How Photoshoots Can Help Your Self-Esteem (My Experience)

Photoshoots can be so intimidating and being in front of a camera with a total stranger can be soo scary! Especially if you have dealt with body dysmorphia or any type of low self esteem. But I am here to tell you as a previous body dysmorphic gal, that photoshoots have REALLY changed the way I see myself. Of course this did come with some help of therapy, and other things but seeing photos of myself that I loved and even seeing some that I didn’t, really sparked some sort of journey for myself.

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Body Dysmorphia

Some background about me, I have always dealt with low self esteem and body issues and a slight eating disorder since I was young. I never felt pretty or good enough because I always compared myself to what i saw on TV. Growing up I also was never someone that took photos of myself often or rushed to get pictures of me and my girl friends while being out in town. I strongly despised photos of my self and just never wanted to look at them. In my early twenties, i became a photographer and all of that changed.

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Me! – Helena Photographs

I realized pictures have so much power when I started taking photos for others. I loved it when I took photos of people and showed them the end results and we would have that moment where they were like “OMG, Is that me?!!” I loved making people feel good about themselves through photography because I think we forget that we are all amazing, beautiful people. You know with social media nowadays, we think that only the celebrities can have amazing photos.

After a while of starting my career i was like “Wait, how am i photographer with no professional photos of myself?!” It did not add up so I reached out to local photographers. My first two photoshoots were, well, a bit nerve wrecking.

The very first photoshoot I did, I felt so embarrassed being in front of the camera, and honestly it showed in the pictures. I did have a few photos that i loved though so it was not something i wanted to completely abandon. Now my second photoshoot was interesting. I walked in feeling much more confident, and let myself go, and some of these photos, I did not love, but i did not hate. The ones i disliked were the ones where I was laughing completely out loud or where i was sitting awkwardly or certain poses that were not flattering on me. Now some photos were completely cute. I started realizing wait, I am not completely ugly or someone that is not flattering at all to the eyes. But you know what, I found my boyfriend really liking the photos of me laughing out loud and me just being myself. I remembered how I felt during these photos, I felt pure joy and super confident while the photographer was hyping me up. I thought, “Maybe I am just being hard on myself, and be more compassionate with myself.” I realized if I just extend that compassion for myself, It was not such a big deal for me anymore.

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After these photoshoots, I started thinking and realizing that I am not this monster that I thought I was. If you have dealt with body dysmorphia, you would understand.

My third photoshoot changed everything. I walked in with SO much confidence, and my friend was amazing at posing me so that helped me out so much. When i got my photos back I LOVED majority of them, and I was able to look past the ones where I thought I looked a little awkward.

These experiences really did change my perspective of myself. I went from completely hating the way I looked, to loving myself and appreciating myself. I think this came from the confidence I gained from the first photoshoots I did. Sometimes I feel silly that this is what changed the way I looked at myself. I started accepting when people gave me compliments rather than shrugging it off and being like “Nooo my hair does not look that great…”

Now I know it is not realistic for a lot of people to do 3 photoshoots, but practicing at home with a trusted friend, or even with your phone is a start. But if you have always wanted to do a photoshoot, I say go for it, and find a good photographer and someone that addresses these nuances (like me!). Do not let your insecurities stop you from doing things that you feel would bring you so much joy in your life. I am so excited and happy to have some good quality images of myself in my youth that I can look back on years to come!

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one of the photos that I really loved

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