When Are You Going To Be Enough?

Over the last few years I have been positive I’ve been meant to do more, that what I am doing is not enough. I am inundated with messages of “Get more followers”, “How to Kill it as an Entrepreneur!” “Top 5 Things You Must Do for Your Business” or “You suck and Should Be Working Non stop!” Okay, that last one may just be my internal dialogue, but I think you follow me. I am constantly getting and earful and eyeful of  what I am not doing and what I need to be doing to be successful. Everyone is an expert and everyone has a secret to success. OMG I am exhausted just writing about it!

That feeling of exhaustion was actually my wakeup call. (AH, the bodies genius, always keeping us on track if we listen.) I was going into my photography studio everyday, a business which I loved but now struggled to enjoy and was EXHAUSTED! I literally couldn’t keep my eyes open while at my desk. I was thrilled when I was actually shooting, but immediately after I would sink back down into defeat. I even hired consultants and coaches to help me unearth what this mystical and magical new path might be. I was more than a little annoyed when one suggested, ” What if there isn’t something more?” WHAT?! NOTHING MORE??? Then what the hell am I doing? Where is my value? What is the point of me and my business? This can’t be IT I thought. I need to do more to deserve what is coming to me. I need to give more  before it’s “over”.  (Slightly dark I know) As if running a full time photography studio wasn’t enough….I SHOULD be doing more. Well, wouldn’t you know it, Anna Scott was right. Side note, check her out…she’s amazing!

Since no great lessons come in one perfect  little package it took a few more gentle hits on the head for me to get this one. About a week ago I went to a goodbye party for a friend who is moving to Ghana. I was inspired by her huge life choice to sell her house and begin a new adventure, and also by something she shared, “We don’t have to push ourselves to absurd limits to deserve the good we receive.” Certainly based on almost all advertising this was inccorect. Why just today an online retailer emailed to tell me the coffee table I deserved was on sale.

I sat with this wisdom for a few days as it melded into my consciousness. I would roll it around and try it on for size. It felt good in my body. It felt right. It wasn’t saying don’t effort, just effort less and flow more, do what you enjoy and enjoy what you do. Then one day….ummmm,this past Monday, I had an incredible “shift”.  This business I have created over the last 30yrs, THIS is what I do and I do it pretty damn well. It doesn’t need to be MORE, I don’t need to be MORE.  It’s simple I know, but this simple revelation released me from this heavy weight of, ” I am not enough” and I immediately noticed as I repeated this new believe throughout the day that I wasn’t struggling to stay awake at my desk. I was enough and so was the work I was offering to my clients from my heart.

What if we relaxed into this? What if we balanced effort with flow? What if we all knew that this career, family, who we are and what we are so passionate about is enough just as it is?

 

…and of course here are some visual reminders of what it looks like when we allow ourselves to show up as enough.

 

Even while feeling under the weather at our shoot Cathlene was glowing and bright.

 

CEO Michon transformed by the end of our shoot & clearly that is the confident expression of woman who knows who she is.

Knowing you are enough and knowing who you are go hand in hand. Jonathan was not new to any of this knowing.

Lisa relaxed into the couch and herself with total ease as the shoot unfolded. This moment always comes…it’s when we know we are enough.

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Why You Believe You Are NOT Photogenic

It’s amazing that almost all my clients believe they are not photogenic, within the first 5 minutes of talking almost all of them share this with me.  I ask every client how they feel being photographed knowing that 99% of the time this is their answer. It is such a wide spread belief and getting THAT out on the table is the beginning of creating beautiful photographs. Here’s why they and maybe even you believe you aren’t photogenic.

They are camera owners, not photographers. 

Everyone and their mother has a camera now, everyone! It’s fantastic in terms of expressing our creativity and sharing our lives, but not so great when it comes to us ending up in photos we don’t like of ourselves.  It is so important to keep in mind these aren’t professional taking your photo. Most amateurs likely don’t understand lighting, posing, or facial structures and how all of this plays into creating a flattering photograph of someone. They haven’t spent 30 plus years studying this artistic craft, looking at faces and usndersatnindg lighting. It’s not their fault, they don’t need to know this as a CEO, Chef, Consultant or whatever career THEY kick ass at.

Margaret is an engineer. Give someone a safe space to play and this is who shows up. She is relaxed and open.

It’s a wide angle lens! 

The lens in a camera phone is created to capture as much of a scene as possible. Great right? Yes, for landscapes and big groups but not for portraits. You know what that wide angle lens does? It makes you WIDER…yup, its right in the name. It distorts entire faces and specific features, it makes bodies look bigger than they are and unless you can get that sucker about 5-10 ft from your beautiful face it’s going to be unflattering.  See for yourself in the below images.  The lenses here start at 24mm which is a wide angel lens like the ones we are talking about in camera phones. They go all the way up to a 200mm which is what I shoot with when creating portraits. You can see the effect each lens has on the woman’s face and how much more out of proportion her face looks with the 24mm in comparison to the 200mm. 

I hear you, you’ve had professional photos and you STILL don’t like them. So, here is the the biggest reason I believe we think we are un-photogenic.

YOU DON”T FEEL SAFE.

After 30 years in this career witnessing the challenges people have of being photographed I can share with certainty that how we feel about how we look is why so many of us feel un-photogenic, AKA less than beautiful or handsome. It’s all about self love and feeling safe. It actually has so little to do with what you look like. How do I know?  I see it everyday in almost every shoot. It’s hard being seen. It’s hard letting someone look at us. We believe they will see all of these things we think are flaws. It’s understandable really, this information of we are not enough comes at us from all angles via messages growing up, the media, and social media. We hold all these beliefs and thoughts and then we stand in front of these visual microscopes and are fed back our worst fears about who we are and what we look like.

I understand, I hated every photo taken of myself except for when my younger sister was behind the camera. I realized it was because I felt safe with her. I knew she loved me for me and because of that the inner dialogue shut off and I showed up as the best version of myself.  I simply stopped thinking about the negative beliefs I had accumulated over the years because I new the person looking at me only saw someone she loved.  When we feel safe, when we don’t have to worry about being judged, when we are in the moment of love or laughing with friends, OR don’t know a photo is being  taken that is when we love our photos. Our guard and self protection is in resting mode and we show up fully as ourselves and that is always beautiful.

I have built a career creating a safe space for every single client who walks through my doors. I grew up not feeling seen and it was incredibly painful. I believed I wasn’t worth it, interesting enough, too sensitive. Really it can be any message we received or created.  Bottom line I didn’t believe I was worth being loved, so now I let everyone they are worth being seen for exactly who they are. I share as much of my myself with each one of my incredible clients as I can.  I am vulnerable, loving, goofy and engaging. I genuinely care about each and every person who steps in front of my camera. My deepest intention is that you walk away with a portrait in which YOU can see the best version of yourself. Not a model! This point I want to make very clear, I am not interested in creating some false standard we all need to reach. The most beautiful version of you is the real you! The best version of you! The only way this happens is when we know it is safe to drop our guards and protections we think are keeping us safe but which only keeping us separate.

 

Coach and Advisor at One Women Effect Cheri SHINES joy in this photo! We laughed our butts off this entire session! 

 

Executive Coach Mary M. found her flow as we moved through her shoot to capture this ease filled authentic Business Portrait. Imagine your clients seeing the absolute best version of you! You will be killing it! 

 

 

Find out for yourself how photogenic you truly are! BOOK TODAY 🙂

 

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