Robyn Icks is one of our amazing wedding photography partners and she's sharing with us some real talk advice about body image, wedding photographs, and being your authentic self.
While you're on the search for the perfect photographer for your wedding, the one who will capture every smile and detail the way you've been dreaming of, it can be so easy to be lost in a sea of photographers. To not know what you're supposed to be asking, or what the most important questions on which to focus. I've been photographing people in love for over a decade now, and the number one question I get asked as a photographer (by far!) is actually the wrong question to ask…
“Can you make me look good?”
There's not even a sliver of a doubt in mind that they're going to look good. After all, love looks good on everyone. But after being asked this question so many times, I thought I would do a little research and figure out why this was the question that weighed so heavily on my client's minds. Was it about my skills as a photographer? Nope. Was it about the pressure of society? 100% yes.
The only way to answer this question, is to bring it all the way around to body image.
“America, you're sending girls a mixed message. On one hand, you're saying to have positive body image and love who we are; on the other, we're being marketed makeup and clothing that obviously turns us into someone different.” – Adora Svitak
So when the question, “Can you make me look good?” is asked, I learned that that's not really what they're asking.
They're actually asking “Am I worth it?”
You, your story, your love, are all incredibly worth it in every way and in every sense of the word.
Men, women, non-binary… we all feel the same way about insecurities. But we can throw the negative feelings away, and just focus on the positive.
“Leading up to the wedding I just wasn't the weight or shape I wanted to be at, but like three days before the wedding there was just a click moment. It didn't matter if I liked how I looked, this day was going to happen and time was gone. So I just wanted to remember the joy of the day. I didn't need to be the size I wanted to make sure I had those radiant beautiful moments, I just needed to be okay with me and let the joy of the day channel through.”
Focus on the point of it all
We've been pressured all of our lives to think we need to look a certain way. Act a certain way. Do things a certain way. But each of us are completely and uniquely different. So why shouldn't we express that as loudly and hugely as possible?
“Can you make me look good?” Well, let me tell you something.
If you're glowing with the radiance of being happy and in love, you're going to look good.
If you let your insecurities show instead of your pure love, then what you'll see in the final images is a shadow of uncomfortable insecurity.
That part has nothing to do with me or what you “should” look like according to society. That completely has to do with how much of your authentic self you're willing to show.
If you let your insecurities show instead of your pure love, then what you'll see in the final images is a shadow of uncomfortable insecurity. The best thing you can do for yourself is to think positively. Think about the vows you made, the people with whom you shared that experience, the person with whom you are about to share this journey.
“We look through those photos and we see us and we see our friends. We still see the bellies, the stray hairs, the awkward stances, but more than anything we see the smiles. We see the joy and emotions and people's eyes. I see how he tenderly he looks at me, I see how my eyes can't leave him, and I see everyone's joy and vibrancy of life. And that's what I was wanting.”
The happiness and love at the core of these things should be all I can see in your eyes, and believe me. It won't make you look good, it will make you look GREAT.