“I am not photogenic.”

I am not photogenic.  That is the most common objection we hear when we talk about our business.  That word is so vague – I looked it up in the dictionary because I hear it so often, just to make sure I really understood it.

Photogenic Attractive as a subject for photography.

That says a lot about the way we think of ourselves.  I am not photogenic.  I am not attractive as a subject for photography.  People wouldn’t want to look at pictures of me.

My husband, Kevan, has been a photographer for six years.

Every once in awhile, he would take a picture of me and say, “I got a really nice photo of you today.”  In anticipation, I would look at it, and insult him by saying, “I hate it. I look ugly.”  Not a very nice thing to say to a photographer I realize now, but all I saw was an image of myself that I didn’t like.  If you had asked me a year ago if I thought I was photogenic, I would have said no.

When Kevan began his interest in the glamour studio, I reacted almost angrily. My own self image issues had led me to the belief that trying too hard to look nice was just an exercise in vanity anyway, so why bother?  As I learned about the process, though, I began to soften.  I saw how physically transforming yourself can change how you perceive yourself.  Feeling beautiful and acting beautifully are more strongly correlated than you think.

In my discussions with women about our business, I often hear them say, “Who would want a picture of me?”  At the risk of over-sharing, I have to tell you about an exchange I had with my two-year old several months ago.  I was getting out of the shower, and having seen me from behind, she said, “I like your bum, mum.”  Now, my backside is nothing to write home about, but my two year old, in her innocence, saw beauty in me.  I have heard several people say, “Your children think you’re the most beautiful woman in the world.”  Why do we scoff at that and chalk it up to them not knowing enough about beauty?  We are all good subjects of photography because someone who loves us will always want to look at a picture of us and admire it.

If you’re not convinced yet, I have one more story.  I overheard my friend Shauntelle telling someone about Decoro a couple of months ago.  She said, “I have a beautiful photograph of my grandmother when she was younger.  I love looking at it.  Just think of how your grandkids and great-grandkids will enjoy these photographs of you.”  Your face is your face and your family loves looking at it.  Do you look at pictures of your mom and think, “Wow, she is not photogenic.  I really wish I didn’t have a photo of her.”  Silly, right?

So, in response to, “I am not attractive as a subject for photography”, I say fiddlesticks! Our family and friends love having pictures of us.  A beautiful photograph of you will never go unappreciated.   And a great photographer can bring out the beauty in anyone – because it really exists in everyone.

“I am not very photogenic” – let us prove you wrong!


Submit a photograph of someone you love with a brief explanation of why you like the picture, and win a free glamour session for you and someone special!  We will also profile your photo shoot on our blog!  Please send all entries to leah@decoroportraits.com.




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Chelsea White

As I was scrolling down Facebook I saw your post, and being curious I opened it up and read it. I have always found myself to probably be the least photogenic person and have always hated getting my picture taken because of that mind set. I always wondered how come the camera could capture everyone else so flawlessly where I couldn’t even get one decent picture of myself. After reading “I’m not photogenic” you have opened up my eyes about how others may view me and that we are infact our worst critic. The few pictures that I let people take of me they would say it was a great picture where all I could do was point out what was wrong with me in that picture. I love looking and taking pictures of my kids and other family members and have hundreds of photos of them but maybe only a handful of myself. I just wanted to say thank you for writing that blog! It was great to read this morning and hopefully change my outlook on myself in pictures to come.

I am so glad it was useful, Chelsea. Your story is so common – maybe it’s an experience shared by all women. The great thing, though, is that it is a perception thing – and perceptions are easily changed! I am most definitely learning that myself. For me I find it so interesting that as I get older and lose some of the attractions of youth, I more often feel beautiful. Such a paradox!

Here’s to your photogenic future – one that your family will cherish!



I am so thankful that you posted these words. Its only now – after having three children – that I am embrace being in a photograph with my family, even when I don’t look “my best” (or what I harshly judge is my best). One day, I mentioned how my tummy area, plush from growing three babies inside of it, was looking soft and squishy, and my eldest son (9) remarked, “I like that, Mommy. That’s the best pillow for movie night!” It took some time, but I appreciate my “pillow” now. Sometimes we just need a different perspective.

I love the idea that one day, these photos will be treasures our children cherish and look at to remember our times together. Best of luck with your new studio!

Thanks for this, Heather. I love your son’s comment – what a shift in perspective. Beauty can mean so many different things!


[…] do I think like this?  As I’ve touched on in other posts, part of it is a lack of confidence caused by a variety of things such as the warped […]

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