I always ask my clients how they feel about being photographed just before we begin the session. It’s very common to have the response be anything from, “I’m not photogenic.” to “it feels uncomfortable” and even “I hate it” and I completely understand!
I begin with this question so we can start unfolding what the real fear is for so many of my clients…being seen. On some level we fear we wont be accepted for who we are and someone might see those things we feel are flaws.
One of my last clients bravely shared that when she looks in the mirror she doesn’t see who she thinks she is. In this very raw honest moment we both began to welled up with tears and emotion. We want to look in the mirror or at photographs of ourselves and love who we see. The true us. The beauty of of who we are that radiates from the inside.
Midway through our session, as she began to trust me and the process and allowed me to see the real her fearlessly and with ease. I showed her the back of my camera and the photograph I captured in that moment of openness. Her eyes filled with tears as she exclaimed,
“THAT is who I feel like!”
This women, who is one of the most gentle, loving and support women I have ever met, and a long time client has been someone whose beauty has always stayed with me. Her confidence and generous nature have always been at the forefront of how I see her.
Being able to see ourselves for WHO we know we are is an empowering experience. Being able to live in this place can also be empowering to the people around us, in our personal lives and our careers. It also brings a great level of joy and ease into our lives that is unmatched.
So I started wondering, why can’t we see ourselves in the same way others see us and is there a way we can?
I’d love to share a technique I use with my clients which enables them to embody this authentic place with greater ease. You can try this anytime, anywhere.
Let’s take a moment to try it together….
I ask my clients to give me 3 adjectives describing how they want to be seen. How they would like the world to perceive them. These words can change from day to day depending on what aspect of ourselves we need to call forward. Today let’s choose the one I hear most often, CONFIDENT.
I ask my clients how the word CONFIDENT feels in their bodies. I ask them to repeat it a few times, live into the word a bit. I ask them to imagine what possessing this attribute might look like in their body, how they might stand, walk or sit, and even how their facial expression might change. We use the word or words as an intention for the photographs we create that day. Soon I see them begin to shift. They grow taller, their gaze is more direct, and their smile more genuine.
Try this next time your not feeling you. I believe with a little effort and some practice we can live into the best version of who we know we are.
Finally, to all my incredible clients who are willing to be seen for the extraordinarily people you are, who have taught me so much about the beautiful and powerful vulnerability of being seen, I THANK YOU.