I spent a good portion of this past week watching Sue Bryce on creativeLIVE. The first time she came on in March changed my life. Seriously. At that point I had been interested and looking into photography but I didn’t have a direction. I thought – maybe weddings. But a future of 15+ hour work days, although very well paying days, wasn’t completely enrolling. I love fashion/beauty/glamour so when I heard a glamour photographer was going to be on creativeLIVE I was stoked and thought I’d watch her for an hour or so. THREE DAYS LATER I got off my couch, inspiration handed to me on a golden plate, direction served, my life changed.
6 weeks later I decided I ought to learn how to use a camera. Dating someone who’s been a photographer for 18 year has it’s definite benefits and I got an advanced course on basic camera use. Though I will admit that I still have not opened the manual, yet. A couple weeks later I took a few friends pictures, trying out some of what I learned from Sue. 3 months later I’ve done over 20 shoots, have 12 lined up in for the next month, am making a portraits website, and am delightedly going with this new, fabulous flow.
Coach, photographer, artist — call it what you will. They’re all services that change the way people see themselves. Sue is very clear on this. And I am as well because after 15 years now of being a coach, I see that sometimes talking things out is what you need to create a shift, but sometimes what you need is an experience.
So unless a photographer’s sole intention is to take pictures that make people look hot, (which is a fine enough intention, it’s just not mine), very quickly it becomes apparent that glamour/beauty portrait photography is all about giving people an experience that boosts their self esteem and self image. It’s like though styling the external and directing and capturing that, one’s internal energy changes… which completely changes how they see, feel, and think of themselves. People talk about being your best version of yourself but sometimes you’re so locked into the version(s) you’re used to it’s hard to find a connection to a better version. Portrait photography puts that better version not only in reach, but in your hand. In fact, I’ve had people I’ve done shoots with say to me afterwards: I want to be her (the person in their images) so I keep asking myself what would she do? And, because I know these women, I can see that changes have been taking place and more of the qualities they experienced though their shoot are coming into their every day selves. What more can a service provider offer, really, than giving people something that increases their self confidence? And if you can do it with tutus, red lipstick, and flowers in your hair… all the better:)
So the moral of this post is: self esteem. That “better” version is already right there inside of you. But life gets full and busy and we get used to thinking of ourselves as our “normal” wounded, busy, limited selves. But that’s not who we are. We are magnificent. YOU are magnificent. But you are only magnificent when you are not comparing yourself to others (including who you were or who your ego tells you that you should be).