"I HATE my face!" Lies we tell, and bridging the gap to self acceptance.

"I HATE my face!" Lies we tell, and bridging the gap to self acceptance.

Photographers can tell a lot about you from a photograph. I’m not talking about height or whether or not you’ve had braces as a child. I’m talking about how you think and feel about yourself. 

A few weeks ago a fellow photographer friend shared an amazing TED talk with me which , you can find here

“As human beings we are both attracted and repelled by our appearance. The choice we embrace depends on our level of self acceptance. The size of the gap between who we feel we are and who we really are. The camera shines a light on that gap.” -Anna Rowley


That quote shook me to my core, because its true.

Lets discuss the day I wanted to die. Not literally, but you know. Last spring, I had the opportunity to be photographed by Justin Hackworth. Long story short, I had admired his work for years, social media stalked him (in a non creepy non Lifetime movie way.) He came to NYC to do some work, had a last minute cancelation and boom, I got in. 

I had an internal struggle. I wanted to be photographed, but after I lost weight. I didn't feel that I looked my best.  I’ve struggled with body issues my entire life. “OY VEY, just do it Donna!” The voice in my head said. Alright. 

May 2014. Central Park, NYC. Photograph by Justin Hackworth Photography. 

After receiving the photos I cried. “I LOOK HORRIBLE!” (I really didn’t Justin did a great job.) “Look at my double chin! Look at how big my arms are!”  “Are my hips really THAT WIDE?” Well, yes. 

We have been bombarded since birth, about how we ‘should’ look. Truth is, we all look different and that is OK. Its GREAT! Who wants to look the same? 

It took me that entire summer to realize that I was perfectly fine the way I was. My hips are little wider, but they carried 3 children. My arms may not be as toned as Michelle Obama’s, but they can lift, carry, and comfort those they come in contact with. 

Having that experience help me better understand why clients feel awkward in front of the camera. You are showing us your soul, your insecurities.  I’d encourage you to let your hair down. You are more beautiful, and powerful than you think. 

I'd do anything for that boy