I decided last week that I “needed” to have my personal photos updated. It had been a decade since my wonderful photographer hubby (and back up shooter) Rodney Curtis (www.rodneycurtis.com) had been allowed to take any formal photos of me. Like many photographers I know, not too many of us like being in front of the camera. My comfort zone has always been behind the camera.
I was worried that my “old” photos might misrepresent me to my Detroit, Michigan wedding couples. I am youngish, hipish and plenty silly. But were these “old” photos of me disingenuous? Would prospective wedding couples worry about my gray streak? Would my naturally wildly curly hair make me look at first glance more like a homeless bag lady than a first rate and well loved wedding photographer?
After seeing the take of photos, I was very pleasantly surprised. Guess what? I didn’t look THAT different! Here are the now and then photos of me, Marci Curtis – Detroit Wedding Photojournalist.
So yes, the hair has steaks of gray and the skin has added some wrinkles. But who (other than our own narcissistic selves) would notice those things? I’ve done a LOT of living in the past decade and am a pretty happy person to have come through everything fairly unchanged. I’ve earned these gray hairs and after a day of shooting weddings, I’ve earned the right to look like a crazy bag lady! I work incredibly hard and if I show up in that crazy uncle’s photo (there is one at every wedding who insists on taking photos of the photographer), that’s okay with me. I do look like a wind blown, red faced chick who’s been crawling in the mud since that pretty much describes what a real wedding photographer does on a daily basis!
For anyone who is panicked about getting their Linked In or work or Facebook photos updated, take the plunge! It’s actually very empowering to see how you look through the eyes of a knowledgable and talented photographer. Forget focusing on your “flaws” and celebrate all the things that come through a great portrait; energy, sparkle and great sense of self. That’s what I see 10 years later.
Being seen as you really appear to others is actually kind of fun and a relief! I’d been dreading seeing how I look “in real life” for so long that it’s actually a nice reward to see that a decade of raising teenagers, shooting another 500 weddings, watching our family struggle through cancer and well… just living… hasn’t taken quite the toll I’d thought it had!