See what I see.
When it comes to pictures of myself, I will be the first to say I am petrified. Being in front of a camera gives me anxiety and often times I get this lip quiver that I just can't shake. You'd think being a photographer I would feel like a professional model, knowing the best angles for my face, the most flattering poses, the ultimate money shot. But while I can pose others all day er'ry day I am terrible when it comes to me. I freeze. (Eve-ry-bo-dy clap yo' HANDS....) After being the subject for friends and shoots was confirmed in the notion that opposed to a modely face or fierce eyes (good luck with getting me to pull THAT off!) I simply love the freedom of being myself in front of a camera and the photographs and experiences that comes with it. I yearn for honest, comfortable and natural moments that truly reflect me and my relationships with the people I am with or the person doing the photographing. My 'fierce' face is one that from the inside I'm convinced is the best one you've ever seen (you're impressed, right?), but is more of a disaster face. It's like, "who died?". Thanks for humoring me anyway, anyone who has ever gotten that look. The thing is it's usually other people who are able to see the real simply stunning you. Peer past any imperfections that may keep you hung up, and unlike a stranger passing you by, those with the pleasure of meeting you get to witness the alluring mix of your charming personality combined with your radiant skin and stunning eyes. You may see skinny legs, but I see a beaming smile full of sparkly teeth. You may despise your arms, but I see high cheekbones that perfectly structure your frame.
Looking through photographs of myself I am most appreciative to see a real, true smile graced upon me. One that can only come from a minute where I forgot the camera, stopped worrying about my hair and took in the present. That's where I let my true self shine. That's the time when Ashley comes out and I can look at images without a preconceived notion of what typical beauty is, or hoping that I look uber hot, or that my hair is perfectly coiffed but I can see myself, past my chubby cheeks and extra jiggly pounds and love it all the same. The photos that I can look at and see more than just a posed expression glancing back in a pretty photo where I can really say "hey! Look that's ME!". The ones that for a time I get to see the beauty that everyone else gets to see. Those are the images I love.
And that's exactly how I want my couples to feel. I want them to see what I see.
Marshall and I were oh-so-fortunate enough to put on our wedding attire and 'model' for the Film Is Not Dead workshop in Hale'iwa this past December hosted by the WONDERFUL Jon Canlas and while we ADORE all of the images that come in and are SO so so thankful for them (those workshop attendee know what's up, they have mad skill!) I have to share a few images from Ashley Keleman who on the hottest day in O'ahu history still produced some images that I fell in love with and could see my personality shining through. For the thousandth time Ashley (and Jon), THANK YOU! xo
This video from Dove really moved me. It showed what I feel we as photographers see of our clients on a daily basis that they themselves don't always see--and I want to thank Ashley Kelemen for reminding me of that.