“Let me show you how I see you.”

Give me one girl uncomfortable in front of the camera and that is my go-to line. God Almighty, what on Earth has Instagram done to these women?

My social feeds are bleeding toned abs, long Victoria’s Secret hair, waxed and tanned and beat-face models. In the era of FaceTune and consumer-friendly dumbed down Photoshop, you can’t escape the new perfection. Hey, maybe I’m the dumb one.

Body positivity is a trend. As sad as that is, it’s reality. Loving yourself is a simple and old concept that people suddenly are loving to preach. Why now?

I didn’t always love this body, and I didn’t always love my heart. But I can say at 25 years old, I do now. And for some reason, the trendiness of self-care on social media gives me a twinge of frustration. It tarnishes it, and makes it feel less special. Not because I want to be the only one that loves themselves, give me a break. But because I know behind a lot of these IG grids are women that talk shit about themselves the entire shoot, call themselves fat or throw up in the middle of a session. Refuse to let me post a picture without letting them retouch their skin first. Rejecting every single select from a shoot because their hair “looked thin.”

Your body is wonderfully made. You have two arms and two legs and a brain and a heart to give love. You have faith, and trust, and passion and fire. And for some reason, you also have the crippling notion that somehow still your worth is measured by your body.

This causes quite the dilemma for someone whose job is to take photographs of a physical body. Ha ha.

The best thing that I can do with whatever this skill set is, is to show you how I see you. When you’re mid-laugh, or feeling sexy, or about to burst into tears from a long day. I see you with your feelings, and your needs, and your humanity – let me show the world, too.

Photographers can bear a burden of wanting to crack open the door and let the light in – illuminating the dark on a monochromatic, dull, negative world, and take a moment in time, save it, and light it off like a firework.

Practice a little love today, and say something nice about yourself. You deserve it, and you need it.