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.
Dancer Styled Portraits – Timeless Beauty
I recently went on vacation to Cape Cod and during that time, I told myself, I would turn off from any type of work and reconnect with myself. And did I? Absolutely. Even though I turned off and took time to relax with friends and family, I came back so refreshed and with a ton of ideas in mind for photo shoots I’d love to style with clients.
One of the photo shoots that I added to my list was dancer styled portraits. Do you HAVE to be a dancer to have these types of portraits? Nope. These sessions are styled and posed to give you the dancer look and feel (who hasn’t dreamed of being a ballerina, right?). So when I put my heart to it, I find it, and I made this photo shoot happen.
Sophie just happens to be a ballerina who I styled for this photo shoot. We had an early call for this photo shoot, but my team and I were ready and stoked to get it started. While she had her makeup done by my makeup artist, my assistant and I setup to get ready to kick off her photo shoot. She came with two leotards and the rest, I had in studio for us to style and to make timeless portraits of a dancer.
Checkout some of the video from our shoot:
Again – do you NEED to be a dancer to have this type of photo shoot? Absolutely not! Everything in these photos, minus the leotards, are items I have in studio and I will be adding leotards every soon! The tutu fits women of all shapes and sizes and is ankle length. I will pose you and guide you to add a special collection to your portrait session. And, my hair and makeup artist will pamper you and give you the perfect look.
Let’s get YOU booked in for a timeless dancer session.
Want to checkout more from this shoot? Scroll down. 🙂
Class of 2019 – Are you trying to figure out how to choose a Senior Portrait Photographer?
Hey Seniors! If you’re reading this, then I’m sure you’re hunting for a photographer to do your senior photos right? It can be overwhelming, trust me, I know! But don’t worry, I got you!
When you’re on your search for a photographer for your Senior photos, there are few key things that you will want to keep in mind.
Not your style, but their style! When you are searching, I recommend that you browse on Instagram or Pinterest what style you like. Do you like light and airy photos, moody (think VSCO), natural, etc? Take a look at each photographers portfolios and their Instagram account. You will get a good feel of how they edit their photos. If you like moody photos, you may want to not hire a photographer who primarily has light and airy photos.
We, photographers, all have our own style. So know what you like so it will help narrow your options!
What are you looking for with your Senior photos? Do you want to just show up, do your photoshoot, and be done? Or are you looking for a full experience? What does that mean exactly? Here, at Marie Sales Photography, I provide all of my Seniors a custom experience. We will sit down and plan outfits, locations, what you like vs what you don’t like, and your hair and makeup is even included complimentary! Whether you want to be sporty or glammed up, I personalize each experience.
So when you are searching, find out what your photographer offers and doesn’t offer.
Checkout Senior Rep Miranda in her studio photoshoot below!
Most photographers today will do photoshoots on location, even if they have a studio. Browse the photographers website, IG, etc and see where they primarily do photoshoots. If 90% of their work is in studio and you want to be in studio, then that may be a good fit! However, if the photographer shoots 100% on location and doesn’t have a studio space, but you want studio styled photos, then you may want to keep looking.
Do your homework and see what your potential photographer has experience in.
With Marie Sales Photography, I offer you both in studio and on location. You can do in studio right after you get your hair and makeup done then we can head on location. AND if you need outfit changes, I have a pop-up changing tent so you can change your outfits anywhere! How awesome is that?
What does the photographer offer in terms of products? Do you just get digitals? Do you have a selection of prints you can buy?
I am a full-service photographer. What does that mean exactly? I provide print products for my clients to choose from and I have some great products that Seniors can customize! I even have special Senior packages that include graduation announcement cards and wallets (because we all know, that mom and dad will want to get wallets to family right?).
But what about sharing it online? No worries! Any images that you and your family purchase, I give you the matching digital so you can share it on Instagram, Facebook, wherever!
This one is important! Meet with your photographer before you decide on who you hire! Bring mom or dad with you and ask them questions. See if you guys get along and if you think you will be a good fit.
I meet with everyone before we schedule your photoshoot. At that time, you will get to meet me and we can chat, you can ask me any questions and I will ask YOU some too! I want to know how YOU want to be photographed, so I want you to share your ideas and we can plan an awesome Senior shoot!
While there are other things to keep in mind, I wanted to share with you some of the main things to keep in mind when looking for a Senior Portrait Photographer.
If you think I may be a great photographer for you, then let’s chat and schedule a consultation!
#ExistInPhotographs – “for your children, for yourself, for the people who love you…” – Sue Bryce
Pick up your phone, scroll through your photos. Count how many photos you have of yourself that ARE NOT selfies. Now, compare that to the number of photos you have of everything else BUT yourself? Did you see a big difference? I bet, if you’re like me or well, most of us, your photographs are not of you but your family, your loved ones, your kids, your grandkids, etc.
That is why #existinphotographs as a hashtag means so much. When is the last time you had a professional portrait taken of yourself? Be honest. Many times, I’ve asked my clients this exact question and they’ve usually said “Oh, when I got married” or “Senior photos?”. If it’s been that long, it’s time for YOU to #existinphotographs.
Because – years down the road, when your children and family look for photos of you, what will they find? Sure, it’s great to see the fun selfies you took but wouldn’t you love to leave a beautiful professional portrait behind? One that you could pass on for generations. One that your family will forever cherish of YOU. I absolutely cherish the old photos that have been passed on for generations of my grandparents and great grandparents. Every time I look back at those photos, I just am in awe with how beautiful they are. I love being able to share these portraits of my family with friends and other family. Those images bring such great stories and such great memories.
This is Sally. Her daughter, a very close friend of mine, asked me to surprise her mom with portraits and I did jus that. Now let me tell you, Sally is a warrior. She’s faced battles and has defeated them. She has such a beautiful heart and it was such an amazing time being able to chat with her and hear her story, hear her story of her family, and listen to the memories she shared. During her photoshoot, she even pulled out family photos from years ago, and shared stories with me. This is why we #existinphotographs. For moments like these, where we can reminisce and share. I was so honored to be able to photograph her. She’s a wife, a mom, a grandmother.
Get yourself out from behind the camera and get IN FRONT. Have beautiful portraits taken and LEAVE A LEGACY.
You are beautiful. You are amazing. You are worth it.
Back in August, I ran a giveaway for a free session. A lot of people entered and only one won, Nikki! We finally got to meet for her session mid-October and man, did nature cooperate for us! The leaves in PA have been holding out on fully changing and it’s actually been kinda warm! The morning of her session though, it was a little cool (but PERFECT to get into that Fall weather mood), the leaves were starting to change and fall, and the sun was shining beautifully.
We met for her session at Settler’s Cabin Park, with hand warmers in our pockets to keep us warm, and had a lot of fun. We laughed about our husbands, who are childhood best friends and really got to connect. About halfway through our session, we spotted the swing set and she went for it and it was amazing. Haha – Seriously, checkout her smile on that swing!
Thank you Nikki for being such an awesome client! Checkout a peak of her session below!
There’s just something about couples sessions that are so magical. Seeing two people in love laugh, pick on one another, share stories about the other, and just admire one another is such a beautiful thing to watch from the other side of the lens.
There was so much love and laughter between Ben and Kirsten! This couple is just so cute! Calvin and I met them a few months ago while we waited in line after a city-wide scavenger hunt and got to know each other over pizza, some wine, and beers. It was a great night and I am glad I got to meet up with them again for this session!
We went to Triangle Park in Sewickley, PA which was the perfect backdrop for a touch of Fall, even though it was 70+ degrees out! Check out this sweet couple below!
I recently traveled to Wisconsin to visit my grandmother over Labor Day weekend and wanted to treat her to a photo shoot! I wanted to treat her to a shoot not only because she is my grandmother but also because she is a breast cancer survivor! She was diagnosed a little less than a year ago. I remember when she called and told me and when I heard the lack of fear in her voice, I knew immediately, that she was giving it to God and her healing is in his hands.
She remained so strong through her treatment! I’m so glad to call her my grandmother. She’s a trooper! And even at this session, which was bright and early at 6AM, 47 degrees out, and foggy, she listened to all of my suggestions and I got her to kick off her shoes and jacket, get down in the sand and even in the water and laugh!
I recently got to work with Morgan for a portfolio building session in The Strip District the other day! Morgan is such a sweetheart and although I don’t get to see her often, we can always catch up every time we meet up. This past Monday we got to walk around The Strip and use the amazing buildings, graffiti, and alleys as our backdrop for her portraits.
At the end of our session, we made one last stop to an alley where I saw some great graffiti and what did we find? A chair already there for us to work with! Probably someone’s chair for their breaks. Who knows?
Checkout some of the images of Morgan below! I hope to work with her again soon!