Post # 1
So, Bees..we’re getting ready to have our 1st anniversary celebration. We’re exchanging gifts, going on a second honeymoon and having a photo shoot. The thing is: I’ve gained quite a bit of weight since the wedding and I’m a bit self-conscious to have photos taken. We just came back from an amazing pre-anniversary trip to Africa and I kept hiding from the camera because I don’t really like how my full-body shots look these days. I know that I’ll eventually regret not taking pics of some of these special moments, but it’s hard to get out of my own head. I feel good when I look at myself in the mirror, but pictures just take me to a different place.
If I’m being honest, I’m also very critical of most of my wedding photos (silently cursing my photog for not airbrushing out a stray stretchmark or random bulge) even though my wedding day was pretty much the best I’ve ever looked (body, makeup, hair, attire) in life, lol. In all reality I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a full body photo of myself that I love–even when I wasn’t overweight. I want to just be happy and enjoy the moment with my husband and I also want to receive the pics and not immediately hate them.
Does anyone have any advice for me?
P.S. I’m not asking for weight loss tips. I’m moreso looking for help dealing with the psychological aspect of hating how I look in pictures.
Post # 2
There’s a quote from Delta Burke that just clicked for me the first time I heard it, and I live by it now. To paraphrase, “I don’t want to put my life on hold until I lose weight.”
That quote just spoke to me. I’m good enough. Right now. As I am. Just because I’m fat doesn’t mean I don’t have a right to happiness, including the right have a picture taken of me, looking at myself in it, and liking what I see. I don’t have to be my “ideal weight” to enjoy looking at myself, seeing myself happy, etc.
Post # 3
I think people have too many photo shoots these days and it sadly shifts the focus from the experience to the appearance. Engagement, wedding, honeymoon, pregnancy, cake smash, birthdays, family shoots, anniversaries, etc. And of course, everything must look perfect. It’s not enough to host a child’s birthday party, it has to look Pinterest-worthy. It’s not enough to simply be pregnant, you have to take pictures in a beautiful meadow with a cute outfit and professional hair, even though you might feel bloated and exhuasted. (Like, if you’re paying somebody to take the pictures, they absolutely have to be flawless, right???!?)
Maybe you really, really want a professional photo shoot, in which case other posts will be more helpful. But I suggest taking a few home shots with your own digital camera, maybe a tripod, maybe ask a passerby to take one or two. And let the photo be a reminder of when you felt so full of joy and gratitude, not the time when you had a flat stomach and ripped back.
Post # 4
Xu: I like the quote. Thanks!
canadajane: That’s an interesting point. The photos needn’t necessarily be pinterest-quality. But we want to commemorate when and where we spent the first year of our marriage. We will be moving around a lot due to my work and the country where we live now means a lot to us because it’s our “first,” if you will. So I definitely wanted some unique shots in front of monuments and landmarks that we can always look at and share with our future grandkids. But I understand what you mean about people focusing too much on the photo aspect. Now that I think about it, my favorite photos of myself and my friends were impromptu at the waterfront and random passersby took them for us.
Post # 5
canadajane: + 1,000. Great post, and a wonderful perspective!!!
Post # 6
Overjoyed: Yesterday a gal posted a link on the boards that I read http://www.rocknrollbride.com/2014/09/im-too-fat-to-have-photos-taken/
You are the perfect candidate to read this right now. The biggest thing that I got out of the article was that you never look at someone else’s photos (well, I don’t anyway, and I hope everyone is the same) and say, “Gosh, she’s fat.” You always look at hte photo and think, “Wow. That hairstyle was in in the 70s. Look at how cute her smile is” Etc. People do the same when they look at your photos. I have gotten myself into the mindset that, yeah, I’m not exactly where I want to be physically, but the way I smile at my son in photos or just the pure love is what makes the picture.
Post # 7
megz06: wow, that was a great article. Thanks so much for sharing it! My favorite quotes were:
“Perfection is a myth, a lie, it doesn’t exist. If you woke up tomorrow a size 10 I’m sure you’d focus on something else you wanted to change instead. How we deal with those feelings is what really matters.”
“Do it. Have those photos taken. Far from being a constant reminder of how much weight you want to lose, they’ll hopefully be images you’ll look back on for years to come and think “Wow, wasn’t that the trip of a lifetime, and goodness, don’t we both look so young and beautiful!”
Post # 8
Overjoyed: I struggle with this as well. For our wedding day, we’ll have plenty of pictures taken by friends and family, but I already told everyone not to show me them and to send them to me after we get back from our honeymoon. That way I can look at them when I’m ready and in a good place mentally. It’s the best solution I can come up with.
I’m fat, and I have been a yo-yo since I was a preteen. What I see in my head or even in the mirror rarely matches up with photos. Sometimes I’m much thinner than I thought, but the last few years, it’s unfortunately been on the opposite end of the spectrum. I feel good about who I am and even go shopping with no makeup on these days (gasp!), and I bought my first swimsuit in years last month and will happily waddle around a public pool with it on, but the photo problem remains.
Post # 9
Overjoyed: Glad you found it to be a good read! I hope you have a fantastic time with your anniversary photos!
Post # 10
Congratulations on your anniversary, I hope you have a wonderful time on your trip!
When I am shooting people who are nervous or worried, may it be maternity or couples even people who are camera shy, I try to remind them why they are there, don’t think about how you look but rather how you feel, these moments are fleeting and having the chance to capture them on camera is a special gift. Don’t worry about how to pose just focus on your loved one, the love and passion in your eyes will captivate the viewer far more than the extra few pounds.
If you are worried about getting into just the right position tell your photographer, if they are experienced they will be able to get you both into a comfortable position and then be able to tweak small details to get it just right. If you are comfortable with he/she touching you, let them know, when I get people who are particularly nervous I will position their hands, head etc into a good flattering position.
I am sure your pictures will turn out stunning the best thing a photographer can capture is pure joy and love it will always shine through!