When was the last time you felt beautiful?

The day I met him I could see through his photographs how he saw me. And I remember thinking, things don’t get any better than this. He saw me for how I wanted to be seen. – Nate Berkus on Super Soul Sunday

It’s weird how a simple thing like a photo can change your perception. I remember one occasion very clearly because it also inspired me to keep developing my photography. When I was photographed by my dear friend Jiří Soukup, I didn’t know how the pictures would turn out. I didn’t know what to wear, I had no idea about the makeup. Halfway through I discovered that my eyeliner was a complete mess. Besides, I rarely like a picture of myself. I had my doubts and fears, but wanted to try it anyway because I’d seen his photos of other women.

So I let him try, without trying to be in control of the situation. He didn’t make me pose like a model, he just let me be in different locations and light.
When I got the pictures, I was incredibly surprised. I felt really beautiful for the first time, like he captured the person I wanted to be. It was not thanks to heavy editing either because I saw the originals as well. It was just a proof that it can be achieved. Even today, whenever I look at this picture, I feel beautiful.

What happens when you feel seen for who you are, for who you can be, when your best qualities shine through? In my experience your step gets lighter, you feel taller and there’s a sense of newfound value. It’s a reminder, a gift that keeps on giving because you can go back and remember how it felt. Feelings like these don’t go unnoticed, instead they rarely are forgotten. Like the times when you were on the same wavelength with someone, then you meet them again years later and the conversation just takes naturally continues where you left it.

I’m not saying that photos will change your life forever and you’ll always feel beautiful. But I believe that being inspired by your own image is certainly a good start to gaining more confidence. Many people try to find the perfect angle and lighting when they take a selfie. They want to capture the most likeable side of themselves and use it across social platforms, send it to their loved ones, or use it for online dating. It’s like a ritual, getting a confirmation that you can love yourself. There might also be a craving to be seen like that by others. Then again, selfies can feel pretty solitary and make you more critical about your appearance.

What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Have you tried letting somebody else discover your beauty and show it to you through photographs? How did you like being in front of the camera? Were you happy about the results from that session? Was there something that spoiled the experience for you? Would you like to try being photographed again? What would your dream photo session look like?

Let me know using the form below. Thanks.