I got a package in the mail today and it scared me. The package was from a local dentist. She was advertising her teeth whitening services, saying that I might recommend whitening to my clients. At first, I thought she must be mistaking me for a dentist. I turned the envelope over and, nope, she’s addressed the envelope to “Amber Wilkie Photography.” Suddenly it dawned on me – she wants me to recommend aesthetic enhancement to my clients. And that just pisses me off.
If there’s nowhere else you’re going to hear it today, hear it from me: you are really great just as you are. Not 10 pounds lighter, not with more makeup, not with whiter teeth. You are really great when you smile – when you really smile. No, you do not have an ugly laugh. Your crooked nose? I didn’t notice. And if it is crooked? Dude, own it. That’s your nose.
I know it can be a hard thing to do. I have messed up skin and before I learned how to (mostly) keep things under control, I used to scratch myself at night. I have some scarring on my legs, and it used to make me so embarrassed. And at some point, I had to stop wearing only pants or always having tights on – it was damn hot! And I used to say to myself: “They might not be perfect, but they’re the only legs you’ve got.” Somehow that mantra gave the confidence to just do my thing. And maybe part of that is having a husband who tells me I’m beautiful and really seems to mean it. You’ve got one of those – use him! (or her!)
Wedding photographers get a lot of slack about photographing only beautiful people, or only showing beautiful people on their blog. Hear this! I have blogged every single wedding and engagement session I have ever shot (barring the ones people didn’t want shown). People are beautiful when they are happy, when they are laughing. People are beautiful when they are joyful. Brides are radiantly beautiful – not just because they have had professional hair and makeup done – but because they are thrilled to be marrying their life partner. Grooms look dashing as hell on their wedding day – not just because they are freshly-shaved and in a swanky suit – but because they are committing their lives to the only person they can imagine doing so with.
Love is beautiful. People in love are beautiful. And they don’t need to whiten their teeth to be that way.