At least a few times a year, clients who’ve booked me for a portrait session for online dating photos, who’ve paid their deposit and set a date, will call or email to ‘postpone’ right before their session. Of course you don’t want to get your picture taken if you’ve just had a root canal, or broken your leg, or had a horrible haircut. But those are rarely the type of excuses I hear.
Inevitably, the reasons they give are always the same. “I want to wait until I lose 10 more pounds.” “I want to wait until I can buy some nicer clothes.” “I want to wait until my skin looks better.” “I want to wait until my hair is longer.” And so on.
What every single one of those people is actually saying, is that they’re feeling very insecure and – now that putting themselves ‘out there’ is about to be a reality – they’re very afraid. I completely and totally understand and sympathize. The thing is though, in most cases, I never hear from them again.
Because for most of those people, there will never be a day when they believe they look attractive enough, or feel confident enough. They have a vision of perfection for themselves and they don’t think anyone will want them unless/until they reach that unrealistic vision.
We all have unreasonable expectations for ourselves and we all have areas of insecurity. It’s part of the experience of simply being human. But when we allow our fears and our lack of self-confidence to stop us from pursuing a happier life, we end up unhappy and lonely more often than not.
It takes a great deal of courage to try online dating. I’ve photographed hundreds of people for their online dating profiles and I admire each of them. One of my favourite things about being a photographer, is when those clients who do follow through on their sessions, get in touch with me again to tell me they met someone wonderful. I’ve photographed the weddings of clients who hired me originally for their dating profile photos. And I’ve even photographed family portraits a few years later, with their spouses and children.
To clarify, it’s not because of the photos I took of those clients – although photos are definitely a factor – that they met a partner through online dating. It’s because they were brave and they pushed through the insecurities that plague us all. A part of that process, was getting some great photos taken of themselves, just as they are.
If you want to change your life and take the chance of meeting someone who makes you happy, because they like you just as you are… The perfect, ‘best’ time to get your photos taken, is right now.
Tamea Burd is a Vancouver photographer who specializes in portraits, online dating profile photos, headshots, corporate and wedding photography. Her website: www.tameaburdphotography.com