As a portrait photographer, the number one reason women give me for not wanting to be photographed is their weight. They tell me, “I need to lose 40 pounds, and then we will do it.” They are waiting for a stunning outward transformation before they can look at themselves, but that transformation must come from within. It starts with accepting exactly who you are at this moment.
I have dealt with weight issues all my life. Up 80 pounds, down 100 pounds, up 25, down 35. I found out I had diabetes at the beginning of 2020 and dropped over 100 pounds, but now a bit of it has crept back on. I have, and probably always will be, in a never-ending battle with my weight and my health. However, the time had come for me to be professionally photographed for my business. That stunning weight transformation I had been waiting for before getting in front of the camera never happened. There was nowhere left to hide. I reopened my portrait studio, Dreamspeed Photography, in January of 2022 in Chilhowie Virginia, and everything was falling into place. I couldn’t avoid it any longer. As a professional, I must have professional images to present to the world. And one of my core beliefs is that women should be empowered through self-image. So, it had to start with me.
At a recent workshop with my mentor Cat Ford-Coats, Cat called me out for not being photographed professionally in a long time. Cat has a way of being gentle when warranted, but when she sees me avoiding something that needs to be done, she doesn’t mince words. At the workshop she said, “And Cindy Goff is the only one here who hasn’t been professionally photographed.” This resulted in groans from the attendees.
But like all women, especially women over 40, I have avoided looking at myself for a long time. I even avoided looking at myself when I brushed my teeth. I’m not 21 anymore. I’m not 120 pounds anymore. Women tend to use their thinnest moment as the yard stick of their outward worthiness. According to popular culture, we are supposed to be in our 20's forever. The fact is we change. We get gray. We get wrinkles. This happens because we are human beings who age, transform and grow. As women get older, they live extraordinary lives. They grow wiser. More powerful. After all we have been through, why should we WANT to be stuck with an image from our 20's? We have moved SO far beyond it.
It's scary exposing yourself to a photographer. Not only allowing yourself to be seen, to be vulnerable, but having that experience documented. However, giving yourself over to this experience is liberating. Being professionally photographed was a giant step in the acceptance of my physically self. Cat did a beautiful job of making me feel at ease, and I was stunned when I saw my images. I saw someone I hadn’t see in a long time. I saw the glitter that is always in my head spread over my face and body. It has been a long time since I gave myself permission to shine. Way too long! I won’t make that mistake again.I’m going to be photographed every year, not because that’s what you should do as a business owner, but because I want to see myself for who I am and love that person.
More than anything, I want to give my clients this experience. Let me show you that beautiful person you have been hiding away for decades. Accepting self-image is life changing. Truly accepting who you are at this moment and letting go of “when I loose 40 pounds” is liberating. You don’t have to wait for that physical miracle to happen; you can do whatever you want right now. Call or DM me for a free consultation. I would love to show you the person you may have forgotten, 540.878.1383.