthand that a woman wants to get ‘prepared’ for a photo session, especially a glamour or boudoir session, and it makes sense.  I also think that the preparations for a beauty shoot can do wonders for us…it made me more conscious of what I was eating, it motivated me to drink more water, I have never been as disciplined with my workouts as I was leading up to my own boudoir shoot, and I felt like I was demonstrating a wonderful example to my children about finding balance in life and not always putting ourselves, as moms/wives/employees, at the bottom of the list.  We are important, and we need to value our own health, wellbeing, and happiness and, in so doing, we better the lives of everyone around us.  What I don’t believe in is setting unrealistic goals (for instance, "I will do a portrait sitting as soon as I have Elle McPherson's body!") that you feel must be achieved before gifting yourself, and your loved ones, with images of the beautiful woman you are today.

So, for every woman reading this…don’t put off recording your life’s story because of how you think you should look; hire a professional photographer, who knows what equipment, lighting, and posing to employ in accentuating your unique and innate beauty, and celebrate who you are TODAY…trust me, the experience and resulting images will be treasured!

Life is beautiful!