Last weekend, it was beautiful! Sunshine, and finally a glimpse of the wonderful Fall temperatures, which just invites you to go outside!
Believe it or not, I actually starred in my own photoshoot!
Yes, a photoshoot only for myself!
I prepared the day before, shopping for new outfits, and bought a hat to match!
I was really looking forward to having this photoshoot with a photographer, my friend, Maribel.
The photoshoot was scheduled for noon on a Saturday. In the morning, I took my daughter to her swimming class and gave her a shower afterwards. At 11:30, my husband took over so I could get to my shoot!
I planned it so I could arrive there a bit earlier so I could change in the car, put some makeup on and to get myself ready, emotionally. All this in the car! I parked in a place that nobody was watching!
The actual purpose of this photoshoot was to get some fresh photos for my blog. I had a photoshoot with Maribel before, when I first started my blog, but I thought it was time to get some new ones done! Because this was technically for work, I felt it needed to be a priority, so I had to move a few things around to make it happen. Otherwise, I may not have ever gotten around to it!
This is the reason I am writing this blogpost. If I didn’t have the goal to update my pictures on my blog, I may not have done this! I would have missed the great moments and the great pictures, that now I can frame and enjoy, just for myself!
WHY is that? Why is it that we don’t take photos of just ourselves?
I was confronted with this realization when I had finished the shoot, and headed home to pick up my son for his football game. When I arrived, I saw my neighbors chatting on the other side of the street. I parked the car and went there to say hello. I was still in one of my outfits and make-up from the photoshoot, and one of them asked me where I was coming from.
The moment I answered, “From a photoshoot!” it hit me like I can’t explain!
I thought they were looking at me like I was doing something wrong, because of my own insecurities, not because of their reactions.
When my neighbor asked me what the shoot was for, I answered, “My blog!”
Again, I felt insecure and like I was guilty of something.
A professional mom having a blog! Why is that?
I explained but still felt a bit uncomfortable. My neighbors loved the idea and thought it was amazing! But when I asked if they would ever do their own photoshoot, just for themselves, they were very quick with a firm NO!
To confirm my thinking, I created a poll on Instagram and Facebook, asking this same question:
Would you ever do a photoshoot, just for yourself?
Again, the answer was overwhelmingly, NO!
Those that answered yes were mostly my entrepreneurial friends, like me, who have to take pictures for their websites.
This actually got me thinking. If I didn’t have the blog, I wouldn’t have done it either!
I arrange all kinds of photoshoots for my family at Christmas and other seasons. Weddings, maternity sessions, and for my children all the time.
There’s a lot to unpack here! Why do I only have photoshoots when it’s a special occasion or when it’s of the whole family, or my children? I have photos taken of my children all the time, so why not of myself?
If you’ve seen the TV show, Sex and the City, one of the main characters, Samantha, was telling her group of friends during brunch that she was going to have a photoshoot just of herself. Simply because she loved herself and her body!
I haven’t seen that show in ages, but I still remember that episode! I think what surprised me about that episode, she wanted to do it naked! Perhaps that’s why that episode is so memorable! But this is how it feels when we have a photoshoot only for ourselves! Feeling naked, even with our cute clothes, all of our imperfections, and all of the parts of us we struggle to accept!
So now I am here!
To call out to all women, to love themselves!
To love their body!
To love who they are!
I know it feels really awkward! When we were looking through Maribel’s camera, looking at some of the pictures from our session, I couldn’t stop myself from negative comments!
“Oh no, look at my arms, they are too big!”
“Oh no! Look at my belly! It looks like I’m pregnant!”
“My but is huge! I’m so fat!”
“Delete them, please!”
I know this is the opposite of my outlook, but this is the truth of my thoughts!
So what to do?
Start to look at yourself with acceptance.
Loving your imperfections. Imagine what that must be like!
How can I say my arms are too big? They are strong and capable and make me able to live my life, hold my children, and hug my husband. Not to mention, I am pretty good at planking! That takes some strength!
I just started to read a new book that launched this month, High Five Habit by Mel Robbins, and it mentions the most amazing thing you can do for yourself: be your own cheerleader! Give yourself a high five! When these thoughts of having an imperfect body come, do it in your heart. Cheer on and encourage yourself! Mel Robbins explains in her book that this is scientifically proven! It provokes a feeling of warmth and acceptance.
What I do is use affirmations, and use language in favor of my body.
So when I said to Maribel that my arms were too fat and big, I had to be my own cheerleader! I rephrased to tell myself that I love my arms. They are the parts of my body that hold my children, hold my daughter as she falls asleep when she is tired. I immediately got this thought, how I cannot love my arms? All they’ve done for me. All they will do for me in the future.
This makes me feel that I am good enough.
Please, if you are not up to a photoshoot just yet, think about not telling yourself all the bad things, but that you’re perfectly imperfect in that body of yours.