A Good Photo

Today, I am embarking on a short series that will be about photography, and why we don’t exist in photos. As a woman, I feel that most of us don’t exist in photos the way we would like, or for reasons we may not really be able to explain, or don’t want to explain. I am going to get vulnerable on you, open up about my reasons, and tell you what I have planned, to set an example for you.

First and foremost, my weight does not bother me. My double chin does not bother me. My close set eyes do not bother me. Being captured in a less than flattering pose, that bothers me. I have flaws, or rather, facts about myself that I don’t want accentuated, however, I would like specific things highlighted if I am being captured, none of which are the things I just listed. I believe we all want to look our best in photos, this is why most people will show you their “good side” when you ask them to pose for you. When we are taking quick snap shots, unless you spend time learning which poses work best for you, then you may end up looking less than your best, and maybe not even like the you that you feel you are. This recently happened to me, and it was in that moment I knew we needed to address this.

Me, not wanting my photo taken…

Secondly, mothers mainly are the family photographer, always capturing, never showing up in photos. When you couple being the family photographer with never being accentuated in a photograph, you will pass up every single opportunity to be captured and you will never exist in photos. You will become so adamant about not being in photographs that it will make you surly to the point of feeling violated if someone browbeats you in to being photographed, sorry to all of you I did this to. Mothers often put themselves on the back burner for their family, this is true, but more so, moms have a plan, and if you interrupt that plan to take a crap photo of them, they will definitely not be available for your snap the next time.

Me, Brooke and Bill, knowing my photo was being taken…

Amateurs: don’t browbeat people in to getting their photo taken, that is disrespecting their boundaries. Not everyone wants you to capture them with your camera just to prove they exist.

This bring us to a tertiary level, some people are so busy behind a camera that not being in the moment, but capturing the moment, is the more important place for them to be. Personally, I am a person that gets “in the zone” anytime I have a camera in hand. My mind is a constant state of shots, scenes, angles, lights…and sometimes just getting through the moment, such as a pre dance gathering where there are lots of people, lots of movement, and lots of chaos. The last thing I want in this moment is my picture taken, thank you very much. I am not here to be captured, but to do the capturing.

Me, not knowing my photo was being taken…

As a photographer, we are aiming to show the best version of our subject, something beautiful about our subject, maybe even something a bit hidden, but lovely, about our subject. This goes for all people, not just models. When you capture these aspects of others, there becomes a joy of existing in photos. Otherwise, people may shy away and refuse to have their photo taken. When I was more naive about taking others’ photos, I would browbeat people in to having their photo taken, for them, for their loved ones, to prove they did exist in life. I can honestly tell you, that was wrong of me, and I can now approach that in a different way, showing results that the hesitant subject not only wants to see, but wants to display for all to see, and maybe makes them want to exist in photos even more.

Me, not knowing my photo was being taken…

These photos of me are not something I want to frame and put on my walls. They are not photos I like to see of myself. Only one of these is preferred by me. I am not existing in the majority of these photos. I am doing something else, my focus and energy is not me being me in that moment, but either capturing others, or not being rude to others. This is not the existence I wish to show the world. So…

Where does this leave us? It leaves us in a place of importance, a good photo. Do you have a good photo of yourself? How many of you wish you had a good photo of yourself? How many of you try to not exist in photos, on purpose? How many of you hate having your photo taken? How many of you have a load of photos of you around your house? This last one was a trick, good for you people with loads of photos of you in your home, but this isn’t about you, it is for those that don’t exist in photographs. Don’t you all think it is time for you to exist in at least one good photo of yourself? I know I do, and that is what I will be showing you soon. A good photo of me. Maybe 5.


Happy Saturday to you all! I hope you are enjoying this fine, breezy, springy first day of April! Yesterday, I mentioned a recent senior photo shoot, and how amazing that session was. Today, I would like to tell you more about that, the importance of music during our shoot, how our first session’s results catapulted our second session, and the overall positives of knowing what really gets your client going. First, let me introduce you to Meadow!

Sue Bryce Poses, senior portraits, full figure poses, ppa, Chillicothe Ohio, Columbus Ohio, fun, colorful

Meadow was one of Brooke’s first friends when we moved to Chillicothe several years ago. She is a kind soul that is caring about her friends, but she is frank and honest too. Meadow is a very fun and funny girl! She is outgoing, very vocal, and super colorful, her style, hair and personality!

The portrait masters, the portrait system, graffiti background, senior portraits, ppa, Chillicothe Ohio, Columbus Ohio, fun, colorful

When Meadow asked me to shoot her senior portrait sessions, I was stoked for several reasons. One, she is a very beautiful person, her smile is endearing, ornery and captivating. Her personality shines through her pores, she radiates confidence. Meadow is also silly, she will do some out of the box thinking, which results in great shots. One such shot, I loved it so much that I submitted it for awards. When I received a Bronze for this image, she was the first person I told. This image was peer reviewed by those deemed as Portrait Masters through the acclaimed Portrait System powered by Sue Bryce, as well as some top notch educators in the portrait photography realm. The most frequent piece of positive feedback that I received from the judges was how the background color really enhanced my subject and her hair color. What the judges did not know, was that this was the perfect compliment to Meadow’s personality and her desire to make a process she did not want to really undertake, in to something fun that highlighted her, inside and out. When Meadow was gearing up for her second session, I told her that I wanted to take the submitted photo and let that be our inspiration for her indoor session. We were going to springboard off of this image and tailor the session to where she is now, while making her recent transitions more obvious through poses. We were going to add a bit of sophistication while keeping her images youthful and fun. This is where Dr. Dre comes in.

Sue Bryce poses, full figure poses, senior portraits, ppa, chillicothe Ohio, Columbus Ohio, fun, colorful

Meadow arrived looking beautiful and ready to go, but still a bit apprehensive to the whole process. I asked her what she would like to listen to during her session, and she replied rap. That is pretty extensive, so through further questioning, I was able to narrow that down to the OG, Dr. Dre. I too love Dre, so it was a treat for me as well. We began with some wall poses, moved in to seated poses and the magic just flowed instantly.

Sue Bryce poses, Full figure poses, senior portrait, ppa, Chillicothe Ohio, Columbus Ohio, fun, colorful

Meadow seriously is a lot of fun, even if she jokingly tells me she hates me because I am talking her in to poses she feels unsure of. She trusts that I am looking at her, seeing her amazing presence, and with a few tweaks, she is giving me gold. I show her the image captured and she smiles, BIG. She likes what she sees, herself, she likes what we are creating, and she likes how I see her truly, through my lens. BEAUTIFUL!

Sue Bryce poses, full figure poses, senior portraits, ppa, Chillicothe Ohio, Columbus Ohio, fun, colorful

Color is this girl’s vibe. She is so stunning in an array of colors, although she prefers purples and reds. I asked her how she felt about dark hot pink, she wasn’t too keen, but when she saw this image, she was delighted and called herself cute! Yes girl, and then some. When I sent her finally gallery over, she said they looked so f*ing good. This is what I want for my clients. I want them to see themselves as I see them, and when I look at Meadow, I see a beautiful young woman, powerful, ready for the next chapter of her life. I like to play too, and because I knew Meadow would soak this up, I went old school on an edit with a suggestion from my husband.

Senior portraits, old school senior portraits, Chillicothe Ohio, Columbus Ohio, fun, colorful

Meadow posted this to her social media, “I am that bitch”. THIS is everything. I see you my little badass. She loves her gallery, she had a great experience and she absolutely killed it during her session. We had a blast, and I doubt this is the last time this beauty will be in front of my lens, Thank you Meadow for trusting me to capture your beautiful soul, I am truly honored!

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If you are interested in a photography session, hit me up, we’ll custom tailor a session just right for you!