I made a short video in response to a conversation I had with my friend Karla a couple of months ago. I met Karla while working at the makeup and skincare counter almost a year ago! She has written an awesome article sharing her feelings toward the beauty industry and how it makes us feel imperfect! I would encourage you to read her post here, as this article and video are directly in collaboration with her thoughts.
As I have been a photographer for the better part of my 20’s and now into my 30’s I told her that I felt I needed to share about the ‘Technical Side’ of the Beauty industry – what goes into making those social media photos seem so perfect. Consumers may not understand the amount of knowledge, practise, equipment and expertise that goes into creating the images we see on instagram, youtube (videos) & in magazines. Camera angle, lighting, posing, lenses, and distance from the camera are a few things that can dramatically change the appearance of the person in front of the camera. I find, we often look at ourselves in the mirror and instantly start comparing ourselves to all of these images we see online. Comparing the two is like comparing water to rocks. They are not even remotely the same thing.
This short video clip shows just a snippet of what goes into creating a portrait, as well how light & camera angle can really change the appearance of an image. (shot on my iPhone)
Now, I want you to think about this. Magazine campaigns have expert makeup artists & photographers on site with 1000’s of dollars worth of equipment and product, clothing/prop stylists and directors. (Not to mention editing software for the finished product). These professionals have spent years perfecting their craft. So why do we compare the face we see in the mirror, to a carefully articulated magazine cover? Even full-time Instagram Girls and YouTubers have expensive equipment and skin smoothening apps to help sell the products they are being paid to promote. The people in these photographs and videos are just the same as all of us. They have scars, bumps and insecurities.
I often have friends text me photos, that they have seen online, of the latest ‘miracle product’. They always ask me, are these photos real? Do you think that this before and after image has been photoshopped? I always tell them – look at the light in the photograph. If the before photo is shot in harsh light (like in the video) and the after photograph is taken in a bright flat light, then the images are being created to manipulate the buyer. They make us feel bad about ourselves.
I will admit, I’m guilty of it as well – coming from a photography background I want to post photos that are shot in that perfect light, with that perfect camera angle. I’m working on getting better at sharing who I really am and not just what I hope people will like!
Moving forward, every time you look in the mirror and start to compare yourself to someone else, DON’T. We are all the same, we all struggle with confidence and self esteem. Instead be thankful for the things that make you happy in life! When you are happy on the inside, you are beautiful on the outside! Imperfection = Perfection!