Perception and Reality

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Iman is a photographer who, through her unique process of coaching and photography, can show a woman what other people see when they look at her. She is passionate about teaching other photographers how to live and be a professional and making change in the world. She dreams of changing the way women look at their bodies and how the world defines beauty. She also thinks being an instructor on CreativeLIVE would be incredible. Iman battles Lyme disease and shares her unique view of dreaming while fighting for her health. Her post day is Wednesday. [email protected] Iman Woods If you aren't sure how to comment on this story, click here.


There is a great difference between perception and reality. Our daily thoughts and critiques become ingrained in us. We don’t stop to examine if we’re changing our thoughts for the better rather than running on auto pilot. We’re especially good at holding on to the critical thoughts we have about ourselves.

With my dream to heal through photography, I often work to undo the negative things a person believes about themselves. To do so, I employ posing and lighting to minimize what they’re worrying about.

I’ve tried to explain how lighting can completely change what a person looks like. Alfred Hitchcock employed horror lighting to create erie threatening faces. Teenagers employ the same method when they hold a flashlight below their face to tell a ghost story over a campfire. The eye sockets get deep shadows looking almost corpse like.

But this video blows all my attempts to explain this subject away. This is one woman. They’re just moving the light around her. Throughout the revolutions you’ll see butterfly lighting (where the light comes from above and makes a lovely butterfly shadow below her nose) to horror lighting (where the light comes from below and makes her eye sockets look deep.)

So the next time you pull your phone out for a selfie or a group shot, don’t disparage yourself if the light isn’t good. Find better light. :) Are the negative thoughts reality or perception?