Focusing on the best years of your life: high school, college, career, and (of course) family.



43 Responses to “Smith-19”

  1. Brenda Schwappach

    I just want to thank you ,I won’t get out in front of camera I make sure I take them don’t like mine taken .and we are going threw old pic and we keep saying where is so and so well never wanted pic taken ,I will be using your words to all that don’t want to get in pic very strongly and with love . Thank you ,and good luck in all you do.

  2. Rachel

    From this point onward I am going to throw less of a fit whenever my mom wants to take family pictures on the rare occasion that I go home. Yours is absolutely lovely, by the way!

  3. Candy Caldwell

    The tears are welling up in my eyes. This could be my story,except it wasn’t a car that almost took my life it was lupus. I fought hard for years, many years of steroids, chemo and nasty drugs. They gave me an ugly moonface and made me hate, HATE photos of myself. Thank you for making me feel better about being in front of the camera. I love being behind the lens, but it might be time to update my picture and let the real me shine through, all the extra pounds, the red complection, and my round face and extra chins (yes steroids do horrilbe things to ones face and body). Thank you for these words of encouragement.

    • Teresa

      Yes! Please let your beautiful face be in some updated headshots! Are you anywhere near Raleigh NC? Email me if you are. You ROCK!!!!!

  4. Sheila Henderson

    Thank you for sharing so openly & honestly. I find that I never liked myself when I was young and thin and now I am always wishing I was young and thin again. We need to enjoy our lives whatever stage we are in.

    • Mary Maine Roberts

      Amen to what you have said, Sheila!
      I am definitely taking this blog post, and what you have stated as well to heart!!
      “We need to enjoy our lives WHATEVER stage we are in”
      Thanks Teresa and Sheila!!

  5. Nancy Forrest

    What a beautiful story. I can totally identify with how you feel . I am an amateur photographer who loves to take pics and hate to have my own taken. Always thought I looked too fat. Years ago when I was much thinner I didn’t like my pics either but now when I look back at them I think oh I didn’t look too bad then. I had WLS 3 months ago and am progressing well waiting for ‘that perfect weight’ so I can take new pics of myself. I am already down by 80 lbs. My other half carries a pic of me at my heaviest weight in his wallet and on his cell phone. He knows I hate the pic but he loves it because I look happy. He also told me it doesn’t matter what size I am…he loves who I am and that’s all that matters. I have decided that I will stop being so vain and let myself be photographed. Thanks for sharing this eye opener. Good luck and God bless you!

  6. Teresa H

    First thing I noticed was your lovely smile. Thank you for the reminder and I think it is time I scheduled another family shoot. :) Teresa in the UK.

  7. Erika

    Bless your heart! I was trying to take a picture of myself this morning with the most adorable hat and sunglasses I won at a party last night and had that “sick to my stomach” feeling every time I looked at the results! But this put it all in perspective for me. We are beautiful. Let’s get over it and give our children/parents/friends/sisters and brothers a permanent memory, in case one day (God forbid!), we are not there to love them in person!

  8. Nicole

    Thank you for posting this. And you are quite beautiful – although that’s not the point!

    • Terry McGhee

      for whatever reasons we get heavy are our own…but it is what is inside, we don’t like how we look but weight or not we are still beautiful inside. This is what matters the most. It is a socialeconomic problem though..people assume we are not as smart, lazy, ect..some even resent us because they don’t think we take care of ourselves. The truth is we have our own reasons and some have different matbolisms than others. Some look down on us because we raise their insurance For whatever reasons we are heavy it is our buisness and as long as you are beautiful person inside it doesn’t matter. If you are happy the way you are that is what matters.

  9. Susan Pettit

    All of you who shy away from the camera, I can offer hope! My sisters and I invented ( at least WE think we invented) what we like to call the SCA. It stands for Secret Camera Angle. It just so happens that 1 day while the 3 of us were riding together in an elevator that had a mirror on the ceiling, I happened to look up and realized how great I looked. I told my sisters to look up and they looked great too! We realized that while looking directly above at our faces in the mirror it appeared we had all gotten face lifts, So of course we had to take a picture, and it was a really GREAT picture! Try it for yourself, Just make sure that your face is parallel to the ceiling. Of course this only works for headshots. If any of you figure out how to make a secret camera angle work for a whole body shot let me know!

  10. Gurukarm

    You all have such lovely heart-opening smiles! And yes, I’m another person for whom your words are so true. I’ve hated having my picture taken for pretty much most of my life. But I will try very hard to keep your wise thinking in mind the next time a camera confronts me :-) Thank you!

  11. Jodi

    Oh my gosh, thank you. I am overweight and hate looking at pics of myself. Now I’ll think differently. You are beautiful, inside and out.

  12. Debbi

    Thank you for this!!
    Your story brought tears to my eyes remembering how hard it was to find pictures of my mom – she would always put her hand up to block her face. I too avoid the business end of a camera. That stops now. :)

  13. Christina

    You look beautiful. You obviously are, inside also. Thank you for your post. I’m so glad one of my friends on FB posted it. I always feel like that. I’m going to try and ignore it going forward!

  14. Sherry

    When I was young up until my twenties I had the measurements of Miss America at the time. I didn’t want to be photographed because I had such low self esteem that I actually thought I was fat and ugly (at 115 lbs). Later in life I gained weight by stuffing feelings and still disliked photographs. Now my self image is healthier and I am more willing to be photographed.

    I am so thankful to you and to the others who have responded to your story! It is a healthy reminder to me to live and enjoy my life without worrying about how others see me.


  15. Susan

    I never met my mother in law and we have no photos of her because she didn’t like to be in pictures. My son has no reference for a grandmother he never got to meet. Everyone tells me that she was a beautiful person. Too bad she didn’t feel worthy of a photograph.

  16. Nikki

    As I read this my eyes filled with tears. I saw myself so clearly in this. Thank you so much for putting things into perspective. It was just what I needed. Again, thank you!

  17. Ivy

    I agree and I understand.
    I shared this on facebook….
    My mom put off photos for a very long time. Finally she had them with us and my sister April 2009, in May 2009 she was diagnosed with cancer and never got better and passed July 2011. The family photos from that April were our last and mean more to me than anything!
    I’m so thankful you got your picture and a second chance.

  18. C. Diane

    Hi Teresa,
    My first reaction to say something. You have such a beautiful family that all smile purrfectly :) Thank you for sharing and I know the feeling. I have been a photographer since the age of 15 yrs old. I have never liken to have myself some good photos but I just recently started to let someone go ahead and have the picture taken of me and me doing the self portrait with my husband. Plus I am deaf as well but I lost my hearing at the age of 3 to some unknown illness.
    Thank you again for sharing this amazing story. It really inspired to the back of my spine.

  19. Ellie Bryant

    Profound. I have been unhappy with my body for 98% of my 46 years on Earth. Thankfully…I have many photos documenting my jelly belly, chipmunk cheeks and fat neck. I shared this blog post on my Facebook page. As a jr/sr high school teacher, I see so much negativity on my students’ part about their bodies and others. Why can’t chubby be in? I think you (and your family) are gorgeous. Your soul shines through…even in the photo. Guess you just have too much awesome to be contained in a “skinny” body!!! oxoxo

  20. Kendall

    Such a beautiful post. I am constantly talking about things I’ll do when I lose weight. A great inspiration to start living now!

  21. A

    Wow, you are amazing for putting in to words what I’ve been feeling for years but didn’t quite know what I was feeling or how to describe it! Thank you!! This will help me keep the bad thoughts out by remembering this blog and how when people see a pic of me they won’t be thinking of all the negative things I am… so I need to seize the day, moment, etc and start living my life again w/o being on the backside of the camera! (hugs to you)

  22. Melissa

    Thank you — what a timely message. Funny how the messages you need to hear, are placed in your path. I had a goal to lose a certain amount of weight before my daughter’s wedding. With 3 months to go, I’m still 40 lbs. away and was feeling discouraged. You helped me remember it’s more important to BE there and in the pictures than worry “will I look fat”. Family loves you for who you are, not how much you weigh. Thank you!

  23. Jodi

    Wow, your words brought tears as I read. You must have been in my head. I wish your words could change my behaviour and who I am but I am the girl you wrote about in your first paragraphs. Thank you for sharing and I am so happy for you, that you get to be different (the new you). You are so beautiful inside and out and I know your words are right and true. I love your beautiful smile and that photo. I believe it is what your Mum sees and your father and brother and I see the beauty you are talking about. I just can’t see that in my own photos. I wish I could stop hiding. Thanks again for sharing. I love the way you write.

  24. Kristi

    This is SO true. What’s funny is that somehow we think that if WE never see a photo of us looking heavy, no one else will ever know we carry extra weight. News flash: Everybody else in the world already knows what we look like. And they love us anyway.

  25. cheryl

    Thanks…I just lost 30 lbs and still have 50 to go…NO PICTURES…we just got to the beach..maybe I’ll let them take my picture..not in my swimisuit of course..I did talk myself into getting a swimsuit..I love this article!

  26. Evonne

    I can’t even begin to tell you how this blog touched me. It found a nerve so deep I never knew it was there. You are so right! The first thing I noticed about this picture was all of the smiles and how genuinely happy you look. I just can’t stop crying and I’m changing my profile picture immediately! Thank you.

  27. Cathy

    Saw this on Facebook and had to reply. I do not know any of you…soooooo….which one is the “fat one”? All I see is beautiful people with amazingly happy smiles. Life is wonderful and you all show it. Enjoy it to the fullest.

  28. J

    On another side of that coin…..please, please, please, identify photos on the back with name, date, and place. Easy to do with digital but how many of us have boxes of old photos without any notes on them. I inherited many from my grandparents and have been trying to show them to as many relatives as possible so I can identify these people who will soon be lost to posterity.
    Excellent post and one I take to heart!
    Thank you!!

  29. Toni E.

    Thank you for this blog. It is spot on. I shared it with my friends on FB and spoke about it openly at lunch with my coworkers. I tell myself all of those horrible things (and then some) every day of my life. Thank you for capturing it so perfectly. We are clearly harder on ourselves than we are on others.

  30. Connie

    This hit home with me. I have spent my whole life avoiding having my picture taken. And when it was, hated seeing it. I am very self critical and not just about my weight. Thank you for sharing. I need to examine my fear of “being seen”.

  31. Moonchild

    I take a bit different approach. Since digital film is so cheap, I just take dozens of photos and pick out the best one or two.

  32. poppy

    Thank you. I found this at the right time for me. I was slipping into the no pictures phase because I started getting bigger. This helped more then I thought. I shared this on fb so hopefully it will help others too.


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About My Friend Teresa

Teresa Porter

My Friend Teresa Studios is a boutique portrait studio in Cary, NC specializing in high school, teen, family and child photography that shows everyone from the camera-shy to the goof-ball at their best. Principle photographer, Teresa, has been recognized by Rolling Stone Magazine and published on The Huffington Post.

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