Self Image

So I thought I would start my blogging with some of my own observations and thoughts about self image. It’s a real thing, and the funny thing is that pretty much everyone I meet has the same kind of thoughts about themselves. Whether they are a new model, or a published Playboy playmate, very few people don’t see themselves as ‘flawed’ in some way.

My tits are too small, my tits are too big, they are lopsided, I look fat. I look too skinny. You can see my scars. My teeth are crooked/dirty. I’m not pretty enough. I wish I looked like her.

Listen – I get it. After all this ‘Stay at Home’ stuff started, I have been using Zoom for conference calls and I look at everyone and see myself as the ugliest guy on the call, with a big ugly nose and lines on my face, a crooked eye and a frown most of the time.

Why are we so hard on ourselves?

I shoot all kinds of girls, but for the most part the commonality is that they are all nude. In a way that can be very empowering. There are no masks to hide who you are. Sure, there is makeup, and Photoshop, but for the most part I like my photos to be as natural as possible. Do I Photoshop out some blemishes or scars? Yes I do. Why? For me it’s because I think of how I would want my photos to look. My own self-conscious image issues get projected as I edit. Is that wrong? I’m not sure. Sometimes I feel guilty of perpetuating that ‘perfect girl’ myth by editing small things and wonder how my own work might negatively affect girls who feel they are not as pretty as my photos.

I did post a set of photos completely untouched as an experiment, and they are beautiful.

You see how this issue gets complicated fast.

I will say that I get that we all think we are not as beautiful as others and we focus on our own flaws, but after working with lots of girls that are so varied in physical characteristics I can say that I truly find them all beautiful. Their very differences like small or large boobs, curvy or slim frames and different facial expressions make them unique and interesting.

For me I start to appreciate certain things that were not my ‘ideal’ characteristics. I was never a fan of tattoos or piercings and I loved small perky boobs. Now I really appreciate those things, both as art, expression and variety.

I’d love to hear some of your thoughts or feelings about this.

Please leave a comment below!

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2 thoughts on “Self Image

  1. Thank you for posting this! I recall being on a set for FHM Magazine back in ehhh, 2006 maybe? And having the casting person tell me they wanted me in the middle of the 5 women, as that’s the most coveted spot and where the attention is drawn. I was flattered…and confused. They were very good to me and really saw me as much more than I saw myself. The other women…wow…one was 5’8 and extremely slim/toned with perfect fake breasts, the next was this adorable petite Latina fitness chick with the most gorgeous olive skin, the next was a little older than the rest of us but in a good way…she was confident and sexy, she oozed empowerment and then the last was this curvy blonde bombshell with a perky butt and a girl next door smile. All I could think was “why the hell do they want to showcase me amongst these diamonds?! I’m just a little over average height, pretty basic in terms of looks, have no boobs and a big butt (that wasn’t trendy yet) and thick legs in comparison to my very thin upper body.”
    I felt this way about myself until about 30, after a heartbreaking divorce and many lessons forced upon me about self love.
    I am so pleased to see what you’ve written here about your views and the models you photograph. As a woman on the other side of that camera, who’s felt many times “I wonder how I stack up against the gorgeous women he’s used to seeing”, I applaud this outlook. It’s refreshing and it’s needed in the artistic world. Thank you for this.
    *I also apologize for any typos, I’m working from my phone lol*

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  2. I am still developing my editing workflow, the first step is “healing” and that is where the decisions that you have outlined come into play. What do I change to make the photo better and when have I crossed the line in changing the characteristics of a model. Should that small mole on her forehead be removed? In all honesty I have done both, left it there and removed it and I am not sure what the right decision is. I definitely fix blemishes without hesitation. Some photos I spend a lot of time on this process and others only a few minutes depending on the photo, the size, and resolution. This past year has been my busiest for model shoots and I am still very early in developing my style and know that I have a lot to learn in this process. Thank you for this forum, it definitely is a good place to learn.

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