Friends, have you ever been minding your own business, having a great day, when a horrifying photo sideswipes you and makes you rethink everything you ever thought you knew about your own face and/or body?! Yeah, me, too. Entire days have been ruined by crappy photos. My wedding album is
. Happy, blissful day. Horrendous photos (of me, anyway). I don't know why the photographer chose not to utilize some sort of retouching, but he didn't, and my splotchy, hyper-pigmented, oily skin has been immortalized in our family's history ever since.
I've always winced when it comes to taking pictures. Outwardly, I'm somewhat poised, but internally, my brain is screaming a million different instructions.
Chin down a bit so eyes don't appear squinty, but not so far down as to create a double-chin.
Place hand unnaturally on hip, but for the love of God,
Now, smile...GENTLY. And watch those gums!
Not much you can do about that cellulite except pray it doesn't show.
I go through this ritual just about every time a photo is taken. Sometimes, it's a success; other times, not so much.
It's me in both photos, but makeup, lighting, location, and posing make a HUGE difference.
Neither photo has been retouched, although one was taken with my phone, the other with my camera.
However, instead of wallowing about something so unimportant, I've decided to turn the negative into a positive, and figure out how to deal with inevitability of The Unflattering Photo.
1. Get A Second Opinion.
I'm not a dude, so I'm not sure if males have this issue, but it strikes the fairer sex often and with great relish. Thus, ladies, may I implore you to ask a loved one you trust to take a look at the offending photo. Chances are very good that it's not nearly as bad as you think. Seriously. My husband is my go-to guy for this sort of thing and I almost always agree with him when I'm not crazy/PMS-ing/have eaten/gotten some rest/etc.
2. Fix It.
Can you crop the thing just shy of your cellulite? How about changing the filter? Instagram is popular and easy-to-use, but there are tons of camera apps available. Also, how do you feel about retouching?
offers great smoothing options, and if you're unfamiliar with Photoshop,
is awesome for editing digital photos. You don't have to perform virtual plastic surgery, but creating an image you can live with is easier than ever, these days.
3. Consider Who Will See It.
The platform on which the photo is shared is something to think about. On
, you can simply untag and never think about it again (on your account, at least). I believe the same can be said of
moves incredibly fast and pictures aren't even visible unless you click on the actual tweet. If a friend posted it, perhaps he/she would be willing to remove the photo or crop you out of it. If the image was posted by a client, coworker, or acquaintance, I'd send a polite email or private message explaining the situation. Most folks will be sympathetic, but others may not. Be prepared for both scenarios.
4. Take One For The Team.
If everyone else in the photo looks fabulous, let it slide. If you've got quality friends, chances are very good that they would do the same for you (if they haven't already).
preoccupied about being in front of the camera, engage in some SSS, or Silent Sustained Snapping. Thanks to technology, we can engage in this ridiculous activity in the comfort of our own bathrooms. You will feel stupid, but you may also stumble onto an angle or pose that makes you look like a dead ringer for Beyonce'. When you're finished, save the ones you like, delete the ones you despise, and no one's the wiser.
6. Laugh About It.
Perfection is not only boring, but impossible. Bad pictures are a part of life and a pretty funny one, in my opinion. Know that you are lovely and beautiful. One--or many--terrible pics do not negate that. Angles and lighting can play tricks on our perception. This life is too good to get distracted by the inconsequential. When I think back on these moments, I'd like to think that the love and joy I experienced will be what comes to mind, not my preoccupation with cellulite. Further, embracing the embarrassing keeps us humble and interesting, ya know? It can even be rather lucrative crowd-pleaser. Just ask the geniuses behind
, one of my favorite websites ever.
Now, let's go confidently into our snap-happy society, unafraid of spotty skin, dark circles, bad haircuts, and belly bloat! We are so much more than that stuff, anyway.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
Psalm 139:14 NIV
This blog post is linked up to the
! If you'd like to join us or simply check out other blogs, head over to