Smile and say cheese. Robert Heinecken wrote, “Many pictures turn out to be limp translations of the known world instead of vital objects which create an intrinsic world of their own. There is a vast difference between taking a picture and making a photograph.”

I love the artistic, creative, and journalistic nuances of photography. The hardware, the necessary technical expertise, the manipulation of light, and the capacity to freeze a slice of time, all appeal to me like little else.

There is a photo that we each carry around with us over the course of our lives. It is a picture over which we have little control, little say-so, little input. Yet it is a snapshot of ourselves which we usually disdain and keep hidden from public view.

It is a picture you have with you right now, in your wallet or your purse. It is your driver’s license photo. And it is a BAD picture. One would think after taking hundreds of millions of driver’s license photos the DMV would eventually take a good one. Nope.

There was a stretch several years ago when the photo on my driver’s license made it look like I was completely stoned. I wasn’t, mind you, but I couldn’t prove it by this photo. I was so happy when it came time to renew my license. I couldn’t wait to get rid of that picture.

I get to carry my current driver’s license picture around with me until the year 2017. And fortunately, I no longer look stoned. I now look like a complete psychopath.

Smile and say cheese

However, in addition to the picture on our driver’s license, each of us carries around another picture of ourselves. It is also a picture we try our best to keep hidden. It is the mental picture you have of who you are and what you are like. It is your self-image.

Your self-image is the picture you carry of yourself that is best defined by how you answer the question, “What do you believe people think about you?”

The way you and I relate to each other is hugely reflective of the way we relate to ourselves. An inadequate or unrealistic self-image, a self-image that is either too low or too high, actually robs us of the energy and attention needed to relate to others in a healthy way.

Almost eighty-five percent of Americans suffer from a low self-image. Seventy percent of girls, ages eight to seventeen, feel they don’t measure up in some way – their looks, their school performance, their relationships.

A healthy self-image is seeing yourself as God sees you, no more and no less. We are not only created in God’s image, we are incredibly valuable to him but not because of anything in and of ourselves.

So much human love is attracted to status and wealth and beauty and intelligence. But God’s love for us actually creates value in us. God did not create us out of need. He created us out of his desire to love us.

C.S. Lewis writes, “God, who needs nothing, loves into existence wholly superfluous creatures in order that he may love and perfect them.”

At Beaufort Photography Co., one of our goals in photographing you and your most special of days is to celebrate you. As a Crystal Coast and destination wedding and portrait photographer, I want your engagement and wedding photographs convince you that God really does think you’re wonderful! So smile and say cheese!

Smile and say cheese