Open Letter: To Those Waiting Until [Insert Reason Here] for that Family Photography Session
Your friendly documentary, lifestyle photographer here. I want to talk to you about something that I often hear said among women when the idea of them being in a photography session is brought up. Whether that be a family, newborn, couples session, or sometimes their own wedding, it’s a sentence and sentiment that needs to be disposed. When I tell you what it is, I hope you haven’t said or thought it to yourself, but there’s a good chance you have, your spouse has, or someone else you love has.
Here it is.
“I can’t do that/I have to wait until…”
“…I lose weight.”
“…my arms are more toned.”
“…I have a thigh gap.”
“…my complexion evens out.”
“…my hair is more full.”
Now, stop right there. You know what those are? Those are lies. Yes, there is a need to eat and exercise in balance and moderation to maintain a healthy body, but that should never be something that prevents us from living life, from being involved, from being ourselves.
Here’s why this matters to me, the photographer. I’ve walked in those shoes. I lived life tearing myself down, heavily restricting what I could eat, and overexercising. I was sick. Social activities were avoided, and I disliked being in pictures because I ‘had to’ reach a certain weight before I ‘could’ do that. That’s a lie.
The Truth Is…
If you wait for whatever ultimatum or goal you’ve placed in front of yourself to arrive, you’ll forever be moving that target. And, you’ll never appreciate and love your body for what it can do, and yourself for who you are. Moreover, where photography is concerned, you’ll look back on family pictures and gatherings and realize you are missing from the pictures, you are missing from your family.
I pray your struggle, your “I can’t do that/I have to wait until” truly isn’t detrimental to your health, but whatever it may be, take a deep breath and release it. You matter. You don’t need to wait until whatever your personal ultimatum is, release yourself from having to wait to live life until it is reached. If it is truly a healthy goal, push forward, keeping working at it, but live your life. If it isn’t a healthy goal, let it go.