“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” (Margaret Wolfe Hungerford), is a quote that I believe we are all familiar with, however I think the meaning has been lost in our current society.
With a continuing increase of children and adults spending more and more time on social media, a world of false imagery has exploded with people unable to identify what is real beauty and what is highly edited and false imagery.
It is common for people to over edit their photos, alter the background, spend a long time perfecting (in their eyes) an image before then posting this image online.
However, is this image then perceived by the audience as beautiful?
Who are the people in the audience that we are seeking approval from when we post these “perfect” images?
Surely if the image doesn’t truly reflect who you are then there is no “real” connection with the viewer….?
This is not real beauty.
Beauty is captured in the moment.
Beauty is captured in a connection.
Beauty is captured in an experience.
It is the laughter of a family coming together and sharing stories over a cup of tea and picnic in the garden.
It is in the joy of two children playing, dancing and running together fully embraced in their moment of joy.
It is in the silliness of the moment when a parent and child are dancing in the kitchen, playing hide and seek or spinning widely together around and around in a field.
Beauty is in the moments where we are present and engaged, unaware of anyone else who may be watching.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Over the past two weeks I have had many conversations about the problems with our current society and the portrayal of false imagery and negative effects on the mental health of our children and ourselves.
I watched “Pop, race and power” where Leigh-Anne Pinnock discussed with her bandmate Jade how they had both wanted to get plastic surgery after their first photo shoot as the images had been so highly edited to alter their skin colour and facial features.
I’ve discussed the fears with other parents about how this false imagery is negatively impacting our children. They live in a world where they no longer can identify with an unedited image. The pressure to conform and look perfect is unbelievable.
Three weeks ago, I shared the latest Dove advert with my son. I wanted him to know how easy it is to edit an image and understand these pressures on girls and boys. Have a watch for yourself – it really is quite powerful.
This is what we are standing against.
We are re-wilding our imagery and re-framing the story.
We are saying no to false imagery, fake connections and yes to real life beauty and a big fat yes to real human connection.
We are re-framing the world of imagery to one where our children can value true beauty and feel good about themselves.
We are going back to basics. We are embracing the moment. We are having fun and we are celebrating our unique, beautiful selves.
It is a return to human nature and our true natural selves. A world where perfect does not exist, a world where we simply seek moments of real beauty with those we love and cherish and with our beautiful natural world.
So, I am not your photographer if you seek staged photos, families saying “cheese” or brand photography with limited emotion.
I am your photographer if you seek real beauty, real emotive connection, images that you can connect with as your true self and imagery that represents you fully and truthfully as a beautiful, unique person.
If you’d like to join me and celebrate all things natural for your family photography or within your business imagery, get in touch.
Let’s re-wild the image and re-frame the story. Join me and embrace your natural real beauty.
Claire Victoria is a photographer and writer inspired by nature and living in South Gloucestershire with her four young boys, husband and two dogs. Her mission is to inspire others to connect with nature and live more sustainably for a healthier, happier world for people and planet. She works with families and businesses and celebrates all things natural, capturing beautiful, organic moments on camera. You can find out more here or join the mailing list below.