Coffee Shop Thoughts | 001

Lip Stick Photo.jpg

The other day I was scrolling through Instagram (which happens to be one of my favorite social media platforms). I follow a lot of random artists, lifestyle bloggers, and photographers. I scrolled past one artist who posted a portrait of herself. The portrait was stunning. I thought wow, I wish I took pictures that looked like that.

Earlier that day I was trying to take a picture for my own Friday introduction and I just wasn't feeling it that day. Here was another woman in my feed appearing to be successful and here I was once again comparing my day to day feelings to her highlight reel. Her eyes were light colored and the light caught them just right. Her skin... flawless. Did she get enough sleep the night before? You would never have been able to tell. She had no bags under her eyes. She had beautiful white teeth. Her portrait screamed beauty and success.

The portrait I took that day screamed "Faking it until I'm making it" and "Needs more caffeine".

But, this time I stopped and offered my heart a little bit of perspective that I want to share with you from the other side of the camera.

  • Her Picture was professionally taken
  • Her Picture had an even light source   
  • Her picture was most likely taken before today and was not portraying today's moments, stresses, successes, and feelings.
  • She's probably scrolled past someone else's image and had the same thoughts

In the photography world, you learn a lot about posing, lighting, editing, and manipulating the environment to get the image you want. Changing those things doesn't necessarily mean the image is fake or unrealistic. It is just offering the best perspective of what has been given.

Do you ever get ready in the morning and feel great about yourself, then you catch a glimpse of your reflection at a store or in your camera and wonder what happened? What happened was the environment changed. Your face, most likely, didn't.

Now let's take a look at my list of factors from my photograph I tried to take

  • I was using my iPhone
  • I had one small window of light which was not covering my portrait evenly. This made the shadows on my face appear deeper and darker (Hello under eye bags)
  • My picture was taken the day I wanted to post it. I had gotten 4 hours of sleep, worked 8 hours, walked around outside in the humid heat, and had half the makeup I had put on that day left on my face. I hadn't touched up a single thing.

I think one of the biggest struggles for me as a photographer is keeping it real on my social media. There are so many things I love about brands, photography, color schemes, and cohesive feeds on the internet. This new wave of online creativity has managed to combine all of my favorite things into one place. 

I'm the person that points out when all my friends are wearing the same color scheme, and I make them take a picture. I'll admit it, I work REALLY hard to keep my social media feeds consistant style wise and I don't think that is a bad thing. As a business owner, your brand is what sells you. It is what makes you stand out. So, your brand needs to be consistantly your style.

But, in this world where more people are putting their voices out there as creative entreprenuers, it can be REALLY easy to get lost in the comparison game. I do it all the time.

So this week, before you say " I wish I were her/him" or "I wish my life looked like hers/his" take a step back. Remind yourself not to compare your feelings about your day, today with their highlight reel, because chances are you don't have the whole story. Remind yourself that flawless pictures take a lot of work and there are a lot of theories about light, composition, colors, and posing behind them.


Here is my "perfectly" edited and posed photo from several months ago.

Here is my "perfectly" edited and posed photo from several months ago.