Monday, October 23, 2017

Dear Women, Get in FRONT of the Camera

Hi!  It's me, your chubby, tired, mommy friend with a few stray grey hairs and blemishes on her jaw.  I'm here to tell you to get in front of the camera.  And we've probably all seen the amazing article telling women to get INTO photos called So You're Feeling Too Fat to be Photographed.  Well, I'm here to tell you that you should take it a step BEYOND that.  I want to challenge women (particularly moms) to take professional photos BY THEMSELVES.  That's right, no hiding behind your kids, your partner, or your pets.  I want to SEE you!

Remember when you were a senior in high school and you did an entire photoshoot all by yourself?  Or when you would take Glamour Shots at the mall?  (Is this still a thing?)  Remember when you were young and not only allowed but paid people lots of money to take your picture?  What happened to that girl?

I became the opposite of that girl.  I offered to take the group shots at parties and get togethers so I wouldn't have to be in them.  I would hide or say I had to go to the bathroom during the photos.  If you somehow got me in a photo, I would try to stand in the back so you could only see my head.  And I can't tell you how many family photos are only of the kids.  I'm talking Christmas, Thanksgiving, birthdays, etc... I was removing myself from memories because I didn't want to be seen.

Do you remember my Lularoe for the Plus Sized Gal post?  I can't remember a time between that post in Feb 2016 and my wedding in April 2005 where I allowed myself to be photographed full length by myself.  That's 11 years where I only had a head.  I remember even putting "Do a Photoshoot by Myself" on my 30 Before 30 list.  Yeah... I checked it off because I asked my sweet friend to take a couple headshots after I got my haircut one time.  But that wasn't being truthful to myself.

Here's my challenge, I'd like women to do what I'm calling a Celebrate You Shoot.  Not maternity, not boudoir, and definitely not a group.  Just you.  By yourself.  Pick out an outfit that makes you feel great.  Do your hair, your nails, your makeup, or don't.  But get in front of a real camera with a photographer and have your picture taken.  And here's the REAL challenge, when you get your pictures back look at how pretty you are.  Look at your joyful smile or your sparkling eyes or your athletic shoulders and see beauty.  You are not allowed to sit and nit pick at every little imperfection that no one else sees.

Bonus, print out a picture and let your significant other take it to work.  Print one out for your parents.  Frame one and put it in your own house.  Let yourself be SEEN by the people in your life and by yourself.

I have to warn you that I went full on Senior Portrait on this photoshoot with Sparkle and Smile Photography.  I also wanted to try different poses and see how it worked for me.  I'm really happy with the photos!  I'll admit that there are some where I wish my tummy was flatter or my arms were smaller but I just keep scrolling because it is what it is. I loved working with Nichol!  She really helped me to execute this vision.

Dress: Lularoe Amelia | Jacket: Isabel Toledo for Lane Bryant | Boots: Lane Bryant

If you do a shoot like this, please leave me a comment with a link.  Or use #celebrateyoushoot on social media and tag me so I can see!

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  1. I love you, this article, that outfit, ok everything. Thank you for always being vulnerable and empowering others to be exactly who they are, confident, enough, and beautiful inside and out. You Rock! You are my favorite blogger! 💙

  2. I love this so much and I love how you empower women like this! Thank you for being who you are =) P.S. - your pictures are ah-mazing! Girl you know how to pose!

  3. You are so beautiful...and I just love your heart. This is SO important and I feel like blogging has forced me to be in pictures I wouldn't have otherwise been in... Now I am so happy that my girls will have pictures to look back on that I will be in as well! :)

  4. You look wonderful and she did an amazing job capturing how gorgeous you are!! I would love to participate in this challenge if I get a chance!

    1. I feel bad because I said "not maternity" which isn't fair to anyone pregnant. Whoops! I did maternity photos and I felt like I was hiding behind the belly if you know what I mean.

  5. Oh my goodness! I love this challenge so much friend! Now to find someone to photograph me!

  6. What a great reminder. It is too easy to hide behind the camera. Also,your shoot turned out great - all the photos look wonderful!

  7. Your pictures turned out great Ashley! I love this message and agree that it's so much easier to just take the pictures of others or stand in back of the group, but when we love ourselves and our bodies, that comes through to others (especially our children).

  8. I love this!!! It's so easy to hide behind the camera- I've done it a bunch. At some point, I realized I want to be in the pictures in my kids lives when they look back and that means jumping in now. What a great reminder!

  9. Your hair is gorgeous! I love the blue. Also I appreciate your point about how we all took time with our senior photoshoots. I used to do ones with my girlfriends all the time. I think I'm going to try to get some other mamas on board!