Picture Imperfect


Here I am in my headshot. It’s not the one I’m planning on using for my website (I picked the one where I’m using my camera). But it is the one that I was picking apart when my sweet baby girl helped me see that none of the stuff I was worried about really matters.

Confession time: I hate looking at pictures of myself. I know what you are thinking. That’s pretty hypocritical for someone who is training to be a professional photographer.

But it’s true.

I look at pictures of myself – especially close up pictures – and I cringe. Inevitably something bugs me. My hair looks dumb, my smile is weird, my wrinkles are too deep. I could pick each picture apart and hate it.

And yet last week I was reminded that I need to stop worrying about all of those things.

I needed to get a head shot done for my business website. So I asked my photography school teacher to snap a few pictures for me to use. (If anyone could make me look better than I feel I really look then it’s him.)

So he snapped a couple of pictures at the end of our class on Saturday and I went on my way uploading them for my website.

As I sat on my couch sifting through the images and wondering how I could try to make my hair look better in them – my bangs were windblown off my forehead and I was seriously considering photo shopping them to look better – my daughter woke up from her nap and walked out to where I was sitting.

Immediately she saw what I was working on and exclaimed, “That’s my mama!”

She was so proud and excited all at once it made me smile.

Did she see the crazy bangs? Did she see all those deep smile lines?


She saw her mama. A person she loves and trust.

I need to stop seeing all of those other non-important things too.

I need to stop picking my pictures apart.

I need to remember that I am who I am. My hair is seldom perfect. My smile may look silly sometimes and my wrinkles aren’t going anywhere. But none of that should matter.

I don’t want my daughter to think that she has to photoshop her hair for her images to look all right. I don’t want her to look at a picture of herself and pick it apart.

I want her to look at it and be proud and excited. “That’s me!,” I want her to exclaim.

So I better start practicing what I preach. I better start accepting myself for who I am and loving me like my own child does. I better start getting in front of the camera instead of behind it all the time or I’ll regret not having captured some of the most important parts of my life – which is one of the reasons I love pictures.

They help me to relive a memory, a feeling, a moment when things were different. They help me freeze time. I’m going to try to freeze time more often – even if I’m frozen with crazy, wind-blown bangs.

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