After a strong bit of coaxing, this client and now friend stopped in the studio earlier this week for a session. She's been going through a rough patch, and I hoped the photos we could make together would allow her to see herself in a different light.
I know women all do it. I hear it nearly every day. Women look into the mirror and they see everything they think is wrong with them. And such was the case with this session - we started with a long discussion about all the bad parts my camera needed to avoid. How badly pale her skin was, and so forth.
I wrote on a photographer's message board the other day that what I do as a photographer is not so much just make pretty pictures, but to allow the beauty and grace of who I'm photographing shine through. To get them to stop, even if for just a while, looking at all the bad parts, and focus on what they don't realize they have inside them. All the fancy tools of this trade, and all the complicated backgrounds, and props get in the way sometimes, and we lost sight of why we're doing what we're doing. In my case - it's for me to show my clients how they really are. How I see them.
Following the session I sent these three photographs to her phone as a sneak peak of the work we had done. "Is that me," she asked? It of course is completely her, and I spent only about 5 minutes retouching each photograph. Even today she was still wondering out loud in a text, "Does my stomach actually look like that?"
We all of course don't have stomachs that look like that, but I have found that in every single woman I've photographed over the course of nearly 10 years - there is SOMETHING, some part of YOU that makes YOU uniquely beautiful.
If you do not know what that part is; please, let me help you find it. Celebrate it. And capture it forever.
This this client - thanks for trusting me. It is the cornerstone of what I do after all.