We need to talk….
Most people who know me would probably describe me as kind, gentle, a peacemaker. What some of you may or may not know is that I am a mother to 5 children ranging the ages between 7 to 16. If you asked my kids to describe me, they would probably not describe a picture of a tranquil mother, gently floating in flowy dresses and speaking in hushed tones. I love my kids and I want nothing but the very best for them. But I am firm. Rock solid. I believe in setting very high standards and equipping them to reach them. I can be a mama bear at times and will fiercely defend and protect… so all of this is to warn you that for the rest of this post I’m putting my mum voice on. Not because I’m criticising, but because I want you to reach for high standards, but I also want you to be equipped to reach them- and sometimes to do that we need a firm reminder…. You’ve been warned….
I’ve had enough. I’ve had enough of playing small. I’ve had enough of all the excuses I hear women give as alibis to their fears that keep them stuck. I’ve had enough of women willing to bet on and support every single person in their life because they aren’t willing to bet on themselves. I’ve had enough of women letting fear drive their bus, instead of telling him to buckle himself up in the back seat and taking back the wheel. I’ve had enough of women who are so hogtied by their stinkin' thinkin', that they will tear other women down who are smashing their dreams. I’m tired of women who let stupid things -like 10 kg on their waistline- stop them from chasing their calling with passion. I’ve had enough of begging for the scraps under the table instead of demanding a seat at it.
I won’t abide it anymore. I can’t! Every time I hear a woman say that she wants to have a photoshoot with me, but she’s waiting till she loses 5 kg- it breaks my heart. Look at the powerful men in history, they didn’t wait for Jenny Craig to kick in before they went and kicked some ass. Thank God Winston Churchill didn’t wait till he lost 5 kg before he stepped into his power. We would all be speaking German.
The women I have worked with over the last year, the ones who didn’t let their crooked teeth or wrinkles or flabby arms stop them, have gone on to be published in magazines, start new companies (that are changing whole communities around them), have broken new sales records, attracted their dream clients, have a voice in Federal Parliament and have chased their dreams. The women who told their insecurities to get out of their way, have taken their beautiful portraits and have used them to promote themselves. They’ve used their photos to show up and demand a seat at the table.
I won’t play small anymore. There is too much at stake. I want to change my community. I want to change lives. I want to leave a great legacy, and I can’t do that under the table eating scraps. I won’t do it anymore. I can’t. I can no longer live with a heart and soul full to bursting with dreams and hopes and plans to bring beauty and purpose and life into my sphere of influence- and then have no outlet for it. I also can no longer abide watching so many of the women around me living the same way.
Because of this, I am setting parameters. I will either work within these parameters or not all. It is not worth it otherwise. I am dedicating myself to working with 100 women this year. 100 women who will bet on themselves. 100 women who will step into their power instead of another starvation diet. 100 women who will promote themselves, because they understand they are worthy of promotion. 100 women who, like me, can not stand to live another day living with their dreams welled up in their souls. 100 women who will find beauty in their story, right now. 100 women who grasp and understand that their story is important and is as worthy of documentation as the 1,000 of images they capture of their family’s story.
Remember though what I said at the beginning. I set high standards, but I also equip people to achieve them. I don’t expect my clients to all of the sudden have no insecurity- to suddenly just love being in front of the camera. I never have. I hold my client’s hand, from the first phone call to the follow-up call after images have been delivered, I help my clients fall in love with their photos. I equip my clients to unpack their Personal Brand so we know exactly what we are going to capture to share with the world.
More than ever I am dedicated to that process. I am an emotional archaeologist. I dig through all the dirt and find the hidden gem to bring out to share with the world. I help women to see what they often can’t see in themselves. I help them find their lost things, dust them off, and then show them off.
I’m not going to lie to you. It will be costly. Yes, it will cost money, but that isn’t the part that’s really costly. It’s going to cost you your comfort zone. It’s going to be a psychological trust fall. You are going to have to cross your arms, close your eyes, and fall backwards hoping and praying that I capture you instead of embarrassing you. Because that really is the heart of the issue. You know I can capture everyone else, you’ve seen the evidence, but you don’t really know if I can capture YOU! That’s the costly part. Letting go and trusting the process.
What you must understand though is that just as much as this all is a trust fall for my clients, it’s a trust fall for me too. I’m declaring that there are 100 women. What if there aren’t? Can I break through all the faulty filters women constantly pass information through? Are there 100 women who will get out from under the table and come with me to take a seat?
I hope so, because 100 women can change the world.
Will you be one of the 100?
Life as Art is Perth’s leading Branding and Headshot Photographer. We work with our clients to bring clarity to their Branding with Beautiful, Custom Photography.