This sentiment equally applies to both men and women but is more geared toward us women. We are the hardest on ourselves. We are our own worst critics. Often, we judge ourselves unfairly and are overly harsh in our self-criticism.
This is not only unfair to us, as humans, as mothers, as grandmothers, as sisters or whatever, it's unfair to us as woman. Most importantly, this can be unfair to our children, our grandchildren and all the generations to follow. We are robbing our future progeny and why? What is the reason?
For the majority of human history, only the rich could afford to preserve their memory on a formal medium. It used to be only in oil; painting on a canvas. When photography first came into existence, the same was true, that only the "upper crust" of society could afford the services of a photographer. Today, this is simply not true. Even if it were truth, we owe it to the generations that follow, to preserve ourselves for them, as a part of their history.
On a more personal level, just speaking of the now or the "short term", if you are a mother, you likely are or will be a grandmother. Your children and grandchildren deserve to remember you with more than just a daydream. Photographs make us "real", in a more tangible and physical sense than just fond memories.
Why do we say no? I hear, so many times, things like "oh, I'm not pretty enough" or "I don't look good in pictures" or "maybe if I could lose 20#"...the list goes on and on. Do you want to know the real truth? THE PEOPLE WHO LOVE YOU DON'T CARE! They don't care if you have gray hair. They don't care if you have wrinkles or don't fit into a size 4 skirt. One of the saddest things that I ever hear, from friends and online comments, is "My mother is gone and I don't have any pictures to remember her by". This is heartbreaking!
Ladies, your children love you! Your grandchildren adore you. You are their world and the very reason they exist and are who they are or will be. We, as women, do a great disservice to our loved ones when we think so little of ourselves that we feel we shouldn't be photographed. Well our family, our friends, our loved ones DESERVE to have those photographs. It's a difficult thing to face, but the truth of the matter is, we will not be here, forever. There is no guarantee of tomorrow. Once we are gone, there are no more opportunities for the "if only" sentiment.
ALL women are beautiful, especially to the ones who love them! Beauty is not found on a scale readout or the tag of a dress. Beauty, to our family, is the way you smile. it's the way you put your head back and laugh. It's the way you furrow your brows when you are thinking. It's the way you look at your grandchild when you brush the unruly curl from her face or wipe the mud off his cheek. Beauty is INSIDE of you!
EVERY woman...let me say that again so that it sinks in...EVERY WOMAN is beautiful! Every woman deserves to be portrayed in a photograph the way she is, RIGHT NOW! We DESERVE to feel beautiful, to see ourselves as beautiful and to be photographed, beautifully! A professional photographer can make that happen.
None of the little things you allow to stop you, really matter. They just don't. You are vibrant! You are wonderful! Your smile brings happiness to those who love you! You have the power to allow the happy memories of you, JUST AS YOU ARE, to be carried down your family line for generations. You have the power to allow your husband or child to look at you, sitting on a desk or hanging on a wall, long after you are gone. You have the ability to allow your granddaughter to sit on the couch with her child, open a book and introduce her tow her great-grandmother, who will not care that you have wrinkles around your eyes or that your hair has turned to silver.
Please, I implore you, even if it's not with me, don't put it off. Don't wait for the tomorrow that may never come, to allow your children and their children and their children after them to see the woman they love. In this day and age, there is no legitimate reason for you not to be around, in a photogaph, for the next 100 years. I hope that you will allow me, as a photographer, the PRIVILEGE of being a part of that.