The Posing Paradox

"I look at these portraits, and I see myself. It's the real me."

It starts with an email or a phone call. And usually, before I've even met you, I know your desires and fears. 

So we talk about your dream photoshoot, we plan your outfits, and we book date and the makeup artist. When you return for your shoot, you bring armfuls of clothes. As they tend to do, a hundred things come up the morning of your shoot - a flat tire, a sick child, a crisis at work - but you make it here. And you take a big sigh of relief.

And then the transformation begins. The hair and makeup artist styles you beautifully, and you look in the mirror - you start to believe you're beautiful! And then we choose a dress for you to wear. We walk into the studio, and I can feel your nervousness. I tell you, "You've got this.". Then, for each portrait, I pose you down to the fingertips and coach you on your facial expression. I make sure the assistant holds the fan to perfectly caress the right locks of hair, I smooth out the wrinkles in the fabric of your dress, I tell you to take a deep breath. 

And suddenly, we create a portrait.

When you see the portrait, you say things like, "I look beautiful. That's ME." You say, "For the first time, I feel like I am SEEING myself." You say, "You know how your mother always tells you you're beautiful and you believe it but don't see it yourself? Well today, I saw it."

And that is the posing paradox. We planned and styled and made you up, we told you how to stand and where to push your shoulder and how to relax your jaw. We set you up in the perfect environment for your YOU to come alive. And even though nothing about "you" in this moment is "every-day" or "natural," you are somehow the most beautiful and true version of yourself. And that's why it worked. We convinced you that you could do this - be in front of the camera and then love the portraits. It's the same reason why telling someone to "act natural" in front of the camera results in painfully awkward reactions. We need boundaries. They allow us to thrive and create!

And when you tell me you see "you," I see you light up. And I'm so grateful that you honored yourself and believed it could happen.


Ready to start planning your Luxe Portrait experience? We have five sessions available until July in our Joplin studio, and three sessions available on the beautiful Oregon Coast June 17-19!

Contact Mitzi here to receive the Luxe Portrait Guide and start planning.