Truth be told, I don't think very many people LOVE to be in pictures. We all have insecurities and things about our appearances that we really don't like. Whether it is our weight, our nose, our skin, or our wrinkles, we can all think of a hundred reasons to NOT be in the picture.
As photographers, it is amazing how many times we hear from our clients about their insecurities. "Can you Photoshop that?" is probably one of the most common requests during a shoot. We totally understand the feeling! To be honest, that's one of the reasons we like being BEHIND the camera!
We had an incredible time shooting headshot portraits for a group of amazing senior citizens at Bethany Courts in Markham a few years ago. We wanted to make sure we posed each person in a way that showed off their character, and the wisdom and soul behind their twinkling eyes. It was interesting to see as each one came in, that these insecurities were still present at 80 and 90 years old. Some didn't want us to photograph their wrinkled hands with crooked fingers, and some hid their twisted smile that had been caused by a stroke.
We just wish we had the time to tell each of them that these insecurities aren't what we see when we look through our lens. In those beautiful wrinkled, and crooked fingers, we see a woman who has nurtured her children, served her family, and given of herself to others for decades. Her heart is made of gold and it makes her face shine. In that twisted smile caused by a stroke, we see a fighter who is determined to get back up again. Each person's face told a story that was so very deep and filled with beauty.
As photographers and parents of little people, Dave and I take thousands of pictures. When we're looking back through the images of our family and enjoying the memories, there is usually someone missing from the photo. We are always the ones behind the camera and usually not in front of it.
One day our kids will look back at our family photos when we're crooked and wrinkled, and they'll see us and feel our presence in the memory we created in that moment. I truly believe that being in the picture is a gift that we give ourselves and the people we love.
I saw a video recently by amazingly talented photographer Sue Bryce that really captures the heart of what I'm trying to say. It's specifically about mothers, but I'm sure you'll understand the message. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Whether it's in a photo booth, an iPhone shot, or a portrait - get in the picture!