FEAR of Photography — Honest thoughts with Jena Lee Photographs

I will get photos done when __Insert your perceived flaw here___.

This post is for women and men, adults and children, and anybody who has ever ducked out from in front of the camera or felt insecure about having their photo taken.

Doing those things is perfectly normal. As a photographer, I know that I am asking a lot from you. I want you to be vulnerable and have that documented forever and that is scary.

I know that fears, body insecurities, shakey self-esteem, jiggly thighs, frizzy hair, big noses, chins that do that thing when you smile too big, other squishy body parts, dopey feet, freckles, not enough freckles, broken nails, squinty eyes, big cheeks, small cheeks, poofy eyebrows, thin eyebrows, or unibrows are all terrifying reasons not to get in front of the camera for most people. I have had enough experience working with people as a photographer to tell you with two thousand percent honesty: your flaws are the reason you should get in front of the camera.

It breaks my heart at the number of people I hear from that won’t get their photograph taken because they think they are too heavy, too skinny, their hair isn’t long enough, they’re waiting until after their diet, they want new clothes first, they hate their arms, their legs aren’t the right size, they don’t like their smile, the list goes on.

The sheer volume of put-downs I hear people say about themselves is astounding. One time a woman said she isn’t that beautiful so she didn’t want her face to be in too many of the photos. Many people only agree to be in a photograph if they can be in the back so their body is hidden. I have had hundreds of people ask if I can photoshop 10 pounds off of them. It’s not even just adults, it’s children too. One time an 8-year-old girl told me that she didn’t want her photo taken because she thinks she is hideous.

Does that break your heart as much as it does mine?

Last weekend, my family and I went to the Fearless Women’s Summit in Calgary, Alberta. All of it was amazing and inspirational but one quote stuck with me:

Would you say your own insecurities about your best friend or children?

Imagine telling your best friend she shouldn’t get her photo done because her nose is too big. That sounds ridiculous. Say that out loud right now and it sounds even more silly. Yet we are so quick to be hard and judgemental about ourselves. It’s time for that to end.

Your feelings are legitimate but my goal as your photographer is to help you leave them behind. Kick them to the curb. Throw them to the wind. Let’s say it again: your flaws are the reason you should get in front of the camera. They are what makes you, you. They are the best part of you. They are what others love most about you. Your flaws make you different and unique and it’s time to own them. Right meow.

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I’ll go first.

My insecurity is my hair. It’s thin and lifeless and sometimes frizzy. In photography school, I felt like my portraits would always look nicer if I just had better hair.

But I don’t. And I am sure as heck not going to not have photos of myself because of my hair. I decided a long time ago to stop worrying about it and stop letting it have control over me. Now I let it do what it wants to and sometimes its good and sometimes its bad, but it sure feels wonderful not to worry about it.

Then, last week, I got in front of the camera and tried to be myself. Myself is kind of shy, loves plants, loves to create, enjoys working with people and lives for connection. Here is all of that in some photos of me that make me feel happy. Anybody can have this experience. It’s not always easy, but growth as a person is often uncomfortable.

Here is my message to you: Don’t miss out on photos with friends/family/pets because of a superficial insecurity. Get in there and be different and be you. This is my push to you to own your flaws, starting today.

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Available Jena Lee Photographs sessions include Your Baby’s First Year photography bundles and Family Connection Sessions.

Jena LaRoy completed her Professional Photography Diploma at Langara Collge (Vancouver B.C., 2017) and returned to her hometown Golden British Columbia to launch her photography business (2017). Jena Lee Photographs offers a full-service photographic experience of personalized photography sessions and custom professional printing and framing services. Serving the East Kootenay and Rocky Mountain areas of British-Columbia.

Diane, Emma, Molly & Mac — Family Lifestyle Photography

This was one sweet sister session.

The secret to great family lifestyle photos is to let everyone be themselves. Family dynamics will naturally take over and people will act as they always do. Those are the special moments I watch for: when people are being themselves.

Sisters Emma and Molly planned photos together with their Auntie Di and her dog, Mac, as a surprise Christmas present for the rest of the family. After the Holidays, I was told that everybody was in tears upon receiving their photo gifts. Can you imagine receiving surprise portraits of your beautiful daughters and their auntie as a gift? No doubt there were tears, and no doubt the girls ‘won’ Christmas this year.

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“We can’t wait to see the photos because we feel like we don’t remember everything…”

baby, photography, breastfeeding, candid, lifestyle, mother, golden bc

This is something a couple actually said to me earlier this month.

After each photo session, once every photo is enhanced and perfected, I put them all together in a beautiful slideshow to show them to my clients for the first time. It is always an emotional event, full of happy tears and many thanks. Delivering photos is one of the best parts of my job.

A few weeks ago, as I sat down in their home to set up the slideshow, the couple confessed that they were very eager to see the photos because everything went by so quickly that they felt like it didn’t even happen. Obviously, they know it did happen, but the brain can play tricks on you sometimes during a big event and memories can become blurred. It has happened to me before, as I am sure it has happened to you.

“The day just went by so quickly after we spent so long planning for it. It felt like everything was over in an instant.”

Since meeting with this family, other parents have shared this feeling as well. They felt like the day was never going to come and then all of a sudden it was here and gone. Suddenly you have this child you are responsible for and can barely remember them arriving. Photographs are a powerful tool that can ground you and bring you back to an event. It is a very special thing if you have a photograph to help you remember one of your biggest life events.

As they watched their slideshow, there were happy tears and laughs throughout the whole thing. There were many moments of ‘I forgot that even happened’ and ‘I am so glad we can look at this memory forever’. We designed a book for them to relive their special day and show it to their friends, then they picked their favourite image for a large framed print to look at every day.

As a Photographer, I see this happen all the time. I work with couples who are so thankful that somebody pushed them to get photos done, even though they were busy. I work with parents who save up for photos because they know how quickly their baby will grow. Everyone loves to relive their memories and I feel so lucky that it’s my job to help people save them. Once that image gets printed and hung up on the wall, it’s always worth it.

Have you ever been so in the moment for an event that you have a hard time remembering it after? I would love to hear your stories and experiences, please share below!

Family Lifestyle Photographer
GOLDEN, BRITISH COLUMBIA

Jena Lee Photographs is a family lifestyle photographer located in Golden, British-Columbia.  Lifestyle photography is perfect for families who love candid and natural looking photographs and want to document the art of their everyday lives.

Birth  · Baby’s First Year (Maternity/Newborn/6-months/1-year) · Family · Print