My Photography and Travel Blog

“I’m not pretty enough because…” A photographer’s perspective


I know I was not going to post any more model images this week, but I have been recieving a few messages from women out there who think they are not pretty enough because….”I have had children, I am too old, I am not tall enough, I am not thin enough or skinny enough…etc..etc..” Ladies (and gentlemen), when the photographer really cares about the portrait work he or she is doing, and YOU care enough to give it your best shot, then yes, you ARE sexy enough, beautiful enough, tall enough, thin enough, whatever your reasons are (or you think they are), CAN BE overcome with trust, care, confidence..and, a little skillfull use of lenses, angles, depth of field, lighting, and a pinch of photoshop.  This topic is of great importance to me because I see and meet women daily who hurry along with thier lives, never stopping to take a few moments for themselves. Never taking the time to capture thier glow, thier smile, their looks, or even thier unique ability to turn the heads of strangers by the simple way the stand or walk. Women, as absolutely amazing as you are, are always pointing out and highlighting thier faults, imperfections, and even insecurities instead of just taking a look around . To see that in fact, they ARE getting “those looks” from across the room, they ARE turning heads, you ARE getting attention! Ladies, you ARE attractive regardless of all those flaws that only you can see (or, pay attention to).

To showcase this point, I would like to present to you Nicole. Nicole contacted me because she wanted to get some images for her husband to re-kindle the fire (so to speak). But she just didnt think she could go through with it and pull off the images she was hoping for.  “after all”, she said, “I have had 4 children and I have not had the time to go to the gym as much as I have wanted to”. She proceeded to list off several of her “flaws”, it took some time. When she was finished, I asked her if she would mind trying one of my favorite styles of imagery; “country glamor”, to see if we could build a set of photographs she would be happy with. On the day of the shoot, she brought a suitecase full of wardrobe, make up, hair stuff, another bag full of shoes, and two of the most important items to ANY photoshoot…a smile, and her courage.  We spent a couple of hours just playing around with poses, looks, wardrobe, ideas, and just talking about her personality, what she liked, what made her laugh. Soon, I began to show her a couple of the images as we went through the shoot. Her self confidence grew by leaps and bounds, and her trust in me to capture her images as she was hoping for (and not judge her by her flaws) was validated. Below are a few of the images we came up with.

And once we got her confidence and trust up there where it SHOULD have been, we decided to head for the river. Now country folks really do love to head for the river so I figured this would go just fine. Little did I know that when a woman with her confidence restored is unleashed, well..you be the judge.

Nicole was very happy with the images we took, and there are MANY others not posted here. These images were taken right after I got back into photography and I was having to learn how to shoot digital (yeah, I am an ole’ film guy), and I had no REAL editing soft ware. These are the pure images after some resizing in photoshop elements (the only thing I could afford back then, and I was using the trial version!), All of this is to show that the most import part about being sexy…is THINKING and KNOWING that you really ARE! And when your photographer cares enough  to bring out that confidence, builds that trust, and shows you that “here, look, that is really you!” Then you will end up with wonderful photographs that you (and that special someone) will cherish for a lifetime. This shoot, as all really good photoshoots go, was fun for all and from what I hear, her husband was also quite happy with the results. And Nicole, if you guys are reading this, THANK YOU for having the faith and confidence in me to capture these images for you!

Now my gear, lenses, software, and lighting equipment have been greatly update (and my software and skills have too) since this shoot. But the fact remains, this woman was worried because she had given birth to 4 children and didnt think she could look hot anymore. I for one beg to differ. So get up, get out there, and be confident! YES you can. If nothing else, it can be the most fun you’ve had with your clothes on..or barely, on, or implied…well, it’s ALL about you, play dress up, dress down, just HAVE FUN and stay safe!

AGE??  Well, a gentleman never asks, and a lady never tells….

TIP: Please make sure you take the time to research your photographer. Check for references, check with his/ her previous clients, look at thier portfolio, and spend some time discussing your goals and objectives for the photoshoot, the location(s), wardrobe. Spend some time on this, the rewards are well worth it! And finally, a note about bringing an escort or someone with you to the photoshoot: as a general rule, by all means bring someone! But also use comon sense, make sure whoever you bring is someone you trust, someone you are comfortable posing in front of this way. They can come along, but remain outside of the actual proximity of the shoot. The options are endless, but your safety is paramount at all times! And always, always, always, …make sure someone you trust knows where you are, let them know if there are any delays (sometime the shoot takes longer than expected), and lastly, let them know when you are safely back home or at least finished with the photoshoot.

Technical update: To make sure your images DO NOT get out where they are not suppose to be; make SURE your photographer has a written model release or contract that is specific on when, where, how, and who will have access to these images. Before you book your session, review the contract and/ or the model release. I require the contract/ release to be signed prior to taking any images: That (for me) is the first step in establishing trust with you, the client. This way you can be confident that any images of you, including any “wardrobe malfunctions” are safe and protected by law against release. The model I have featured here had signed her model release and is fully aware her images will be featured on several of my websites or posts, and she is pretty proud of it! Even though this session was shot in 2007. but several of our images were personal to her, and I respect that. We also allowed for it in the model release and she can remain confident that none of those images will ever be released (except to her).

All of the images displayed here, featured in my blog posts, and posted anywhere are copyright protected. Please do not reproduce without my written consent.

Hope this helps, take care, and stay safe!

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44 responses

  1. asf73

    Without coming off like a complete caveman Stan,,.Whoa!

    April 5, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    • Ya don’t sound like a caveman my friend, the truth is, EVERY woman can do this. She does it without even thinking sometimes. It is up to the photographer to bring that woman out, and capture her in images (as only photographers can) and somehow….keep breathing lolololol….this style of photography is so rewarding, so demanding, and so much in demand for those with the courage to get out there and be…themselves, for the camera.

      April 5, 2012 at 9:00 pm

    • Yolanda Presant

      Luvly photos and thoughts!

      April 10, 2012 at 2:05 pm

      • Much appreciated Yolanda! Finding the true beauty in every subject I photograph is a deep passion of mine. although bringing the beauty within..out, can often be tricky, I do love to show that it can be done! Thanks so much for your visit and your comments!

        April 10, 2012 at 2:53 pm

  2. You knew I was going to Love this post didn’t you? – I was just thinking today My Sexy Pictures blog was spot on and I had fun with my husband doing them, but I love looking at at your model mayhem shoots. I longed to be as beautiful in my photos as your models are in theirs. I want to capture the beauty I feel inside before it’s too late – so to speak. This post was exactly what I needed to read. I hope someday to be immortalized through your lenses.

    April 5, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    • Then click your heels together three times…and let’s make it happen. and to be honest, I have recieved no less than 10 emails, text messages, or calls over the past several days about this topic. Your not alone in what your looking for in images! But out of several who have inquired, you are one with the courage to say and do something about it. I am glad this article helped! Hopefully, others will gain from your courage (even if I am not thier photographer), and realize the beauty within and just go for it.

      April 5, 2012 at 10:43 pm

    • And yes, you’re absolutely “spot on” in your blog! I just read through it again, perfect. also; having you husband take the shots is an absolute “two thumbs up” for obvious relationship reasons alone! However; here, I am speaking of having them professionally done, and thats just not quite the same….photographically speaking. For those of you that have not taken the time or had the pleasure; please visit dreamlifemoments blog and check out her “My Sexy Pictures” article. She covers the mindset far better than I do here in this article! Absolutely well written, and as they say “two thumbs up” reading.

      April 5, 2012 at 11:14 pm

  3. Enjoy the thought & care you’ve put into creating your Model shots. You do a great job with the lighting and your “sets”. Keep up the good work!

    April 5, 2012 at 10:27 pm

    • Thanks Angie! I can’t take all the credit though….listening to the client/ model and adapting thier thoughts and ideas (aka…collaboration) is what brings the magic to the images. Your comments and kind words are greatly appreciated!

      April 5, 2012 at 10:37 pm

  4. Photecstasy

    Reblogged this on Photecstasy and commented:
    Beautifully written!!!

    April 6, 2012 at 12:00 am

  5. Wow!! Gorgeous photos!!

    April 6, 2012 at 12:02 pm

  6. How wonderful to pay attention to real women who mother the world…your gift brought out her beauty…

    April 7, 2012 at 8:14 am

    • Thank you so very much for the compliment, and I will continue to do my best!

      April 8, 2012 at 11:21 pm

  7. The Wandering Photographer

    Stunning! The photos are incredible! I can’t wait for the next post.

    April 7, 2012 at 11:01 am

  8. This is impressive work, Stan! She’s very beautiful too 🙂

    April 9, 2012 at 1:07 am

    • thanks, and I agree…she is quite impressive when she feels beautiful!

      April 9, 2012 at 1:11 am

  9. Beautifully Done!

    April 14, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    • Thank you so much Carol! truly appreciate your comment and kind words.

      April 14, 2012 at 5:36 pm

  10. Very nice indeed. Beauty is truly a woman.

    April 14, 2012 at 5:43 pm

  11. Extremely good advice! Very well written, thank you!

    April 14, 2012 at 11:01 pm

  12. Thank you for this reminder that everyone is beautiful, and thank you for reminding me to look for the beauty instead of focusing on the parts of me I don’t like. Accentuate the positive!!

    April 15, 2012 at 8:39 am

    • My pleasure! so very glad to bring a positive impact to such a wonderful person.

      April 15, 2012 at 12:18 pm

  13. Top shots. “Cooling Off” is the best as the duotone matches the contrast.

    Well written post! It is so hard to get these points across and be believable. These are highly important motives, values, esteem and considerations to be made by portrait photographers and models (pro or not). Highly important.

    April 19, 2012 at 8:34 pm

  14. Modeling involves so much more than just physical beauty. In fact, in my experience, that’s probably about 4th on the still on most important elements of a model.

    April 21, 2012 at 8:58 pm

    • So very true my friend! Thank you so much for the kind words and the visit!

      April 23, 2012 at 12:51 pm

  15. Beautiful images, Stan. I have great admiration for what you do and how you do it.

    April 22, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    • Such a beautiful thing to say, you obviously have a beautiful soul. Thank you!

      April 22, 2012 at 7:45 pm

  16. Thank you for visiting my blog and liking my most recent post
    Am following 😉

    April 23, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    • Thanks Jenny! Truly appreciated, and I enjoyed my visit to your blog as well.

      April 23, 2012 at 12:52 pm

      • Your welcome and thank you. I will try my very best to stop by your blog to say my hello. All the best, Jenny

        April 23, 2012 at 12:54 pm

  17. What a lovely and encouraging post! And those pictures are simply stunning! I’ve thought getting pics like that done would be fun, but I must work up the courage. 🙂

    April 24, 2012 at 8:35 am

    • Make sure you work up that courage with someone you trust, and who truly wants to show you off at your best, and you will be awesome!just remember to be you….not someone you are not. The real you will be hotter than you think!

      April 24, 2012 at 3:18 pm

      • Excellent advice. Thank you, Stan!

        April 24, 2012 at 4:01 pm

  18. yea it’s hard to walk away from others people judgements are
    ugly , just need to practice it every day and keep your head high

    May 3, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    • Others can be very rude and ugly, and that is one of the reasons I strive to only bring out the very best in my subjects and leave the simple minded and closed minded, rude, and uncaring world without the ability to enjoy the amazing beauty and energy I am able to capture in my subjects. And it is so much easier to overlook those people when you have the self esteem and confidence this type of imagery can bring. Love your comments about practicing it every day and keep your head high, so very, very true!

      May 3, 2012 at 6:41 pm

  19. Beautiful photography. Too daring for me, but a good reminder that what we tend to focus on in the mirror is probably the least of what people see.

    May 3, 2012 at 4:32 pm

  20. Thank you so much for your comments and visit Melissa! I can honestly say that your comment about some of the images being “too daring for me” is a very familiar phrase used initially by many of my clients…including Nicole. During each session I remain extremely strict on staying within the clients comfort zone during the shoot, but I will add that once confidence and trust are firmly established, and she begins to look at the results as we progress in the shoot…the levels do change. Not for all of course, but for far more than a gentleman would ever admit to :). And as always with every session, many of the images will remain cherished by the women whom I have had the incredible honor of photographing (and those with whom SHE chooses to share them with), while those not deserving of such an honor (or the pleasure of veiwing those special images), will never get to see them as a result of my releasing them.This is why I standfastly believe that women, are the most artistic, amazing, and wonderful of us all. Respecting their thoughts, ideas, and preference can be far more rewarding than those who fail to do so will ever be able to appreciate. Thank you for the visit, hope you do return often!

    May 3, 2012 at 8:37 pm

  21. I am smiling from ear to ear! Your approach to photography and to women is wonderful! You catch the essence of not only her outer beauty, but inner as well. Thank you for honoring women as you do through your art….I believe every woman is a Goddess!

    Love&Light,
    Nirvani

    May 12, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    • And I second, third, fourth, and fifth that!! lol! I didn’t learn of just what goddess hovers just below every woman’s skin….until later in life. And now…wow! It’s more addictive than any drug….to watch her unleash that amazing woman inside. And only those with whom she trusts will ever truly see her. Even when she offers that woman to my lens, it still remain her choice with whom she shares them with!

      May 12, 2013 at 5:03 pm

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