Updated: Apr 15
To be honest, I hate having my photo taken.
I don't really like telling people though because I feel like it is such a stigma for photographers: "Ohhhh, so you like being behind the camera, not in front of it huh?" Well.....yes...actually, you're correct! I don't really enjoy being in front of the camera; however, there is a good reason for that.
First things first, I'm a guy. Yep, I'm the J in "J&A," and whenever I do something new, there is one thing deep down that I want: I want to be good at it! And for the most part, most guys that I know are the same way! Girls, your man likes it when he succeeds; when he does something well (and P.S. It doesn't hurt to notice it out loud when he does something well :). Because whether it's a new board game or a new dish to make, I want to do it to the best of my ability. Not in a perfectionist "I-have-to-win!' kind of way, but a "If I'm going to spend time doing this, I don't want it to be a waste of effort."
And from what I have gathered from our various photo shoots, I can confidently say that most guys feel the exact same way about having their photo taken too! We want to succeed, we want to knock it out of the park....we just really have a hard time figuring out where the "park" even is! This culture has made it kind of difficult for guys to know how to "pose" or "look" in a picture, so what's our response?
We try our best to remember what the guys in the malls look like in the advertisements. Or we try to imagine and conjure up what a "manly" expressions looks like. Or we just give up before we even start and resort to cracking jokes the whole time...even though those get old about 3 minutes into the shoot. And all the while, my arms and hands are just hanging there, like two dead vines, having no ideas what they are doing or where they should go. This...was my experience with photography. No wonder I don't like taking photos. Well that WAS my experience...until this year.
Have you ever...
...had someone make you feel like they are on your side and there for you? That's how Andrea makes people feel at a photo shoot and it is truly something to behold (and thankfully, I'm becoming more like her!) Guys who are less than thrilled to be having their photo taken are soon laughing and calling back the poses to Andrea and reminding their wife of some of the tips Andrea teaches. It is a genuinely fun time and sometimes the guys leave having a better time the their partner! Plus, the girls LOVE that Andrea is always looking out for all of the "girl" things that I can't even dream of remembering yet, like that one strand of hair that is out of place or the dress that needs to be "floofed" just the right way.
This is exactly why I personally believe so strongly in making sure that people have a great "experience" in addition to getting great "photos." Because I know what it's like, to not know what you are doing and yet feel like I am expected to know. Being a failure is no fun, especially in front of strangers, and ESPECIALLY in front of my wife; I don't want anyone to feel that way!
I guess what I'm trying to say is: Girls, your guy wants to be a winner. And sometimes, you might be the only one he hears it from.
But on the other hand: Guys, don't be embarrassed to talk with your girls about this. And don't let the fear of embarrassment keep you from trying new stuff. Life is too short to not do anything just because you might not be good at it.