Women don't give themselves enough credit for how amazing they are.
There, I said it.
We, as a gender, take ourselves for granted; when we do that, that beautiful, soulful, fun-loving goddess inside goes to sleep. So when women step in front of my camera and let her out, it is magical! And I got to photograph a pretty amazing goddess recently!
Claudia got in touch with me looking for a headshot. She's nearing the end of her teaching career and has decided that the next chapter in her life will be about pursuing a new dream: acting.
I had seen her speak at a Q&A after a local performance of the Vagina Monologues, so when she called me up I already knew what a powerful and passionate woman she is!
About a week before our shoot she got in touch with me and said, "I'm terrified."
Experiencing fear before being photographed is totally normal, so I decided to call her up for a chat and get to the root of the fear.
Essentially it came down to this: she was investing money in herself and she was afraid that the investment wouldn't pay off. She didn't know if she would walk out of the session with pictures that she was happy with, and that unknown made her very nervous.
So I gave her my pep-talk on self love and showing up authentically for the camera, and assured her that I would be there to support her and do my best to bring out her best. The day of the shoot she was so excited, she said she literally rolled out of bed and hopped in the car to get to the studio.
I think you can tell that the enthusiasm didn't diminish during the shoot!
It's important to me that every portrait and headshot gives a glimpse of the person's amazing energy, personality and inner light!
One of the fun things we got to do in the session was create a beauty portrait for Claudia's husband. She wanted to keep this a secret so that she could surprise him after the session. This was the portrait that she chose to give him, and she said "Hubby was very happy!"
Once we had had some fun together, it was easy for Claudia to be totally alive and present for the camera! I love how confident and sexy she looks!
We wound down the session with a few more fun, off-beat images where Claudia was able to let her range and comedic side shine! (And I wanted to highlight her auh-mazing shoes!)
At the end of the session I told her that I felt as though I had just photographed a Hollywood legend. She brought that much range and confidence to her session and I was incredibly impressed.
Through out the session I like to make sure that clients get to see highlights of their shoot. So when they nail a pose or an expression, I invite them to take a look at what I'm seeing on camera.
After one particularly awesome shot, I brought the camera over to Claudia to give her a peek and she said, "Is that me?"
And the wonderful thing is that those images were her. It's not about hair and makeup changing someone; we just use that as polish in my studio. It's all about that inner beauty and gorgeous soul radiating for the camera!
On her way out the door Claudia said, "Jen, I feel like a new woman!" When she got to see her photos a few days later she said, "I wanted to cry. [Jen] photographed someone I haven't seen in a long time...or EVER."
So to those of you who are afraid of stepping in front of the camera, Claudia says: "Do it. Don't be afraid. You will see the real 'you.'"