(This post was originally written about 2 years ago but I have decided to repost it and added new images that I have had taken over the years because I made the decision to be seen and I have finally started walking my talk!!)
I am a photographer who loves being behind the lens.
It is my job after all, right? I get to make women feel beautiful, conﬁdent, and in touch with who they truly are from the inside out – and I love every minute of it!
But about 3 years ago, I started working with women like you, and I realized very quickly that I was a mirror of how my women were showing up to their sessions. I took such great pleasure in working with them to overcome their fears of being visible, showing their vulnerability, and recognizing the impact they could make in their own businesses and personal lives when they did it.
Every time I asked one of them to step up and transform, it would occur to me that it was time for me to walk the talk. I no longer wanted to lean into my story of over 20 years anymore. I was done with that. And because vulnerability was my best friend during this process, instead of fearing it, I decided to harness it. It was time for me to be seen and share my story.
It takes good, honest friends who care about you and want your success to tell you the truth. And in 2012, one of my dear friends stepped up. Her name is Karmen; she challenged me to show up like a photographer.
The truth is, I had no idea what that meant. And when I admitted to her that that I had worn a (gorgeous) suit to a meeting with a large magazine, she giggled and said, “You’re not in corporate anymore! You need to show up as the awesome woman and photographer you are!”
She was right.
That day, I started the work. I resolved to address my food allergy issues, tackle my thyroid disease head on, and create a true vision for my business and my life. BUT, I was still more comfortable hiding – showing up to my studio to work, clean up, and walk out without any interaction. I realized later that I felt comfortable hiding because I didn’t want to experience the discomfort of being seen.
What I needed to do was lean into it, allow it, and then show up anyway.
THAT’S WHEN MY REAL TRANSFORMATION BEGAN.
I had to surrender and allow all at the same time. It wasn’t easy. And sometimes it wasn’t even fun. But slowly, I began to see changes in my life.
IT STARTED FROM THE INSIDE.
My clients would ask me what I was doing. They saw my transformation and they loved it. It also showed in my photography. The women I photographed would tell me they could see their soulful selves in the photography. It was as if I drew that out of my women, and that was exciting for me. And best of all, I saw changes in my women after their sessions. This was huge.
Women texted me to tell me they were inspired by how I showed up and my transparency. They said they were ready to be seen, even though they knew it was going to be painful. They wanted to do know how I found the courage to push through my own discomfort and embraced visibility.
Allowing myself to feel vulnerable made me stronger. It allowed me to be comfortable with being visible, and most importantly, it let me work with my women in ways that I could never have
imagined possible! I was simply blown away by the support, encouragement, and love, and I made it my journey to help women do the same using the medium I was most comfortable with — photography.
I heard laughter. I felt the tears. I saw changes. And most of all, I felt the vulnerability that helped them become strong. This is the true experience. And so, I created the Woman Redeﬁned Manifesto.
I have embraced my many experiences in my journey – the crazy, serious, fun and contemplative – and I want to share them with the hope that you, too, will take the risk to be vulnerable and show up.
This personal Manifesto turned into my daily practice. It honors the many beautiful ways I changed my life, both professionally and personally, and the courage it took to decide to create a new beginning.
And I want to share it with you with the intention of paying it forward. Go HERE and download my gift to you – a free e-book called “Become a Woman Redefined – 4 Simple Ways to Show Up & Shine!”
Let’s start your journey now! It’s my hope that this book will challenge you, inspire you, and encourage you to create your own magic!