That time I done a photoshoot at 16

At the age of 16, whilst I was still at school, I decided I wanted to do a photoshoot. I wasn’t a confident girl, I never really knew what I wanted to do with my life back then, but I knew I wanted to do a photoshoot for a number of reasons. I wish to discuss this with you now – even though it was almost 4 years ago. Wow, that’s scary, time really does fly.

The Photographer was the lovely Grace Callan who is actually my mother’s cousin. I had heard lots of wonderful things about her and I’d seen her tremendous work; I just knew I would be comfortable with her and so my mum contacted her on my behalf. She was eager to work with me and we made some arrangements and I was so excited (and nervous). 

Grace was a pleasure to work with: She made me feel relaxed, worked with me in such a professional manner (even though she was my second cousin) and she made me laugh and feel confident – which really stood out in the photographs. I was so pleased with the finished result. At the time, it was everything I had wanted.

I shared my photographs on my Facebook and other social media sites: I was over the moon with them and couldn’t wait to show them off to my friends. I was 16 years old – I had an album of countless photographs of me – flaunting all of my new clothes and strutting my stuff in heels: What 16 year old girl wouldn’t be delighted with this?

After posting the pictures, I began receiving negative comments from people at school, mainly girls to be candid. I overheard people talking about me, and making unnecessary remarks and basically bringing me down. At the time it bothered me, I’m not going to lie, but now I look back and ask myself why? Why did I let it get to me so much? You’re only young once. I’d give anything to look like I did in those pictures and that was only 4 years ago. When I’m 70 years old (touch wood) I want to look back at these photos and smile. Truly smile. I want to remember them as being a positive thing. They were.

My main reasons for wanting to do the photoshoot was because I truly believed at the time I had what it took to be a ‘model’. I look back now and laugh at myself. I look at girls on Instagram every day and I see girls on TV, in Magazines and on a daily basis and I know now I do not have what it takes. Nevertheless, that was one of my main reasons for doing it. I wanted to make a port folio. It never happened. I also wanted to do it to increase my confidence. I wanted the experience. I wanted a new profile picture for my social networking sites. I wanted to feel good about myself. I wanted to impress other people. I just wanted to do something for me. Is that so wrong?

Now that I am a blogger and I have my own little space on the internet: I am beginning to care less and less about what people think of me. I am immensely proud of myself for this as I have held myself back for years worrying about other people. If I want to take photographs showing some flesh, striking a pose or doing whatever really: I will. I’m 20 years old now and I’m just going where the wind takes me.

I’ve had a tough few years. I have. And I want to share that with you all through my writing. I want to be as true to myself as possible and I want to be completely honest and open with you all – as I always have been since I started my blog.

Do not ever let anyone bring you down. If you do something that makes you feel good, that brings you joy and that puts a smile on your face: Do it. Tell the world. Show everyone what you are capable of.

At the end of the day, not everyone will like you, but the right people will. That’s what I’ve learned over the years anyway.

Until next time
Charlene McElhinney


SNAPCHAT:  TheMcElhiester

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