Be who you are and trust your own path: How to make your portrait session uniquely yours even with societal pressures.
At Sarah Lindsay Photography we strive to empower each of you to believe in your beauty and to empower you to be a strong, independent, confident young woman. The constant TV commercials, ads on your phone, social media in the palm of your hands make comparisons that much easier to do. You might see classmates out on a lake day and wonder why you weren’t invited, if you aren’t good enough for them. Or you see ads for swimwear and order the suit and it doesn’t make you feel as beautiful as how you viewed the model. Nowadays most women have been there, I know I still fall into the trap. I want to be good enough for everyone. Do you feel that too?
If you have had or continue to have these feelings, this post is for you. Senior pictures are meant to capture the real you. The you that smiles uncontrollably at a corny joke, or the you that holds your kindergarten self to see remember how much you've grown, or the you that feels the most beautiful in athletic clothes. But it can be hard to let yourself be fully you in front of the camera for a number of reasons. One being the societal pressure of having the perfect picture. Below are some tips to help you stay true to who you are and have a senior portrait session that captures the authentic you.
Listen To Your Inner Voice
Society likes to tell us what we should think, wear, how to act through social media. From what we see then we like to tell ourselves “oh we should be wearing those jeans.” or “oh I should be most outgoing.” All these ‘shoulds’ become exhausting and take you away from thinking (and doing) things for yourself. When picking out your outfits for your senior photoshoot, take note of what your inner voice is saying. You might have friends or parents who offer their opinion, however, don’t let their opinions dictate what you wear. I get it. It's much easier to listen to others opinions, but you know yourself best, right? If there is a little voice telling you that the other jeans make you feel more confident, but your entourage says differently… please trust that voice and listen to what you need. When you feel the most confident and beautiful, your images will shine that much more.
When the day of your shoot comes and you are out in the field in front of the camera, make sure you listen to your inner thoughts. If you don’t feel confident in the pose you are in, then communicate with the photographer. If you don’t feel like your hair is laying how you like it, ask for a mirror to make sure it fits how you want it. Listening to that voice can be hard. Once you start to trust that voice, you will find in all areas of your life you are much happier. That might be because you are following what you want/need, not what society is pressuring you into.
Practice Self Reflection
When it comes to your senior portrait session you might look at others images for ideas. This is a great idea to come up with what you want your vision to include, but don’t put pressure on yourself to look exactly like the image. I know easier said than done, but you are you and we want to capture YOU. A little tip, when looking at others, look at the locations, general outfit ideas, poses you like. But other than that don’t try to replicate it exactly. You will get caught up in what they did and find yourself comparing all your images to theirs. Your images are beautiful because you are the center of them. We want you to truly believe that as well.
As an example, you might really like the outfits someone in their shoot is wearing. I challenge you though to do some reflection. Are those colors you would normally wear? Do you like to layer outfits? Do you feel confident in high rise jeans and a cropped tank top? Is that an outfit you would pick out for yourself if you hadn’t seen it on someone else and went shopping? Take a moment (or few) and really assess if these outfits capture you as the high school senior you are.
Try Not To Overthink
This is easier said than done. I am a queen at overthinking! But, the more time you spend thinking about something, the more time you have to talk yourself into or out of something. Stick with your first instinct and once you decide, put the outfit or accessories away. If you spend a lot of time trying on the outfits and looking at them, you might start to pick it apart. You might start to think that it makes your legs look too long or that the colors wash you. If your initial reaction is that you love it, hold onto that. This happened to me when I picked out my high school senior picture. I looked at the one I loved so much I started not to like how white my eyes looked and how tilted my shoulder was. But now, I regret not using that picture because I truly did love it and spent too much time analyzing it and overthinking it. Stick with your gut and try not to overthink your outfit or your images once you get them back!