As you know if you follow the blog, this September saw me heading to Paris on retreat. The focus of the retreat was visibility, and as part of that we were to undertake a professional photoshoot with the incredibly talented Regina Wamba of Mae I Design (http://www.maeidesign.com.)
|1. Pretending that it isn't happening.|
The classic introvert safety net -
when things get scary, retreat and
read a book. The architecture
in Monmarte was just beautiful
I have always hated having my photograph taken. As an extreme introvert, and somebody who is incredibly hard on themselves, having a camera pointing at me has had the same adrenalin rush as being faced with a hungry T-Rex.
Despite having been an out there and proud author for the last six years, I had not got around to getting my professional headshot done ---- and the retreat made me face the truth that it wasn't just my abject fear of being photographed, but something else - something much deeper.
|2. I saw the inside projected outwardly|
and that was hard to accept. The
defensive and yet powerful arm
cross, kind of says it all.
The NCWR retreat was all about facing this idea - and I soon realised that I was absolutely not alone in either of these fears. As much as we were all excited to be attending the retreat, of learning together and of growing together -- and drinking too much French wine together, we were all absolutely FREAKING TERRIFIED of the photoshoot. Excited but terrified.
Talking, we discovered that regardless of gender, our month running up to the shoot had been full of anxiety, preparation, mental strengthening, and outfit planning.
|3. Allowing my true creative self to|
be caught on camera was
We were all so self-conscious that Regina had originally planned to do our photoshoots in private slots, but like freaked out zebra in the presence of a lion, we huddled together and in the end, we tag teamed it. There was something really wonderful about working together, encouraging each other, complimenting each other, reassuring each other --- and laughing; laughing lots.
|4. Doing a photoshoot with|
friends was so much more fun
than doing it alone. I know
exactly who I'm laughing at
here - my dear friend
Two days ago, I got the 100 or so photos we took into my in-box. I wasn't sure what I was expecting but I was surprised to feel very mixed emotions. I had been so high on the days of the shoot - and then it was like being hit by a train. There was me, hundreds of me - being author, being creative, being professional -- being a grown up! Yes, a woman, a woman with flaws, and ugly spots, and beauty, and power, and dreams, and ambitions, and love, and laughter, and heartsease, and friendship - and it freaked me out. I barely recognised myself even though I knew myself.
|5. Seeing my sense of dreams|
and ambitions played out
on film, and most
importantly, seeing myself
as a grown up at last.
|6. Taking myself and my art|
seriously is the first step in
acknowledging myself as creative
And I looked with my new eyes. My future me in the now eyes, and I saw that there were photos there that were beautiful, that there were photos that expressed the inner parts of me - and that was who I damned well was, and I was doing okay.
So if you know that you are needing to go through this whole process, I have a couple of pieces of advice -
1) Invest appropriately; pay the top whack based on research and recommendations - save in a penny jar if you have, too. You need someone whose work you love, who is going to take time with you, who is going to make you feel 'normal' and who is going to show the magic. If you can, book an appointment with +Regina Wamba - she travels the world for various events and she's always got her camera with her.
2) In the meantime - if you can't afford who you really want, get together with a talented friend and do a 'mock' location shot - find somewhere beautiful and play and laugh and see what comes out - some of our favourite shots were taken with each other's iPhones whilst Regina was busy photographing 'properly'.
3) Take time over really thinking about what you want to convey through your wardrobe. I wanted two very different looks of the multi-faceted side of my job; the gothic paranormal author, and the event planner and coach.
So now, here I am, sharing the results of that photoshoot and I'd love to know which is your favourite and which should be the one you think I should choose to send out on those first press releases I'm going to send out :)