We live in a world that is often driven by marketing. Media and advertising want us all to believe the standards they set for beauty, success, style and even character. They need us to literally buy in, because frankly, they're only interested in selling products. They're not concerned with what's best for us - not our health, nor wellbeing, not to mention our own preferences, thoughts and beliefs. It makes sense though, because if they do their job well (getting you to buy the lie without much personal reflection) then you'll purchase whatever makes you look just like everyone else. But is that really you?
When you work with a photographer, it's important that you articulate who you are. What personality traits should your photographs highlight? Is there a mood or aesthetic that feels particularly personal? What hobbies and interests drive your passion? What setting or surroundings make you feel most "at home"? Be ready to offer these details in advance of your photo session. Your answers equip the photographer to capture your real essence and, ultimately, you'll enjoy your photos so much more.
If you have trouble finding words to describe yourself, ask those who know you best. I actually recommend doing this from time-to-time, regardless of whether you're having a photo taken. You'll either be wildly encouraged, or you'll be inspired to make changes to suit your goals. Either way, you'll walk away better for asking the question.
More than anything, I want to encourage you to be your true self. Not what you imagine you "should" be. Not what would please others. And certainly not what everyone else looks like or is doing. Show us your own personality, strengths, interests, quirks and gifts. That's who we want to capture with the camera.
So, tell me...who are you?