How Photoshoots Boosted My Confidence

Body positivity. It has always been a hard concept for me, as it is for many women. I have never had much self confidence, but recently I have been learning how to accept and love my body, instead of criticizing everything about it. It can be extremely hard not to compare myself to the girls I see on Old Row as I scroll through Instagram. I don't have a flat stomach with a six pack or long, blonde hair that falls perfectly down my back. I am the opposite-but I am learning that it okay to be different and to just be more confident. 

Photo courtesy of Hannah Bettag

Surprisingly enough, I started gaining my confidence through photo shoots. I have a few friends in photography that are always needing models to build their portfolio or for an assignment. I used to be terrified to be in front of the camera. I would become very awkward, I became a completely different person. I would scrutinize every pose and be more aware of all of my insecurities. I would constantly think about how my stomach looked, if I had rolls, if my nose was at the right angle, if I had a double chin. I had a list that would run through my mind, over and over. The more I repeated the list, the more anxiety I had as the shoot went on. 

Photo courtesy of myself

It took me quite a while to get over this anxiety. I had a shoot with one of my friends, a couple months ago. She made me feel more calm than anyone else I had shot with before. She actually talked to me during the shoot, wanted to make sure I was comfortable, and encouraged me when I was questioning myself. I wasn't running the list through my mind as we were shooting the pictures. I wasn't worried about my stomach or my nose. I was only focused on getting the good shot for her. She was different than any of the other photographers I had shot with. The shoot was really about having fun and expressing myself and that contributed to my self confidence a lot.  

Photo courtesy of Hannah Bettag

So how did I do it? I started to focus on what I really liked about myself and embraced those qualities first, rather than focusing on things I didn't like. It is a lot easier said than done, I know, but it really does work. Find what you like about yourself and run with it. Eventually, you will learn to love every part of yourself. I used to hate my stomach and flat chest, but it is me and now I can embrace it and not be unhappy with pictures in a bikini. 

These photo shoots are helping me become so much more confident in myself. I am now happy when I see pictures of myself, instead of being disgusted. I no longer take hours to post something on Instagram or Facebook. I no longer edit my pictures with three different apps to try to make myself look like the models I see on social media. Self confidence is all about how you see yourself and it takes a long time to get to where you are truly positive about your body.