Dear Portrait Photographers,
You do not cure cancer.
You don’t have the power to stop the path of a tornado
or make rain fall on a land covered in drought.
You take pictures of people.
And although you aren’t performing surgery or landing a spaceship on a comet
You still have a gift to share.
And that gift affects lives
For in front of your cameras stand people
And people, well, they often wear masks disguised as a smile
And beneath those smiles are the hidden things
The unspoken insecurities:
“I’m not worthy of having my picture taken.”
“I’m going to hate these.”
You won’t know this, of course
Because most won’t share it
I mean, who can blame them?
But rest assured those feelings are there
More often than not
And they bounce around in the minds of those you’d least expect.
It is your job to create images that silence those fears
Images that prove those fears unfounded
Images that shout louder than the lies our insecurities whisper
Images that say:
“You are perfect.”
“You are beautiful.”
“You are deserving of attention.”
Your gift, dear portrait photographers, may not save lives
But never doubt its importance
About the author: Missy Mwac is a photography satirist, a lover of bacon, a drinker of vodka, a lover of sparkle, and a guide through the murky waters of professional photography. You can connect with her on Tumblr and Facebook. This article was also published here.