So let’s start by acknowledging:
It’s OK to have body/appearance insecurities my friend.
After all, there are profit-driven forces trying to MAKE us insecure all day every day, so we buy more stuff.
For that reason, all humans — but especially my woman and femme-identifying clients — can (reasonably) struggle to feel confident in front of the camera.
As a creative director who oversees high-concept brand photoshoots for my clients, I hear this “10-20 pounds” line ALL THE TIME.
So let me tell you what I tell them.
Here’s How You Get to Shoot Day Feeling Fabulous
First, part of our JOB is to make you feel amazing on shoot day.
You’ll be fully styled in clothes you feel incredible in, your hair and makeup will be done to the nines, you’ll be clear on the story you’re telling with the images, and there’ll be a whole team of people reminding you how damn stunning you are (because it’s true).
But that’s not the only reason even our most camera shy clients love their photos.
It’s because a great photo isn’t about whether you’re making sure your arm doesn’t do that weird jiggle thing, or that your belly pooch is covered, or that you’re not showing too many wrinkles or weirdly squinting one eye the way you do in every pic your mom takes of you.
It’s about what comes through in your face.
It sounds cheesy, but it’s true.
We Can’t Photoshop the Sparkle of Joy in Your Eyes
A little bunching or wrinkling in your clothing can be smoothed out in photoshop (though we avoid drastic post-production body contouring)…
…but we can’t photoshop the sparkle of joy into your eyes, or the giant grin of excitement onto your face as you embody the story and visual language of your brand, or the quiet confidence of your relaxed, focused gaze staring right into the camera.
Think about it.
That’s EXACTLY what you see radiating through the screen in other people’s photos, right?
You don’t clock who didn’t suck it in enough, or whose arm is looking a lil’ extra arm-y, or the cellulite.
You see the beauty of the moment, and the feeling, and the message it’s sending.
Relax, Your Audience is Rooting for You!
I get it: it can be WEIRD to see yourself the way the lens of a camera sees you.
(And that isn’t “how everyone secretly sees you” btw — it’s just something you haven’t seen before because the human eye functions differently to a camera.)
I struggled to look at the raw, unedited round of my own shoots for YEARS.
Because we’re our own worst critics, and society has taught us to zero in on our flaws in order to hide them. It’s fcked, but it’s how we’re conditioned.
But the truth is, as any public speaking coach will tell you (‘cuz speaking shares similar insecurity-based baggage):
Your audience is rooting for you!
They don’t want a flawless robot. They wanna see YOU as you are, in your power, telling your story.
So no: you don’t need to lose “those last 10-20 pounds”.
You need to start rooting for yourself, too.