Can You Photoshop That?
That is the question I get asked more than any other question. The second question is, “Can you make me look skinny?” Often times it is combined with the first question, “Can you photoshop me and make me look skinny?” I’m never really sure if people are joking or not. I think that there is definitely a bit of truth about self image and self-esteem hidden underneath the question. Why is it that we have such body image issues? Before you say, “Oh, he is a guy, he wouldn’t understand,” know that I have struggled with my weight as well. I was 210 lbs. at my own wedding in 2006 and definitely didn’t feel attractive. My point is that media effects us all, and a lot of what we see makes us ashamed of our bodies because they are not perfect or don’t look as good as someone else’s. Something I have to lean on is my daughter. We have so much to glean from the little minds of our children. Afton doesn’t care if I’m fat or skinny. She sees me as her “daddy boy” and that is all she cares about. My wife on our wedding day, all she saw was the man she wanted to spend the rest of her life with, not some unattractive dude that was 30 lbs overweight. The thing I want folks to understand is that it is the relationships that matter in photos, not what you looked like. Yeah, you don’t want to look like a complete slob, agreed, but let’s all make an effort to let go a little bit of the tendency we have to hide our flaws and consider what really matters; love and the relationships that we have. That is what I see when I look at a photo that I truly love. So to answer your question, “No, I won’t photoshop that. You look beautiful just as you are.”
Hannah Grace is a High School senior who I recently photographed. No, she didn’t ask me if I could make her look skinnier or prettier. In fact Hannah Grace just delighted in the fact that she was in the spotlight and having her photos taken. Hannah Grace had suffered hearing loss since birth and had a hearing aid in one ear. She wasn’t embarrassed by it, self-conscious, or constantly turning her head so as not to show the hearing aid. It isn’t something to be embarrassed about, and it was refreshing to see someone so confident in that fact. Every time I go out and take photos, I learn something new. With Hannah Grace I learned that we need to embrace our “imperfections” and simply let go, because our true beauty shines through when we radiate confidence and happiness. Thank you Hannah Grace for teaching me such a valuable lesson.