Why I don’t ask for Photos

//Why I don’t ask for Photos

Why I don’t ask for Photos

So…  (great) providers are fantastic at asking for what they’d like/want/need from you in arranging a date…

Some of us ask for your birthday, some of us ask for your employment info, some of us want to know the sort of experience you’re looking for, some of us want you to tell us what makes you smile, or why you reached out to us…

Few of us seem to ask for a photo, and while it can be challenging for clients to volunteer where they work, their last names, how old they are, how long a date they were thinking and when they actually wanted to see you (#timewasters), I’ve noticed many clients do not have a hard time volunteering pictures, unasked.  Sometimes with the first email, sometimes after a few exchanges.*

Now, I can’t speak for other providers on this, I can only speak for myself and why I prefer not to receive photos from clients before I meet them…

Humans are not just very visual creatures, but we’re also quick to judge, assume, make assumptions, etc… Our stories run strong, and we all have stories…   Don’t believe me? Read some science!  (Warning, it’s kind of dry).

We see someone and we immediately make judgments, many accurate, about their appearance…

“They’re…
older / younger
attractive / unattractive
Great smile / look unhappy
sloppy / well dressed…”

…and so on…. all of these are judgments and most of these are probably accurate enough from that single photo… but then we (people as a whole) then go and make judgments about these judgments!

Such as…

Older clients are… respectful, objectify me, are lovely people, are experienced lovers, have a hard time lasting…

Younger clients are… easy to relate to, a lot of emotional labor, arrogant, clueless, hip.

“Just look at those warm eyes! They look like someone I really want to get a drink with in any situation…”

“Attractive clients are arrogant and entitled, unattractive ones are sweet and shy…”

or “I hope they are a little more interesting than their photos look… or this will be a three drink night if I don’t wanna claw my face off…”

…and so much more..! All from what may just be a single photo or head shot… To me that just sounds exhausting for someone I never even had the pleasure of meeting!

But I’m human, and I know this, and I see a photo, and I make judgments, I create stories, I fill in the blanks whether I like it or not wit my own stories and experiences about what this kind of person my client may be… preconceived notions and all…

…and then I meet them, and sometimes all those stories go out the window, sometimes they’re just like I expected, sometimes they’re something else entirely and it can throw you off guard…   Sometimes those photos are not so much inaccurate but just… how can you really capture the wholeness of someone’s lived experience in a digital photo?

Other times, they are indeed pretty inaccurate… and while even though they are indeed a photo of the client, they don’t do a good job representing them at this point and time that you meet them.

…So, for me personally, I don’t even like to open myself up to falling down that rabbit hole…

I like to go the tabula rasa approach, a blank state… Be free of stories, impressions, judgement, preconceptions and biases about what someone is or is not…

When we are expecting something, we may be blind to some of their real charms, and disappointed by what we thought was there…

I love that first moment when I can behold someone fully, with all of my senses in real time, and see them as they are.. the rise and fall of their chest, the move of their lips and nature of their eyes as they are able to take me in for the first time with all five of their senses.. multi-dimensionally, stereophinically… in the flesh, fully formed… not a shadow or a frozen fragment…

…but rather all of them, fully, completely, entirely… with all of the senses where we get to write our own stories together, without as much baggage as we otherwise may have had.

Photos don’t capture their pheromones, the way their eyes light up when you find a mutually passionate subject, the texture of their cheek on the back of your hand, the way your bodies may relax and unwind as you share space… their shyness, or assertiveness…  their deep or shallow breathing, or the people who forget breathing altogether ;).   You can’t hear that unplacable accent or rhythmic cadence… how comfortable and at ease they are or are not within their skin…

It certainly doesn’t represent how you two will unwind, unpack, and unravel over a walk along the Esplanade, how your two hands may slowly start to find each other under a table…

It will just show you a single flash or an instance of a person, from one single angle…

*to the gents who have done that, it isn’t like some huge violation or anything… And I have some wonderful clients who sent pics, just relating my own preferences and reasoning <3
By | 2017-06-30T13:34:25+00:00 June 29th, 2017|Inside Your Mind|0 Comments

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