Friday, October 3, 2014

The difference between being beautiful and being photogenic

I’ve never thought of myself as a beauty and I certainly wasn't that "pretty girl" in high school (or college) that all the guys swooned over.  When I had my photo taken (you know the ones -- you’re at a party or a gathering and someone pulls out a camera and tells you to smile and then it’s 1-2-3 cheese and click).  I NEVER liked those photos. I generally had my eyes closed or my mouth in some contortion,  looking very much like I was caught off guard.  Those bad photos led me to shy away from having pictures taken and I tried very hard to stay out of camera range.  I referred to myself as un-photogenic.

My Friday oldie jam pick 
Beauty is Only Skin Deep
The Temptations (August 1966)

What is beauty?

There is beauty all around us all the time. And there is beauty in people. We’ve all heard the term “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” and "beauty is only skin deep".  People are beautiful when they are finding joy in life, being kind to others, and enjoying themselves.  Of course most of this happens, off camera. The real trick to looking good in a photo is to feel comfortable and unstressed. Feel like you’re having fun.   However, this can be very difficult for the average person, when given a moment’s notice to “smile”.

It’s not your fault if you are un-photogenic

It stands to reason that a photo will be stronger if there is a great backdrop and the lighting is good  But, don’t worry,  it’s actually the photographers job to make sure all of this comes together to produce a good photo, not yours! So stop blaming yourself. The quality of the photograph reflects on the photographer, not the subject.

Not camera shy

Most of the people to whom we attach the label “beautiful” are generally, actor/actresses, models or other celebrities. Our only real interaction with them is in print or on screen.  These people are very comfortable in front of cameras and in front of an audience.  Are you surprised? Of course not, this is their life and this is what they get paid for. 

Even though our society idealizes them, keep in mind that, in order to produce that beautiful photo it takes a team of assistants, stylists, and specialized lighting equipment. The background has been specially arranged and the image is probably heavily edited. There may have been a photogenic scene created in the studio for the person. but that in no way means that that person is more photogenic than you.  As a matter of fact this isolated, controlled persona is all that the public will ever see.  If you encountered these people in their normal state you might not even recognize them and usually would never apply the term “beautiful”

The "Beauty-Industrial Complex"

There are big industries built around reinforcing this idea that some people are "photogenic." They promote insecurities and then sell you things to try to make up for it, or sell you stories about other people who are somehow more important or better than you.

Bad photos can lead to issues of self worth

The first time I was ever in control of photographs of myself was when I started blogging.  After years of being un-photogenic, camera shy and deleting photos that I hated (I would even delete my photos off of someone else’s camera if I could get access to it), I decided to become my own photographer. I found I was a lot less stressed during my photo sessions. I can set up different scenarios and put on whatever I want. I actually have fun! I can also take a ton of photos of myself without feeling vain (in the past I was too nervous to ask anyone to retake a photo more than twice ) The other key to taking good photos is to take a lot of them.  I found that after the first 20 or 30  photographs, I start to really relax. Photographers can take 100-200 photos to find ”the one”.  How can you be expected to have good pictures all the time if you only have 1 or 2 to choose from? Since becoming my own photographer, I notice that people now remark about how photogenic I am.  

If they only knew!

BTW - You'll find that all around you are wonderful, amazing, beautiful people doing incredible, fascinating things to make the world a better place.  Just take a moment to appreciate it.

info source

Nighttime photos

Plan was to take some fashion photos of my friend Pam at her condo club house 
Pam just returned from filming and episode of HGTV Island Hunters

When we arrived all the rooms were occupied

So we ended up outside on one of the the dark

Have no fear, My camera has a great flash!

Plus, I just happen to have, my 2 new Panama hats which I received from Ecuador about a month ago

While Pam was doing her wardrobe changes
I took advantage of the time and shot some pics of my hats

                                    Don't worry I will post photos of Pam in a separate post soon

Here's the fuchsia version

Whatever you have planned (or don't)...Hope you enjoy your weekend.

And don't ever think of yourself as un-photogenic again!
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  1. so interesting! yes...i thought you were just "naturally" photogenic...because you always look great in your photos! i've never been comfortable in front of the camera...and always said i wasn't photogenic.

  2. It's also the camera I use. I have another more expensive one but I don't feel like I look as good withthat one. And I still HATE for other people to take my photo . lol