Rachell and I finished our most recent photo shoot a few weeks ago. It is a themed shoot and I am so excited to share the pictures! The thing about this shoot however, is that it was definitely not “me.” I had gone to the thrift store to find some appropriate wear, but I hadn’t actually put all the pieces on together until we were there at the photo shoot. I did some sensible changing in the middle of the parking lot (you know, like you do…) and I gathered my hair up and stood up. I looked myself up and down and said to our wonderful photographer, “oh, this is so not me!”
At first I felt sort of self-conscious. I felt a bit like an imposter, like anyone could look at me and I would be found out! But then, I put on the sunglasses. I don’t know what it was about the sunglasses, but suddenly I just felt like, “Yes. This could be me. I could have a cool, edgy, mysterious alter ego.” From that point on the rest of the shoot was a blast! I felt so good and I had so much fun pretending to be someone who was different from myself.
What I found about taking those photos is that the sort of person I was trying to embody was not someone who would have questioned how she looked. She was confident in her life and her experience and she knew she looked good. So that is how I felt. I think there is certainly some value in the “fake it till you make it” mentality. Sometimes just “faking” an unwavering self confidence can suddenly make it feel real.
To be quite honest, taking the photo shoots is not always a wonderful experience. I have never really liked having my photo taken, even when I knew no one would see it. And these photos are photos I am intentionally going to put up on the internet to try to celebrate how I look. It can be very hard to celebrate how I look now. I would say most days that is not my mentality. So there is a lot of worry before and after the photo shoots. (Of course, during the photo shoots Danielle is wonderful and makes it fun and I do get to feel just a little bit like a model…)
We got the photos back a couple days ago and I LOVE them. Yep there are definitely ones that are not terribly flattering (for the sake of authenticity we tucked our shirts into our jeans which is just never going to be a cute look). My stomach sticks out, there are love handles and double chins and most of the time that is the first thing I can see about a picture. However, even though all those things are present, that is not the first thing I noticed about these pictures. The first thing I noticed was how much fun it looks like Rachell and I are having. And I remembered how good I felt that day. And I think that is definitely someone who is embraceable now.