I posted a video over on Instagram and FB, all about motherhood and body image and what it means to put ourselves in front of a camera.
It’s something that’s been coming for a while, a subject I think about often in a professional capacity, and everyday in a human one.
This soft unease in my gut at how the discomfort and anxiety around what we look like and how we feel in our bodies is leading us to a place that, whenever I think about it, I get sad.
When we purposefully avoid putting ourselves in the frame, we are erased from our own history books.
In my working life, I encounter women’s feelings of discomfort at being seen, a lot.
Being able to witness and hold space for other women who are pushing themselves out of their comfort zone, who are willing to trust me and let me in, is an amazing privilege. I feel so lucky that it’s a conversation I’ve had with many women, who have decided that even though it feels tricksy/weird/straight up alien to have a short, blonde woman prone to hugging, point a camera at them, that the pay off will be worth it.
It’s something I never take lightly, and always want to deliver on.
At home, I feel those massive feelings of discomfort in own my body too. As the photographer in life and in the family, it’s easy for me to hide.
To get in the frame I have to either 1) self portrait, 2) ask my husband to take my photo (which makes me feel like a bit of a tit) or 3) hire someone.
Luckily, I know a lot of excellent photographers. Last summer, my friend Jenna came and took some amazing photographs of us, of me.
Putting myself in the position of client was a brilliant reminder for me of how truly vulnerable making it is.
I worried about things I remind my clients over and over not to worry about. At first, I felt like a clumsy oaf - putting my arm in the wrong place or making weird facial expressions (story of my life, that one). But Jenna did for me what I hope I do for my clients (and this is why a good photographer is worth their weight in gold). She reminded me to be me, to let her worry about the light and the expressions and the placement of bodies. She reminded me to be in the moment as much as possible, and let her worry about the rest.
It is not your job as a client to make a good photograph, it’s the job of your photographer.
This is why if you feel uneasy, or nervous, about being in front of the lens, the right photographer is worth their weight in gold.
After a while, the camera was secondary to everything else wonderful. And now I have amazing photographs that bring me joy when I see them.
My children have their own treasure, with me as the jewel.
This is what I hope I can give you, too.
Take a look at the video for more chat around this - and if you want to be brave and work through some issues you have by letting me make some magical images of you, get in touch!