Probably THE most mentioned reason of why a woman isn’t ready to do a Transformation Portrait with us is that she is “just” trying to lose a bit more weight before her shoot….
Are you one of these women, saying this to themselves? I am sure that every single woman reading this blog right now has given that reason for some sort of event in their lives at some point in time.
Not matter what size or shape you are, as women we are programmed to be critical of our bodies. We have unfortunately ‘learnt’ that weight or size is connected to how worthy we feel, how happy we deserve to be, how much confidence we can seize. It might not be there on the surface actively working against every one of us, but it is certainly a part of what makes up our view of our sense of self, and undermines us at any chance.
Waiting “UNTIL” you are happier….UNTIL you are slimmer…..UNTIL you have toned up……can be a great goal……..but what about the here and now? Life is so very very short. You need to seize every moment and celebrate it – ideal weight or not! Why must a number on a scale dictate ‘WHEN’ you can be happy and feel sexy and celebrate your curves? It doesn’t have to. It is just our internal dialogue that holds us back, that makes us question what we can and cannot achieve. You are NOT defined by your weight. You are defined by the courage you display and how honest you are with yourself to live with respect and dignity. You are defined by how you live authentically and honouring who you are as a person.
I had a revelation the other day. I have been going through my own Transformation, when I joined the 12WBT program with Michelle Bridges in September 2011. I have lost nearly 30kgs so far. My motivation is to be fit and healthy. Even though I have lost this weight and I can fit into new clothes now, and everyone around me is noticing and commenting on how great I look….I realised that I have still brought the same old baggage with me emotionally. Physically I have transformed. I expected that WITH physical transformation would be this ‘magical’ change in how I actually see myself. I was wrong. The two views of yourself, physical and emotional, are not connected. They are quite separate. So the journey begins on transforming myself emotionally to embrace who I am wholeheartedly.
This brings me to the point of this post. My goal in a Transformation Shoot is to always Challenge Women to Embrace what They Desire to Be, no matter what size or shape they are. Now that statement can be easily glossed over, but it is such an important motivation for me when working with you. I don’t want you to just look at the camera, all glammed up with hair and makeup, wearing a nice dress or outfit….and just ‘look’ at the camera……I spend a LOT of time with each woman talking about how they can truly embrace who they are and own it! I want them to look at a photo of themselves and really SEE their sense of self jump out at them in the photo. Over the years I have found that if they truly BELIEVE the beauty that I see in front of me, then the rest comes really naturally for them. I also must admit that there is a lot of giggling and laughter that happens in my photo shoots. 🙂 I have a pretty impressive laugh that can be *ahem* quite
loud bold! 🙂 In all seriousness though, laughter can keep your brain’s internal dialogue from taking over in a shoot. I truly challenge my female clients to step outside of their comfort zones and see themselves from another perspective. It is amazing to actually witness a transformation taking place in the women I photograph, as they start to truly believe in themselves. While the transformation in these sessions is often seen visually in how they have transformed with clothing and makeup etc. It is the internal transformation that takes place that truly shines out in these photos. The expressions on their faces can’t be ‘faked’……if a person is feeling nervous, uncomfortable etc, you can actually see it from the shape of their eyes and the corners of their mouth. It is when they truly embrace their sense of self in the photo shoot, that the fun begins as they can relax and their natural beauty shines through in each photo!
The women you see below, came to me feeling slightly nervous and uncertain about how they would look in their photos. They all had their own story to tell. My role was quite simply to reflect back to them the true beauty they show to the world, and have them start to believe it. What an honour it has been to do that for them…..