I’ve just got off the phone with yet another photographer who told me the number one reason people don’t book family photos is that mum is waiting until she’s lost some weight (I’ve heard it so many times!!).
My first reaction was heartbreak. Then I found my hands flying around, my voice raising and my emotions charging. Yes I’m sad, but I’m mad, too. My goat is got and I want something done.
I’m not mad at the mums. I’m really not. I get it. I know from the marrow of my frame, why mums are waiting and if you’re one of them, it’s not your fault. I’m sad for you, and mad at the world. Mad that the culture we live in, with its unabashed meanness about anything fat, is stopping families from gathering memories in pictures that children will cherish.
I love looking at photos of my mum. They are the best way I have to invoke my memories of her. And I have never once wished she hadn’t taken a photo because she didn’t look good. They all look good to me. Some of them make me laugh – there are some truly terrible pictures of her, particularly the ones at the end, when she was sick. Some of them make me cry. Some are beautiful and some are weird. I am grateful for every single one.
As I write this, a message from Nicki, a photographer who knows first hand the cost of waiting, pings on my phone. Her mum, having had five kids, put off family photos until she could get back in shape. Before that happened, Nicki’s dad unexpectedly passed away. They don’t have a single family photo. Which is why Nicki is passionate about helping mums find the confidence to get important pics taken, even if they feel it’s better to wait.
Nicki also tells a lovely story about a photo she has of herself with her then two year old that she hated at the time (the double chin!), which is now one of her favourite photos. Sometimes we just need to get the photos taken and then put them away until we can see the beauty.
But this isn’t about me and my mum or Nicki and her family. This is about helping you find the confidence (and giving that snaky cultural belief that we’re not good enough if we don’t fit a certain beauty ideal a swift kick in the nuts) to snap families memories, that we might be putting off until…
…we look better.
…we’ve done the health kick.
Literally years can swing by and suddenly we wish we’d taken the damn photos because we look back and think, wow – if only we’d known how great we looked back then.
And then we wait some more until we can get back in shape.
And then more years go by.
And then we really regret that we just didn’t get over ourselves and get them done.
If you’ve been putting off getting family photos, I’m writing this blog to give you the confidence to get them done now, not later, no matter how you think you look.
I want to help you find the confidence to get out there anyway. As Kate Ryan says “I just wish people didn’t think they had to wait.”
I want to light a fire in you. I’m here to encourage you to flip the bird at our social constructs that are literally stealing our ability to capture family memories that our kids might cherish.
Five reasons why:
- You may never look better than you do today. You’ll never be younger, that’s for sure. I don’t mean this to be negative. I mean it as a way to celebrate every age and stage you go through.
- You are enough. Let me say that again. Just as you are today, you are enough. You may have a voice in your mind telling you you’re not. But you are. Your kids want to remember their family. They love you. You’re enough. I encourage you to get yourself a visual reminder, like these bracelets that Jo Sinton makes. Wear it to your photoshoot.
- There are many tips and tricks for building confidence in front of the lens that you can use to make you feel more confident. Kate Ryan has a fantastic three part blog series about gaining physical and emotional confidence to be photographed. Read part one here to prepare.
- Nobody really cares what anyone else looks like – we are all too busy worrying about ourselves. Your kids will cherish these photos even if you don’t like them. Have you ever thought someone you know shouldn’t have family photos taken, that they should wait? That’s because, as I said, everyone else is too busy worrying about how they look to really care about anyone else.
- Your kids are watching how you act. If you get out and do ‘life’ things, regardless of how you look, you send the message that bodies are for using – that no matter your size, weight, shape, age, ability – you are worthy of goodness and of being photographed.
If you’d like more body confidence than you currently have and want to raise kids who will grow up and feel good enough to have their photo taken, I’m giving an online seminar on Sept 9 called Master Healthy Body Talk and Raise a Happier Family. I hope you come along. You can find out more about it here.
In the meantime, I hope you book that photoshoot. See below for a list of photographers I can personally recommend.
The Body Confidence Coach
Here’s a list of Photographers who will see you as good enough, exactly as you are. They are kind, non-judgemental and will make you feel 100% worthy.
Leigh Jeffery (Arrowtown)
Kate Ryan (Waikato)
Ruth Gilmore (Hamilton)
Catherine Smith (Hamilton)
Nykie Grove Eades (North West Auckland)
Monica Ferguson (Wellington, Hutt & Wairarapa)
Tara Lemana (Kapati, Wellington)
Tracey Morris (Whangarei)
Nicki Osbaldiston (Orewa)
Salome Nourse (Pets and their people | Hobsonville Point)
Michelle Hepburn (Hawkes Bay)
Sharnelle Lewis (Mount | Papamoa | Tauranga)
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