I’ve been blowing up my personal internet sharing my utter joy at the photo shoot I did recently. Like this:
And yeah, I’m really not done talking about this.
When’s the last time someone took actual professional photos of you?
Seriously: you or someone else doesn’t need to be getting engaged / married / having or adopting a baby for you to do this for yourself. I will go so far as to say this: I think photo shoots are a necessary recurring experience for every woman – so fun! so empowering! so requiring one to push through discomfort and be courageous.
Totally not kidding about that last part. A photo shoot does require courage. Sure, ok: you may think courage is really for “bigger” occasions and well, a photo shoot is kinda silly. Maybe you’re thinking courage is really for “important” things like speaking truth to power, resisting injustice, speaking out against tyranny, fighting the good fight.
YES. ALL THAT. AND.
AND there’s something about “little” acts of courage. There’s something about putting yourself out there in ways that are seriously uncomfy – like when you’re shooting outdoors at the famous Zoetrope Café and people at the next table are staring, as are the tourists on the double-decker buses stopped at the traffic light, or like when you have practiced shrinking in front of a camera for so many years of your life and suddenly you have the full focus of a fantastic photographer and her genial assistant on you for hours. There’s something about putting on the dress and the makeup and the hair and stepping OUT, showing yourself no matter how weird it feels ← that courage, even if you think it’s little, that courage has the same impact of boosting your confidence, making you stronger, fuller, clearer for the next occasion, on which maybe little courage, maybe Big Courage, will be required.
When that occasion presents itself, you will be practiced. You will know what’s it like to say, yeah, that’s weird or uncomfortable or difficult, but FUCK IT, let’s go, let’s do this.
You’ll know: I got this.
'Cause, lady, guess what? Your photo shoot is a feminist act. That IS you fighting the good fight. That IS you totally telling whatever forces have ever put you down, kept you down or small or quiet, that they can F OFF. That you’re glorious and powerful and strong, and that you’ll stop at nothing to do what you’re here to do, OUT, Large and Loud and Proud.
And bonus: if you’re lucky enough to work with a fantastic photographer who’s able to tease out of you your inner Shirley Temple (um, yeah, that’s totally me), make you laugh, really get you, DAMN IT, you will have a treasure on your hands.
That treasure? YOU.
It’s sometimes so hard for us to see ourselves. Especially after years of trying not to draw attention.
Please: book that session. If for no other reason than we all want to jump around and celebrate how beautifully the professional you hired managed to capture what we see every single time we look at you. If for no other reason than you get to capture a moment in time and celebrate it. If for no other reason that you’ll get to see your own power and beauty and grace shining back at you. That, right there: treasure.
Go on. Show us. Step OUT.