Confessions of a Photographer’s Camera Shy Wife

My husband is a photographer. And an amazing photographer, at that. He loves taking pictures with a special love for film. Repeatedly he has told me that I am his favorite model, and I can honestly say that I don’t know why because I am the most awkward person on camera.

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Example A

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Example B

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Example C

No matter how hard I try to be a model, I always look at the picture afterwards and tell Kha, “You cannot post that.” For the first two weeks of our marriage I did not let him post anything of us on our honeymoon unless I gave it the green light, and let me tell you there were more yellow, and far more red, lights than anything else.

Our first 6 months of marriage I grew to be less self-conscious and would green light more pictures that he could share with the world, and over time I let him become less private about our lives. After the first year I trusted him completely and let him share whatever he wanted without protest, knowing that he would delete a post if I asked him to. The truth is, that during our first year of marriage while photos were taken, few were ever shared.

Kha would try to sneak pictures of me that mostly turned out similar to this one, where I am either completely uninterested in the photo or I simply don’t know what to do with my face:

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After our first year of marriage I became less private. Sharing more openly about my struggles and hardships. And yet I would only let Kha photograph me if it was for work:

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or if I was feeling good and we were having fun:

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The odd thing is that before we got married I was completely confident in front of the camera. I knew what to do, how to pose, what my face should look like. I had the confidence of a 21 year old that quickly went away once I turned 22, and went further away when we got married. I became insecure. Awkward. Hidden.

In the Lord’s gracious timing I found myself in more situations that would require confidence. I became a grad student studying counseling. I started working at lululemon. My life was slowly being brought out into the world and light was starting to trickle in. Confidence did not come over night and I was often stressed choosing outfits when we would be going to lunch, all out of fear that Kha would ask to take my picture. However, over time photos became more natural and I became more confident the more natural they felt.

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To be honest, I don’t know what set me off down the path of insecurity and distrust. Whether it was me chopping my hair off and losing that security blanket or me getting a new husband. I found myself insecure and married to a man who loved taking pictures of me. The simple truth that I could not control this insecurity made me even more insecure, and so on down the rabbit hole.

Thankfully, time passes and people change. And hair grows. My life feels and looks so different than it did one year ago. I am slowly accepting that I am my husband’s favorite model, and asking him to remind me when I can’t accept it.

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And if, for some reason, I am completely over being photographed, I always let Kha know by going back to being my gorgeously awkward self:

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With one year of never being photographed by my husband and one year of being endlessly (it seems) photographed, I am starting to see the value in photos and am baffled by how much I love looking back on all of these. In one way I regret the insecurity that kept me from enjoying photography and adventure with my husband. In another way I don’t at all regret it because now I understand the grand gift that it is. Because of Kha’s love for film, cameras, and photography there will always be an endless supply of pictures to look back on, and that is a great treasure that I will always keep in my heart.

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