One of the things that I’ve been very open about on this blog is my struggle with my body image. It’s something that God is still helping me through and an area that I’m realizing I am constantly going to have to fight with and surrender to God. The wounds with how I view my body go pretty deep, but I believe that praise God, I’ve been making some huge strides, lately.
I believe one of the things I couldn’t stand is also one of the things that’s been helping me grow in this area, which is self-photography. What I mean by that is, you may have noticed that I (well – my husband) have been taking more pictures with myself in them, lately. As someone who stopped liking being on the other side of the camera because of body issues, this was a big jump for me. In one way I did it because I wanted to understand what it felt like being on the other side of the camera more so I can help people when I eventually start shooting more portraits of people, it became a way for me to become more comfortable with myself. Allow me to share some of the ways in today’s post.
How Photoshoots Are Helping My Self-Confidence Click To Tweet
I have to edit the photographs that I am in:
Although my husband is the one that is normally taking the photographs that I’m in, I am the one that is editing them afterwards. During the editing process, I finally get to see myself in the raw – literally, because I shoot all of my images in “RAW” form. It’s in this process that I am face to face with my own perceived imperfections and also given the opportunity to decide how far I want to edit them. Do I edit what I perceive to be imperfections or do I keep them?
Lately, I’ve been doing the latter as an attempt to try to embrace where my body is at more. Sure I will edit the photographs to enhance some colors for the purpose of the mood I am going for in a photography shoot, but I rarely Photoshop myself. In fact, the only time I’ve done so so far is when it was so hot outside that I began sweating and the sweat spots were visible in the shoot. Yes, I unfortunately sweat a lot, haha.
The truth is that I’ve gained weight and as much as I’d love to be as small as I was, I am not and the healthiest thing I can do for myself is to embrace that whilst seeking a healthier lifestyle. In a strange way, being forced to edit photographs of myself has helped me acknowledge these imperfections and embrace them.
(Related Reading – Girl Chat: Truths to Remember When You Struggle with Body Image)
I have to shoot in public places:
Our current apartment isn’t the best place necessarily for shooting photography because of the size of the space. Don’t get me wrong, I love our tiny apartment and I shoot quite a lot of things in them, but it isn’t always the most friendly for the photoshoots where I am in them. Therefore, I’ve been shooting more and more in public places where I can potentially run into other people watching me hold a pose for five seconds a shot.
I’m going to be honest with you and say that it is very uncomfortable. It’s uncomfortable because I don’t like attention, which shooting in public definitely draws, but also because I don’t feel like a model. I’m not a model and I don’t have the posing experience to be one yet there I am posing in ways that both highlight the things I’ve always disliked about my body while highlighting the parts I do. Shooting in public has forced me to learn to work it as much as I can, despite my anxiety about people seeing me pose while shooting.
Doing so, believe it or not, has helped me to learn to embrace these imperfections more because I have to when I’m shooting in public.
I have to appear confident in photos:
If you could see the blooper shots we’ve acquired from our shoots, you’d see a bunch of photographs initially that feature a very timid subject. I wear my emotions on my face a lot and it’s very evident in my photographs. As a result, I have begun to focus on things and angles that really make me feel confident or that I really like.
For example, one of my favorite ways to pose are poses that highlight my cheekbones and the highlighter I’m wearing, if I am. So, when I am posing for photographs, I like to pose in ways that highlight this as often as I can.
Another example of this is that I’ve noticed that my right side is my best angle. I know that’s probably debatable, but it’s usually why in a lot of my recent photographs, I’ve started turning my face more to the left. When I was smaller, my favorite part of my body was my legs, so I’d often wear outfits that would flatter them.
Finding something that I am confident about or that I like about my body has helped me to feel more confident in photoshoots.
(Related Reading – What My Weight Gain Has Taught Me)
I have to be me:
Being on the other side of the camera has helped me learn to embrace me – imperfections and all. I have had to accept that while I can pick up posing cues from different websites that include how-to articles, I can only be me. I am not going to be able to pose authentically like a model, if that’s not what I am comfortable with because it shows. I am not going to be able to wear outfits that I don’t genuinely feel comfortable in, because it shows. Being that the camera picks up on pretty much everything, it’s reminded me to be authentic in my photographs and not to try to be someone that I am not.
This is honestly still something that I know I am going to have to battle with for a long time, but I am thankful that God has provided me with ways to help to grow my self-confidence in my body, while working on ways to develop a healthier lifestyle. It’s amazing how something that I once loathed, became something that’s been pretty helpful for me, personally. Although I still feel awkward on the other side of the camera, I believe this will pass the more that I do it.
What about you?
Do you struggle with body image? If so, what are some things that have helped you in your journey?
body image, faith, girl chat, self-confidence