Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Don’t be Afraid to get into the Picture

This weekend I had the opportunity to do some photography for friends and family.  I made the leap to invest in a camera that I know I will really enjoy for the years to come.  Since my 4-H years, photography has been a great pastime of mine.  If you stop by my home, my walls are covered with my favorite pictures of family, friends, and my favorite places.  During my adventures this weekend I had an adorable 9-year-old amateur photographer-in-training with me; she would like to be called a paparazzo.  I let my paparazzo take my camera and go to town taking her own pictures.  My paparazzo stopped and asked me to get into the pictures she was taking.  I hesitated.  I didn’t want my picture taken.  First, I was dirty.  We had been walking down field roads all morning on our journey and I was covered in dust.  Secondly, I was wearing a scrubby t-shirt and some super short running shorts, but those things are so darn comfortable.  And finally, I am always hesitant to get into pictures because I will find something wrong with how I look, my weight, my angles, my curves, my muffin top, my wrinkles, my sun spots, my list could go on and on.  But who am I to say no to this adorable, insistent 9-year-old paparazzo.  I couldn’t say no, she wouldn't let me.  I couldn't let her down.  

I hopped into the pictures and I did what she told me to do.  I wasn’t certain that she was getting my good side or not and I was a little shy about it at first, but she was just thrilled to have me participate in her creative process.  We did some funny shots, we did some serious shots, and we had a blast making memories.  This was not my usual place.  When I am out taking pictures I take pictures of other people, I seldom take pictures of myself, other than the usual Snapchat selfie on the farm or at work.  Pictures make me feel self-conscious, especially about my body type.  I have struggled with my body type and image for as long as I can remember, that’s an honest statement.    God made me to be a beefy, strong woman, not a delicate, petite one.  I know that I am more confident that I have ever been but I still have days where I feel exposed or vulnerable about how I look.  I feel like a 6 on most days rather than the 10 I know God wants me to be.  I want to be known for my brains and personality rather than my appearance.  Am I beautiful?  Yes I am.  But on those days when I am feeling low, I let all of the little things about myself that are not quite perfect bother me more than seeing the positives overall about myself.  I tell myself I’ll take pictures again when I lose 10 pounds or get my hair to look perfect.  
Floored, that this is how my paparazzo sees me, for all my good things!

My little paparazzo took me out of comfort zone and I am so grateful for that!  Because, when I took a look at the pictures she had taken, absolutely there were some that I didn’t like and made me feel insecure and vulnerable but there were also some amazing pictures that I LOVED!  She captured my smile, my personality, and actually…she captured how she sees me.  I was completely floored and honored that this girl could do so much for my self-esteem in such a short afternoon.  Children don’t care about your muffin tops or your wrinkles, they care about you being there with them, in the present.  They want you to be confident in who you are and what you represent as a human, as a woman.  Children just need you to be your beautiful self.  Be confident, be vulnerable, be beautiful, and for Pete’s sakes….get yourself into those pictures with those kids and make some memories!  Those memories will last forever and your children will have a memento to last a lifetime!