Growing up, I moved and changed schools much more than your average girl. I hated it at the time, but it was not without its benefits in its own right. One of those benefits was being forced outside of my comfort zone quite regularly and having to learn to adapt. As a result, as an adult I find that I can usually be comfortable in most situations and have gained more confidence when it comes to putting myself out there and meeting new people.
One place I have never become comfortable though? In front of the camera. I feel awkward. Stupid. Silly. Uncomfortable.
Of course, most of the people I can coax in front of my camera feel the exact same way. Most of us aren’t naturally comfortable on display like that. Moms, especially, I have noticed, seem to much prefer letting their kids get into the photo but prefer to stay out themselves. Motherhood, however, is exactly what is forcing me to get in the picture.
Someday, I want Aria to look back and have photos of her mother. Photos that show confidence. Joy. Authenticity. Photos that show her mom as just a girl….just like her. I haven’t quite nailed this self-portrait thing yet (it is so much harder than it seems!) but hey – my model works for free and can be bribed with coffee. Haha. There are other benefits to forcing myself out of my comfort zone and in front of the camera, too. Building empathy with clients is huge. How can I ever hope to really make someone else feel comfortable in front of my lens if I’m not comfortable myself? It also gives me, as a photographer, endless chances to experiment with posing, light, composition, and editing – with zero pressure. If I mess up? No big deal. Try again…..and then maybe again. I’m still not feeling totally comfortable in front of that lens but I’m taking the time to learn. I hope I can lead by example and encourage more women – and especially you moms out there – to just get in the picture. Someday we’ll be glad we did. 😉