I live in a world surrounded by photographers.
My husband is an artist who takes beautiful photos. My sister-in-law is a photographer who runs her own business (Smit’n Photography). Not to mention the friends and bloggers I get to see capture their lives on a daily basis. As for me, I’m a struggling wannabe who takes a good picture every now and then. But their eye for beauty makes me want to be better.
After all, a photographer’s eye is an amazing thing.
They can see beauty on a whole other level. With a pointed lense, they can capture life in what appears to be dead, glimpses of joy in a life filled with hurt, and the pretty inside a girl who feels anything but.
A few weeks ago, I was that girl. After a year of feeling unpretty, I was thrust in front of a camera for a photo shoot with a friend. I wanted to do it to mark one year since I chopped off my hair, went natural and decided to embrace the follicles that grow out of my scalp. And my friend with the amazing eye obliged.
I was completely open to his vision for the session because, after all, I’d been struggling to find my beauty and I wanted beautiful pictures.
The scenario was nothing I could’ve imagined: me dressed in silver pants, black shirt, a silk patterned jacket, futuristic shades and combat boots. Not to mention black theatre makeup on my lips.
Again, NOTHING I would’ve imagined.
Still…I was open.
We ended up driving to an empty lot on the side of the road. It was a place where an old brick foundation sat in the midst of tall weeds and a sparce selection of trees.
He said it was perfect. And I believed him because he was my photographer friend with the amazing eye.
I posed, feeling slightly awkward since my brain was focused on the features I thought made me less than photogenic.
Suck in the stomach.
Make sure the gap doesn’t look so big.
Stand up straight so things don’t droop.
I’m sure that if I didn’t have on the shades I would’ve had frame after frame showing dead eyes with no life behind them. Just focus.
I was able to hide behind them until I felt comfortable.
And with his amazing eye, my friend caught those comfortable moments. The moments where slight changes in expression paired with the right lighting told a story. The story he knew I wanted to tell. The story of a woman who lives in a modern world where altering your true self can be expected…returning to her natural roots.
He found beauty in that, and showed it in a way I didn’t think was possible. And he made me see it as well…as I saw the beauty in myself for the first time in a while.