I’m going to take a rare break for a moment from posting about dogs, so that I can share something personal. This post is for all of those people who, like myself, hate having their photo taken because they don’t feel thin/pretty/young/whatever enough…
As someone who has struggled with my weight and my self-image, it suits me just fine to be the one *behind* the camera rather than in front of it. Yet I don’t hesitate to encourage others, quite sincerely, to take the plunge and have photos taken of them. I assure them, again quite sincerely, that they are beautiful, interesting subjects, fine *just the way they are*. Yet I can’t seem to apply the same feeling to myself. Meanwhile, my dogs are getting older. My father is getting older. My niece and nephew are getting older. And I don’t have many, or in some cases *any* photos of us together from the last few years. I’ve been waiting until I lost another 30 pounds (even though I already lost more than 50). Or until <fill in the blank>.
Well, I decided that I have to stop waiting. Stop waiting to live my life, to be happy, to enjoy my experiences and relationships and moments.
So on a recent outing to the river with my dogs on a gorgeous, mild, winter day, I handed the camera to a friend and said four very scary words: “Please take my picture.” Because even though I was covered in dirt and dog hair, even though I had been wearing a hat all day (bad hair day!), and even though I didn’t feel even remotely thin, I felt HAPPY. I had been spending a wonderful afternoon with my dogs and my friend, romping, laughing, soaking up the sunshine, sitting under a tree, etc. It seemed wrong to let that day go without a photo by which to remember it.
When I got home and looked at the photos from the day, I realized that the ones of me weren’t so bad. That although I’m not thin, and I have wrinkles and age spots, and my face is asymmetrical, and so on — my eyes were shining, my smile was real, and the photos helped me remember what a great day — what a great LIFE — I had, and how lucky I am to have my dogs and to be able to spend my time with them. I also saw another photographer’s blog post (see here) on the very same topic, and it gave me the final push of courage I needed to post my own experience. I hope that my post gives someone else that little bit of motivation they need to stop being so self-critical and to let go and enjoy having their photo taken.