The Power of Before & After Photos

When you come to my studio for a shoot, I take a photo of you before your hair and makeup is complete.  This serves as your BEFORE photo, to later compare to your AFTER photo (a portrait).  I think it's worth taking the time to explain why I follow this process and display these images on my web site.  The before photo doesn't serve to show how bad you look without your hair and makeup done, nor does it say "women need makeup to look beautiful."  The before image DOES show that we are REAL women, not fashion models.  We don't roll out of bed and walk down a catwalk everyday (or in my case, ever).  The before shot inspires others to exist in photographs because they identify with the everyday appearance shown in the before image.  The first time I visited the website of my favorite photographer, my jaw hit the floor when I looked at her before & after gallery.  I was so amazed at how she was able to create such beautiful portraits of REAL women that I grew desperate to be photographed by her even though I hated to have my picture taken.  (I'm still desperate, by the way...I hope to be photographed by this woman when I turn 40 in a few years)  I was motivated to exist in a photograph because I saw myself in those everyday women.  Most days you may see me in the grocery store sporting my yoga pants and zero makeup (I'm good at the "do not see me" Jedi mind trick).  That's real life, but I adore the portraits of me where my best features are emphasized and the things I dislike are downplayed.  The point is that before & after images give perspective.  All of us can grace the cover of a magazine.  We are all worthy and beautiful - before, and after.  Oh, and just so you all know, my very own before & after is featured in a blog post right here.  So don't call me chicken!