Earlier this month I had the honor of speaking at the Lady Like Leaders Women’s Symposium, Lady Up + Don’t Quit. The event, hosted by Lady Like Leaders founder (and my friend), Diane Michel, shared her wisdom as a professional woman and U.S. Senate candidate. Her words, alongside those of several other speakers made for an empowering day of professional development.
I was so glad to see so many friendly faces－both women I already knew and women I’m so happy I met. If you weren’t able to attend, I’d still love the chance to share the highlights from my talk. Here are the main ideas I covered. Enjoy! :)
The beauty in me honors & acknowledges the beauty in you
I believe that my purpose is to lift up and empower women through photography and that my life experiences have put me in a unique position to capture the beauty in others and show it back to them. In fact, before I became a photographer, I was the Vice President of Economic Development for the Nashville Area County Chamber of Commerce－totally different from photography.
At some point, I didn’t feel seen and I needed an outlet. So I picked up a camera and I started seeing differently; I started seeing people differently and seeing myself in others. When I started down the path of what my business is today － which is providing hair and makeup and up to 5 different outfit changes during a shoot － I would watch women come alive as they started to feel comfortable in their own skin, and would watch their confidence unfold in front of me.
There was no turning back after this because I knew that this experience was the best gift I could give a person because it would have a ripple effect on these women's’ lives. , So, I decided to take the plunge and pursue my passion for portrait photography. And I’m so grateful that I did! I love helping women discover their beauty and capture that beauty for the rest of the world to see.
Photography is one way to share your legacy
When was the last time you had a photo taken of yourself? Too often, we hide from the camera out of insecurity, which I find incredibly sad. Photography is evidence we exist in this world. It allows us to forever capture cherished memories and the love we felt and shared with others as it happened. The people who love us cherish us and the legacy we leave behind...not the 20 pounds we’re trying to lose or the wrinkles we’re trying to hide. We are so much more than our perceived flaws and photography allows others to witness and cherish our beautiful legacies.
First impressions stick
Fun fact: The visual part of the brain influences our decision-making more than any other part of the brain. What does that mean for first impressions? It means that people are making snap judgments － whether they mean to or not － on who we are based on how we present ourselves and how they perceive us.
Between social media, dating sites, and company “About” pages, many first impressions happen online through images. And these first impressions stick. Research suggests that when we make first impressions based on a photo, those impressions can influence our perception of the person in the photograph and how we interact with them. Crazy.
That’s why investing in thoughtful, professionally done photography is essential. It gives you the chance to be captured as your truest self, allowing you to put your best, most authentic foot forward.
Flaws are perception, not reality
We are limited in our ability to see what we look like and how we present ourselves...we can only see what we choose to see from the mirror or through photography. Why does this matter? It matters because we are only able to see a fraction of what others see. Others are able to see how we carry ourselves; they’re able to see us interact with the world. The way we see ourselves is our perception, not reality because we don’t see ourselves in full.
Comparison is the thief of joy
Teddy Roosevelt once said that “comparison is the thief of joy,” and I couldn’t agree more. Comparison acts on the assumption that beauty, talent, and character are finite－that there’s not enough to go around. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. One woman’s beauty doesn’t make other women less beautiful. One professional’s knowledge doesn’t make other professionals less brilliant. You have something that no one else can offer...and that one thing is you. Honor your unique self. You were made for a purpose!
If you’re interested in continuing this conversation, booking a photoshoot, or learning more about your photoshoot options, please let me know using the link below.