By Samantha McKenzie
I’m going to ask you to schedule a personal photoshoot for yourself. All of us need one. It’s going to feel a little uncomfortable at first, but it’s necessary for your growth and development as a woman.
This is not to be confused with the family photo that you take every year around Christmas time. It’s not going to be like the standard head shot you took at graduation. This photoshoot will be an exercise in loving yourself, in valuing your contribution and in coming out of your shell. It’s time you celebrate your most extraordinary feature: a beautiful existence.
Now I know this sounds a bit strange. And I know some of you are like she’s got to be kidding. I can only imagine you saying the same things I say or things I hear women saying every day when it’s time to shine the light on them. “I don’t like taking pictures.” “I look fat!” “My hair is a mess.” Cue the music.
I want to encourage you to silence your insecurities…immediately. I want you to take a leap of faith and trust that you will have a great experience. If we’re going to be seen for who we truly are, we’ve got to start getting use to being out front, speaking up, taking the microphone when it’s necessary and letting a little “flash” hit us. Like Congresswoman Maxine Waters did this week. Like we all must do when those monsters raise their ugly heads.
The photoshoot is a platform for you to get comfortable being seen. It’s not about being a fashion model. It’s not even about taking a perfect picture. We’ve been smiling through our struggles ever since we can remember. This time will be different.
This exercise should take you only an hour. That’s one hour for you to dedicate to yourself. It’s going to be a time for you to enjoy. I won’t lie, it’s definitely going to feel awkward at first, but I want you to push through without giving up. Don’t be afraid to show off your widest smile. It’s perfectly okay to laugh out loud. Don’t worry too much about your outfit. You can dress up in that perfect dress or wear the clothes that you feel the most comfortable in. Get your hair and nails done to top it off.
If you don’t know a local photographer, ask around. Find one that you can afford and then schedule a date and time. Decide if you’d like outdoor or indoor portraits. Ask the photographer about iconic locations in your city or town. Is there a popular building or statue that you’ve always loved? Is there an historical park or old bridge that you’ve admired from a distance? What about an industrial site or brick wall that you’ve passed by before? Find a location that speaks to you and your personality.
Here are the rules:
- Schedule it soon (30,60,90 days). Take about a week to find someone and then book them. You can pick a date in the near future and discuss payment options.
- Do it solo. Don’t bring anyone with you. You can do this.
- Don’t make about a holiday. Just pick a regular ole random day. It’s about you, not an event.
- Encourage yourself through the process. Don’t say negative things out loud or inside your head during the session. It’s counterproductive.
- Let the photographer help you. If you don’t know what to do, they will. Let them be the experts and guide you through the poses. Be vulnerable. You don’t have to control this too. *smirks*
- Relax and have fun. There’s no need to be tense. Just agree that your doing this for no particular reason other than your an amazing person and you deserve it.
- Send us your best shot!
Good luck on this new adventure. I hope you share this with all of the women in your circle. Encourage them to schedule their photoshoots too and let us see the finished product. I guarantee this will make you feel more confident, ALIVE and ready for the next phase of your life.
If you need a little push, give me a call!