I Am My Own Worst Critic (and you probably are yours, too)

I did something terrifying the other day.

I had my picture taken.

No, I'm not being dramatic (though I am about to have a starring role in an independent film being made in Portland, but that's another story...). The truth is, I hate photos of myself and I would rather be behind the lens, any day. Haven't we all said dozens of times "I hate photos of myself! I always look awful!"

But here's my solemn promise to you: I would never share a photo that I wouldn't want to be in myself. It's that simple.

We all have those friends, who tag us in something on social media, and we know it's going to be awful. We all spend our time, judging ourselves, but we are all entirely too familiar with our own faces and bodies. You know the good days, when your hair is perfect, and you're feeling good, and you look in the mirror, and you're SLAYING it, and you can't help but smile? Maybe wink at yourself? It's my goal to make you feel like that when you see a photo of you that I took.

My job is part therapist, part aerobics instructor, as I flail around and shout encouragement and guide you into feeling comfortable and - yes - photogenic. The truth is - you are. Those good days? In your bathroom mirror? That's what the rest of the world sees when they see you.

I have circles under my eyes. Dark, awful circles, that I've had my whole life. And now, pushing 40, the skin under my eyes is "crepey" (why is that a thing???) and I must tread lightly with concealer, as too much makes me look worse, and too little leaves me looking older and more tired than I am. I hate my circles probably more than anything else about my body.

I was recently getting ready for an event with a friend, we were in a hotel room, in front of the giant mirror. As I was lamenting my make up woes, she said, "Ohmygod. I HATE the circles under my eyes." She turned, pointing to her face. There were circles, not bad at all, in fact, I'd never noticed before. I said, "Ohmygod. I never even noticed before..." She looked at me like I was crazy. I said, "Let me guess... you've never really noticed or cared about mine, either."

Lesson learned.

We do not see in others the flaws we perceive in ourselves. We are our own worst critics. So relax, if I tell you how amazing you look, I'm genuine. I see you at your best, and I promise I'll show you your best in your portraits.

Special thanks to my husband. The man is a lawyer, not a photographer. Yet he was a wonderful assistant the other night, and fired off enough shots under my guidance that I found a few I can live with. I believe the most genuine smile he evoked was when he directed me to "Think of chicken nuggets." It's safe to say I'll never make it on America's Next Top Model.