What’s holding you back from having your portraits taken?
I asked this question recently on my Facebook page and do you know what the number one answer was? Weight/Looks – it was answered with 83% of the votes!
I hear this often, from many women, when I ask them what has kept them from having portraits of themselves. If this is you, I can tell you, right now, YOU ARE NOT ALONE in that feeling. And do you want to know what else? I CAN RELATE.
I get it. Trust me. 100%. I have been there. I have bumps, lumps, insecurities just like many people do, but I don’t let all those things stop me from taking portraits. I have clients, who have told me during their consultations that they in fact have insecurities too, and I have been honored to photograph every single one of them and show them how truly amazing they are.
Since this is a deeply personal feeling, I wanted to share my personal story with you.
For many years, I hid from the camera. I didn’t want to be seen. I didn’t want my 100+ pounds of excess weight to be seen. I didn’t want my unkept hair to been. I didn’t want my pimples to be seen. I just didn’t want to be seen. I felt so insecure. I felt every single photo was just a reminder to me that I wasn’t beautiful. I didn’t like them, I didn’t love them, I wanted to hide. Anytime someone would yell “GROUP PHOTO!” guess who was trying to hide behind others? Yours truly. And even when selfies started to become popular, I didn’t want to be seen on those. I just wasn’t loving myself.
In this top photo, I was just about to have weight loss surgery, a surgery that was going to change my life. I wanted to have some before photos to see my journey. These were them. I cut my face off. At that time, I didn’t feel beautiful. Not just about my body. In general, I was lacking self love. But I still wanted to have a record of some type.
In the second row, I was about 10 months or so out of surgery. I took these images as a personal story, of my self. Physically, I had radically changed. I was no longer on loads of blood pressure meds, which was great but I was still embracing all of the change. That even though I had “physically” lost the weight, that I still struggled with my body image. This is me, in front of a mirror. Looking at me. Looking at my new body. Looking at who I am now. Comparing to others. And really getting a huge dose of the saying – “Comparison Is the Thief of Joy” – Theodore Roosevelt
The last row. This was it. This was when I said, YOU KNOW WHAT? Even though I may not FEEL “perfect”, I AM PERFECT and I AM FREAKING FABULOUS and I captured it. In self portraits. I grabbed a fabulous dress, I put it on, and I posed myself just like I pose my clients. I guide all of my clients into poses that show their best selves! I want my clients to see the beautiful person that I see right in front me when I am working with them.
So here’s the thing. In every single row, I always felt like “I wish I could just lose a little more weight” or “Oh man, my hair is a mess” or “Argh – I wish _______”. I had an excuse. And NO, it is not because I was/am overweight.
Every single woman, every single shape, every single size IS ABSOLUTELY AMAZING AND GORGEOUS.
The woman that I am now, still has lumps and bumps. The woman that I am now still has flappy arms. The woman that I am now, still has a belly. The woman that I am now still has a bit of a chin.
I have all these things – and maybe you have all of these – or maybe some of these.
Need proof? Here is me, right now, as I write this blog:
Even if you have ANY of these, you DESERVE portraits of yourself that you love.
What’s the difference between my last row of photos and right now? Well for one, this is me every single day. Hanging out in leggings. I am just hanging out. I am not styled in a gorgeous outfit. My hair isn’t done and my makeup is minimally done (I am a daily makeup wearer). Also, I am NOT posed. I am just standing there.
Here’s the thing:
Just through posing ALONE, I can:
– make you look slimmer
– reduce/remove double chin
– thin out your arms
and MAKE YOU LOOK AND FEEL FABULOUS!
I will pose you and guide you. I will chat with you about your concerns. I will address those the best that I can. Your hair and makeup will be professionally done. PLUS – I will style your photoshoot with dresses and other outfits that you adore and feel beautiful in.
Be transformed. Celebrate you.
Treat yourself to a makeover portrait experience. I want to show you the best portrait you’ve seen of yourself. You deserve it.
Hey! So, I guess before I start babbling away on this post, I should tell you who I am right? I mean, that’s assuming you haven’t gone and read my About Me section first.
Who am I, you ask?
I’m Marie Sales. I’m married to my wonderful husband Calvin. We live in Pittsburgh, PA, which is where photography all started for me! I’m not a native Pittsburgher though. I’m thankful to have had opportunities to live around the US, but am originally from CT, a New England girl. I work full-time, in addition to running this business. I have 3 soft, cute, cuddly fur babies who are spoiled beyond belief, 2 cats and 1 dog. A few random things about me…. I’m a licensed cosmetologist, aspiring makeup artist, love special FX makeup (hello Halloween!), a former extreme couponer, a lover of running, and a bariatric patient.
But… enough about me.
Why did I become a photographer?
Good question! To be perfectly honest, it started on a whim. I bought a digital camera when I couldn’t quite afford a DSLR yet and started to take some random photos (which admittedly, were NOT good). Around that time, I was selling stuff online and was using it for that purpose. But, when that camera started acting quirky, I decided at that point, I should probably look into what I really wanted, which was a DSLR. Still, at that point, I wasn’t really taking photos, except for of products.
Until, I took a photo of that beautiful vintage Polaroid camera above. I was selling that camera and while I was cleaning it up, I couldn’t help but be sucked in by it. I mean, can you imagine all the photos that camera has taken? Who was the person behind the camera? Was it for family photos? And I just admired how cool it was as a camera.
From there on out, I started trying to learn about photography and how to better use my DSLR, since I still wasn’t doing much with it. I started taking photos of Pittsburgh, my husband, and just random things. It became so much fun! Then, after posting a photo I took of Pittsburgh at night, a photographer friend who LOVED the photo encouraged me to think about photography.
It’s been all a whirlwind since then, but I am so thankful for her encouraging me along the way.
Being able to capture beautiful images for my clients, full of memories to cherish, is what drives my desire. I love to be able to capture these moments for my clients and have fun doing it.
I hope to anyone who is reading this, that you follow your dreams as I am mine. Don’t let anything hold you back!