Why You Believe You Are NOT Photogenic

It’s amazing that almost all my clients believe they are not photogenic, within the first 5 minutes of talking almost all of them share this with me.  I ask every client how they feel being photographed knowing that 99% of the time this is their answer. It is such a wide spread belief and getting THAT out on the table is the beginning of creating beautiful photographs. Here’s why they and maybe even you believe you aren’t photogenic.

They are camera owners, not photographers. 

Everyone and their mother has a camera now, everyone! It’s fantastic in terms of expressing our creativity and sharing our lives, but not so great when it comes to us ending up in photos we don’t like of ourselves.  It is so important to keep in mind these aren’t professional taking your photo. Most amateurs likely don’t understand lighting, posing, or facial structures and how all of this plays into creating a flattering photograph of someone. They haven’t spent 30 plus years studying this artistic craft, looking at faces and usndersatnindg lighting. It’s not their fault, they don’t need to know this as a CEO, Chef, Consultant or whatever career THEY kick ass at.

Margaret is an engineer. Give someone a safe space to play and this is who shows up. She is relaxed and open.

It’s a wide angle lens! 

The lens in a camera phone is created to capture as much of a scene as possible. Great right? Yes, for landscapes and big groups but not for portraits. You know what that wide angle lens does? It makes you WIDER…yup, its right in the name. It distorts entire faces and specific features, it makes bodies look bigger than they are and unless you can get that sucker about 5-10 ft from your beautiful face it’s going to be unflattering.  See for yourself in the below images.  The lenses here start at 24mm which is a wide angel lens like the ones we are talking about in camera phones. They go all the way up to a 200mm which is what I shoot with when creating portraits. You can see the effect each lens has on the woman’s face and how much more out of proportion her face looks with the 24mm in comparison to the 200mm. 

I hear you, you’ve had professional photos and you STILL don’t like them. So, here is the the biggest reason I believe we think we are un-photogenic.

YOU DON”T FEEL SAFE.

After 30 years in this career witnessing the challenges people have of being photographed I can share with certainty that how we feel about how we look is why so many of us feel un-photogenic, AKA less than beautiful or handsome. It’s all about self love and feeling safe. It actually has so little to do with what you look like. How do I know?  I see it everyday in almost every shoot. It’s hard being seen. It’s hard letting someone look at us. We believe they will see all of these things we think are flaws. It’s understandable really, this information of we are not enough comes at us from all angles via messages growing up, the media, and social media. We hold all these beliefs and thoughts and then we stand in front of these visual microscopes and are fed back our worst fears about who we are and what we look like.

I understand, I hated every photo taken of myself except for when my younger sister was behind the camera. I realized it was because I felt safe with her. I knew she loved me for me and because of that the inner dialogue shut off and I showed up as the best version of myself.  I simply stopped thinking about the negative beliefs I had accumulated over the years because I new the person looking at me only saw someone she loved.  When we feel safe, when we don’t have to worry about being judged, when we are in the moment of love or laughing with friends, OR don’t know a photo is being  taken that is when we love our photos. Our guard and self protection is in resting mode and we show up fully as ourselves and that is always beautiful.

I have built a career creating a safe space for every single client who walks through my doors. I grew up not feeling seen and it was incredibly painful. I believed I wasn’t worth it, interesting enough, too sensitive. Really it can be any message we received or created.  Bottom line I didn’t believe I was worth being loved, so now I let everyone they are worth being seen for exactly who they are. I share as much of my myself with each one of my incredible clients as I can.  I am vulnerable, loving, goofy and engaging. I genuinely care about each and every person who steps in front of my camera. My deepest intention is that you walk away with a portrait in which YOU can see the best version of yourself. Not a model! This point I want to make very clear, I am not interested in creating some false standard we all need to reach. The most beautiful version of you is the real you! The best version of you! The only way this happens is when we know it is safe to drop our guards and protections we think are keeping us safe but which only keeping us separate.

 

Coach and Advisor at One Women Effect Cheri SHINES joy in this photo! We laughed our butts off this entire session! 

 

Executive Coach Mary M. found her flow as we moved through her shoot to capture this ease filled authentic Business Portrait. Imagine your clients seeing the absolute best version of you! You will be killing it! 

 

 

Find out for yourself how photogenic you truly are! BOOK TODAY 🙂

 

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Trigger Happy

Last week I participated in a woman led, all women attended capital raising workshop. It was terrifying! So much so that in the days leading up I sent multiple emails to my business coach and inundated my friend with a should I or shouldn’t I conversation at least 5 -10 times in a 7 day period. I don’t normally have this much trouble making decisions but this was brutal. I would soon find out why.

In the days to follow, 3 to be exact, a cornucopia of emotions ranging from straight up pissed off, to fight or flight, hulk strength resistance, and finally resolution and joy flooded my mind and body. I had no idea the emotions and thoughts that would be triggered by this one workshop.

Lucky I was in a room of women who got it  including Jenny Kassen, my client and the female empowering, financially savvy entrepreneur who created and led her workshop #FundandFuelYourDreams.  As I slowly met the impressive women entrepreneurs who filled the room I began sharing my top question I had, “Why me?” Why would someone invest in MY business? I didn’t think it or I was ready. I could see the brilliance of the other women in the room and their value but I couldn’t see mine.  After 20 years creating my business and hundreds of happy clients I still struggled with my own value.

This wasn’t my only issue. Every time Jenny began speaking about finances and using phrases like, 50c3, debt, VC, and equity I did a hard check out. Yup, Jennifer had left the building. By the end of day two it all came to a head. Following the afternoon session I decided I couldn’t take it any more. I was overwhelmed with thoughts of insecurity and being in over my head. This is when my fight or flight response kicked in. I told women I met I wouldn’t be coming back the next day, that  it wasn’t for me. “I wont use this information”, I claimed. “No one is going to invest in my business and what I am creating”, I declared. Oh yeah, I was pissed…but why?

I was pretty quickly aware I was triggered and new that saying my goodbyes was a cry for help. I wanted someone to stop me. My more expansive self  knew I could do this. I knew this was the next big step in my business as I just had my two most profitable months to date. The paradigm was changing and I could change with it and float with ease down stream or fight like hell and stay stuck where I was.

As the other women began talking me off the ledge they reminded me of some very important facts.  We are the first generation of women entrepreneurs and we are learning as we go.  Even now this thought fills me with so much pride and relief!  They also reminded me that as women of my generation and others we are raised in an economic and entreprenural  boys club where we have had to fight to take our place at the table.  Along with many other women we grew up taking-in the story that finances were to confusing and over our heads. Some of us grew up with our value in being a nice girl, being accommodating which was unlike a lot of our male counterparts whose value was in what they offered and were encouraged that what they wanted was theirs for the taking.

This awareness was exactly what I needed to acknowledge my fears.  I thought I had to know it all, I thought I wasn’t intelligent if I didn’t and I thought if I couldn’t do it all on my own I had failed.  Knowing I was not alone, that many of these women struggled with the same stories, I relaxed into being comfortable with what I didn’t know, that I can rely on others and that I don’t have to do it all on my own.

Tara Mohr, author of “Playing Big” has created her book and a leadership program around women learning how to show up and put their dreams and goals into action. I highly recommend you checking out her book. It is eyeopening and a revelation!

I’d love to hear your stories of what has come up for you as a female entrepreneur or woman in business. Happy #EqualPayDay ladies! #WeAreStrongerTogether

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