Hello! I’m Stephanie.

Looking through the Eyes of a Photographer

Posted by on Oct 3, 2020 in Random Thoughts

My husband whom I hero-named PhotoMan is a professional photographer. Whenever he needs an extra pair of hands, I work as his assistant.  After spending another corporate profile shoot observing people feeling awkward, I would like to share with you what the photographer is seeing. I will use ‘he’ since PhotoMan is the only photographer I’ve ever worked with.

I know the feeling well. What is he seeing? Do I look good enough? Is my smile alright? Forgot to tuck my tummy in! Why is he NOT clicking his camera? I can’t do this!

Photographer PhotoMan Konstantinos Anastasakis
The scary Cyclops is going to get you! Image by PhotoMan Konstantinos Anastasakis.

What is the photographer looking at?

Since the moment you bid ‘hello’ to each other, he’s been observing your uniqueness, the essence that you and you alone has that makes you YOU. He’s getting a feel of your presence, the way you shine when you allow yourself to shine. He’s determined to capture the charisma that you naturally bear as a soulful being if only you could relax into being yourself.  

He’s noticing the natural way you move, from your face to your feet, how you use your hands, how you stand. He’s observing in what way your outfit enhance your body the best. He’s asking you to angle your body this way… that way… lean forward… backward… sideway… tilt your head up… no, down… maybe left… right… come back a little… no, no, more that way… this way… side way… come closer… move side-way, whole body… no, just the shoulders… look at me… just the eyes… move your chin as well… no, chin back the other way…… Sometimes you find yourself back to the original position. Sometimes he doesn’t click his camera even once before asking you to take up an entirely different pose.

In case he forgets to tell you: there is absolutely nothing wrong with you. What you consider to be your imperfections exist only in your imagination. He is not trying to reshape you into who you are not. He is aiming for that perfect composition in which you flow in harmony with the backdrop where the light enhances the glow you project from within.

There’s a lot of aspects that the photographer needs to be seeing. At times his gaze can be intimidating especially if you never enjoy to be the centre of attention. As the assistant, I know I’m guilty of giving you the scary stare also. I’m only checking if your hair or clothing needs smoothing out, noticing whatever PhotoMan has taught me to notice so he has an extra pair of eyes.

If you are feeling vulnerable during a photo shoot, do let the photographer know. He probably knows already and is waiting for you to find your confidence as you relax into the shoot. Feeling uncomfortable under our gazes? Tell us! We will tell you exactly what we are looking at. There are no secrets at all.

I wish you could see what we see. During a break I said to PhotoMan, ‘They all look great but they don’t seem to know it.’

‘I know!’

I know too. I was one of those vulnerable-in-front-of-the-camera type. What is he looking at? Why is he NOT clicking the camera? Do I look rubbish? I used to feel exposed and defenseless, so very much alone. Until I witnessed enough beautiful souls like you crumbled in front of the camera.

The highlight of this shoot for me was when PhotoMan positioned five women one by one for a group photo. I was fascinated by how beautiful they all were in their own ways as if they were five different species of flowers and PhotoMan was there to make a floral arrangement to decorate the charcoal wall.

Everyone blooming at last.

Anageno Photographer
Image by Konstantinos Anastasakis

Real Life Conversion

What about real life? Do you allow yourself to shine? How do you navigate through life with all those social expectations and unwritten rules while being your natural self?

Feeling tired of meeting expectations? Unable to shine because of stress of life? There are some articles on Simple Wellness Techniques that everyone can use here.  I have also shared a simple healing experiment in each of the ‘What is Love?’ project videos.

Some of my other Random Thoughts article can be found here.