Prepping to Love Yourself in Photos

You’re nervous about getting in front of a camera.

You’re convinced you don’t look good. There’s something about your body or the way you look that you wish was different.

But your parents are bothering you for a family photo, or there’s a wiggling thought in the back of your head that one day your kids will cherish old photos of you, or maybe you are REA-DY to give yourself the gift of photos of yourself you really like.

So you’ve hired a photographer you’re excited to work with, or maybe you’ve already had your photo session - now what? How do you know you’re going to love the pictures that come back?

These aren’t a guarantee, but here are some things to prep to loving seeing yourself when you get that gallery link:

1. Look at pictures of people that look like you. It really helps to seek out pictures of folks who look like you and admire them. It’s not only nice to see people living it up, it also makes little steps towards recoding your brain to see your own self as amazing.

2. Make lists of things you like about yourself and read aloud often. Tell other people what you like about yourself. Maybe you like that you are tenacious, or maybe you like that you love animals. Anything you like about yourself - reminding yourself of that puts your mind in a place of remembering how worthy you are of liking yourself.

3. Make self-affirming or neutral phrases to repeat to yourself about aspects of you that you struggle with. It’s okay if you’re not to finding something positive about whatever is challenging you - there’s a lot of power in neutrality. It might be an amazing experience to just write down something like, “My arms do a lot for me. My arms are another part of me.” I like to call challenging aspects of my body “buddies.” I’m not mean to my buddies. I’m going to try and go easy on my little “thigh buddy.” Or my pimple buddies.

4. Think about editing. Does the photographer you’re working with do edits of what is bothering you most? You can always ask for that service or what the limits are. I know it’s hard, but you don’t have to be shy to ask for what you need to love a photo of you, just as you are now. Sometimes our self-image can be affirmed by digital editing. Which is okay! And brings us to -

5. Go easy on yourself. It’s okay if you are still nervous, or if you get your photos back and love the whole family picture except for that one thing that bothers you… It takes time to be neutral with or love yourself. Practice makes every skill and self love is a skill! You did a great job just working on it!