This one is kinda written for the ladies.... sorry guys. You can read it too though!
I've been thinking about my "beauty post" since I started thinking about the Sunday Selfie posts. I was going to save it for a Sunday Selfie post.. because it's my self-consciousness about the way I look that keeps me from feeling confident in front of my own camera! But if I know the following truth about other people... then I ought to know it for myself, right? Anyway.. I felt moved to do this post today.
Something I have trained myself to do, over the last year especially, is to see the beauty in people.
Unless someone is strikingly beautiful or something, we probably don't notice them when we walk by. We glaze over just about everything and everyone we see. Most people just look sort of average.. normal.. meh.
The media have absolutely polluted our minds with their interpretation of beauty. To be a beautiful woman you have to be 5'10'' or taller, have a 23" waist and wear a 36C bra. Your eyes need to have the shape of an almond and your eyebrows need to have just enough arch. If you have brown eyes, they're only pretty if you have blonde hair. If you have blue eyes, they have to be BLUE.. not some mixture of blue and green, and they're only pretty if you have dark hair and dark skin. Hair can be curly, but not frizzy. But it's best if there's a gentle and controlled wave in just the right spot. Natural hair color is really a no-go.. unless you are naturally ash blonde or have auburn hair gravitating toward more red than brown. Ombre anyone? Ladies, take a look at your arms. Your ankles ought to be skinny as your wrists and your calves as skinny as your forearms.. and don't even get me started on thighs. OH - and that ever-so-important boob-to-waist-to-hip ratio!! HOURGLASS PEOPLE. HOUR.GLASS. I pray you can read the sarcasm. (There are standards for men too, but in my opinion, they're not really as rigid as those for women.)
That kind of beauty is not what I look for when I am photographing my clients. I am looking for the beauty of personality, reflected through facial expressions and body language.
This sounds really ridiculous when I read it out loud.. but I believe it's the beauty of the soul, the beauty God sees when He looks at us. The beauty He created in us.
This is what your husband is talking about when he looks at you and says, "Wife, you're beautiful." Beautiful
This is the beauty I have trained myself to see. This is the beauty I hope I capture in 1/200th of a second or less. This is what I want my clients to see in themselves in the images I finish and offer them.
(Hover your mouse over this one!)
BeautifulThis is my sister-in-law. It is Thanksgiving Day 2012 and her husband was working. She had driven several hours over the mountains with my 4 nieces and nephews to spend the day with us. We had just finished dinner, and I suggested we go take the kids' pictures. She was not prepared to be in the pictures this day. She didn't do anything special to prepare for the shot, and didn't know that my intentions when I called her name were to take a picture. I hadn't told her how to sit or what to think about or how to smile. She had family on the mind and she just looked at me with the calm Danielle expression that I love. (This is my explanation for why she is the only one not hugging on her husband!) Isn't she beautiful?
It is what I see now when I look around myself. At the mall. Standing in line at the post office. Yes... even at Walmart. Everyone is beautiful. Even when the beauty is hidden by the darkness of anger and bitterness (like in mug shots).. the beauty is there. (I know.. what just happened with the mug shot comment? There was like.. this great inspirational piano music playing in the background while you were reading, right? And then I mention the mug shot and the piano player in your head was like.. "Wait, what?!" and so he hit a couple wrong notes.. you know.. like his fingers kinda stumbled over themselves. So, maybe it ruined the moment I had created. But I'm just trying to make a point is all.)
YOU are beautiful!
All of the pictures I posted are of clients of mine. I purposely took them going in for the "beauty shot." I pulled the images off my camera and scrolled through them.. and these are the ones from each session that struck me: "Wow.. she is so beautiful." I didn't photoshop these ladies to make them pretty. Do you see what I see? If you saw any of these women I pictured walking down the street... would you see how striking they really are? When you look in the mirror, do you see how striking you are?
See the beauty.