Monday, October 17, 2011

Photo Shoot: Inspiration in Unexpected Places

A couple weeks ago I met up with a very talented photographer and had some pictures taken. These were I guess weight loss pictures, despite the fact that I have not yet reached my goal.

I had been talking about it with the photographer for a little while but when she initially brought it up I wanted to wait until I reached my goal. That was during the summer. One day not long ago she comment on a FB picture of mine and I decided “why not!?”  Just because I am not yet at my goal doesn’t mean I can’t do something fun! I can always do (and will!) another shoot when I reach my goal. It’ll be nice to have something to compare to, even if I’m not that far away.

I love pictures; always have. I recently decided that I like having my picture taken to. When I was “morbidly obese” I avoided it. Or I gave specific instructions to cut me off at the waist, only certain angles should be used, and on and on… I wasn’t comfortable enough in my own skin to allow someone to take a random picture of me. If something showed up I didn’t like, I would go crop it or try to change it in another way. Or I would delete it or never show it to anyone.

I’m a different person now though. Even though there are things I’m still working on and things that I’d like to change, I can also see the progress that I’ve made. I’m wearing clothing I never would (or could) wear before. I’m taking pride in the work that I’ve done to get this far. Although my loss has slooooowed considerably (apparently it IS harder when you get closer to your goal), I continue to work toward my overall goal. I’ll reach it; it just seems to be taking a bit longer than I had planned.

The shoot…. Went well. I had a lot of fun doing it and when you work with someone you’re comfortable with and who makes you feel at ease, it’s just that much more enjoyable. The fact that she did an amazing job is the icing on the cake!

It’s possible that I may have developed a new addiction. I want to do more shoots! I sent her a message and said that if there’s anything she wants to try or do in order to expand her portfolio, I’m up for it! I love the artistic nature behind photos. There are so many different themes and ideas to work with. I love experimenting with hair, make-up, and different clothing styles. Taking part in a shoot can make you feel like someone else for a little while. It’s like acting, without the all the lines to remember.

I’m also totally loving new pictures of me - especially those of such high quality! Some might call it vanity. Some might think I’m a little odd because I like to look at myself. This is something that’s not new, but more evident. I’ve always been drawn to anything mirror-like. If there’s a reflective surface (or something even remotely reflective) I’ll probably look in it. It’s second nature to me and sometimes I don’t even realize that I’m doing it unless someone else points it out.

This may have resulted in a bit of a new addiction. I absolutely love being in front of the camera. I’m not saying I want to be a super model, and I certainly do not see myself prancing down the runway at the 2012 VS fashion show with giant angel wings strapped to my back. I do think I’d be interested in pursuing more shoots as a hobby I guess…. I like it. I’ve been told I’m photogenic. So why not? I don’t expect to make a million dollar career out of it. But! It’s a fun activity that I enjoy!

I honestly did not think I’d react in this way. I knew that I’d be happy with the pictures. I guess part of me didn’t know what to expect. I can honestly say that I’m thrilled with all of it! Of course not all the pictures are perfect and being so self-critical I’ll look at one and be like “ohhhh I don’t like my tummy in that shot” or whatever it is. However the majority of the photos are wonderful. I’m actually happy with the way that I look. I don’t know how long it’s been since I could honestly say that and mean it.

This experience has given me a new type of confidence. It’s a confidence that has made me realize that I should go after my dreams; whatever they may be. I, of course, know what they are, but I don’t need to get into all the details of everything I want to accomplish in this blog.

I honestly feel that having this shoot done made me see myself for who I really am. I can see my inner-self shining through in so many of them. The look in my eyes, the smile (even the half-smile smirks), the intensity of a look, and even my gorgeous hair! I feel like my happiness and confidence really show up in these pictures.

This has given me a new motivation. I have motivation to push through a workout, even on days I don’t want to. Thinking of them makes me make a good food choice over a bad one. I’m not even sure what this is all about except that I want to do more shoots. I want to continue to look “better” (by my standards). I can’t wait to be able to compare. I’m also sure that after having this first, very successful, shoot I’m going to be a little more free in front of the camera. I take direction well, and that’s basically what I did for this shoot… But maybe next time I’ll be inspired that I’ll come up few ideas of my own; whether it be a pose or an expression.

I’m so glad that I didn’t wait to do this shoot. When this was first mentioned to me, I don’t think I really felt like I had any business doing it. I didn’t have the confidence…I thought “oh no, I need to wait.” I didn’t think that I should be photographed now…Even if they were just for me. For some reason I just couldn’t see that I had actually made the progress that I have. I just wasn’t comfortable with me.

Somewhere within the few months between when it was first mentioned and I decided to do the shoot, something clicked inside of me. I’m not sure what it was (much like what started me on this journey). I can’t pinpoint the exact moment that my self-confidence, regarding my appearance, increased, but it did. I’m not sure what that one, defining moment was. I’m glad it happened though. I’m glad that my thinking was transformed.

This has given me a little extra drive to push toward my goals - weight loss and otherwise. I honestly didn’t realize that something like participating in a phoot shoot could be such a boost for me. I never expected to feel the way that I have since doing it.

This is the part where I say thank you, Rebekah. If you hadn’t asked me about the shoot I probably never would have done something like this. Your idea and my decision has given me a new source of strength. It’s made me even more motivated and determined. The experience of the shoot, as well as the outcome (beautiful pictures!) has given me inspiration. It’s inspired me to take chances; to put myself out there. No one else is going to work toward my goals or chase my dreams for me. It’s up to me.


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