Self Confidence with Photos

Self Confidence with Photos

Lets just get real here, self confidence is beautiful.  

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Not everyone can pull this look off though.  As a photographer it is my job to help my client to feel confident, beautiful, handsome, or sexy depending on what your session is about.  The main feeling I want my client to have is confidence during their session.  When they feel confident the end result is a better photo and remembering that feeling when they look at their photos.

Take it from me, a girl that went from weighing 150 to 280 pounds, self confidence was not my forte let alone jumping in front of the camera.  When a picture was taken of me the first thing I would see is all my flaws….look at my double chin, GOD IM SO FAT!

BUT WAIT! In today’s society, the outward appearance is what we base our self confidence though.

 

WRONG!!!!

Yes, that is one part of having confidence, feeling and accepting your body the way it is.  Seriously though, what I am learning is it is so much more than just your body image.

A good friend of mine just told me that she loved to see how confident I am getting..???? wait, but I still haven’t lost weight and I haven’t seen you in a couple months…how the heck am I getting any more confident than I was before?

SELF CONFIDENCE = BELIEVING IN YOUR SELF AND YOUR ABILITIES

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How does this translate into Photos?   One of the hardest photo shoots, yet most rewarding, is the boudoir shoot.  Where a man, woman, or couple become vulnerable to their audience.  If the photographer is not confident in their abilities their clients will feel it as well.

As a client you can….

The number one thing your can do to help is to get to know your photographer and let them get to know you.    It is so important to get to know your photographer.  What they like in general and about themselves, so that way you can help them relax and have fun with the photo shoot.

With boudoir shoots, as a client you are exposed.  If you are not confident or comfortable in their photographer the session will be awkward and more importantly the final product will not be flawless.  A photo is meant to evoke emotion and take the person to that time and relive that experience, so your photo might be the sharpest, most beautiful display of your client, however if you remember feeling less confident than you should that is what they will remember.

Let’s get down to the nitty gritty….

It comes down to the fact that you are beautiful both inside an out.  Your inside make up is beautiful, so regardless if you weigh 120 pounds or 300 pounds does not play into affect at all.  Look deep inside you, what are you passionate about? What do you enjoy doing the most? What are you good at?

Here is a doozy….WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT YOUR BODY?

Next time you look at a picture of yourself, regardless of what type of photo it is, take the time to see the good in yourself.  How your eyes light up, how you smile, how soft your skin looks, how much you enjoyed doing the shoot, how awesome your hair looked.  Once you have noticed the good about your physical aspects, start looking at the picture in thinking of all the good things that your able to do, be apart of, how much you are loved and how much you love others, how you help others.

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Behind the Scenes of the Traveling Pipeline Wife

Behind the Scenes of the Traveling Pipeline Wife

Behing the Scenes of the

Why can’t you come home?

You never come to the important things?

Why don’t you call more?

How is this life good for your kids?

Can’t you think of anyone else but yourself?

And the list goes on, and on, and on of questions from friends and family members that are astonished with the lifestyle we live.

Let’s not focus on me for a second and focus on my soon to be husband, James.  He has lived this life for over 10 years now, has lived on the road most of his adult life.  He has missed funerals, birthday parties, and births of loved ones.  Does this make him selfish?  No, he lives to support his family, he works tirelessly day and night sometimes to be able to give a life to his family.  He drags up only to pack up again in a week to go to the next job.  This life is not easy, It is one of the hardest lives you can live.

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At the present moment…

For over a year now I have been living this life of a pipeliner wife.  In the grand scheme of things, it isn’t that long of a journey yet, but I have learned so much and would not trade this life for anything.  Who in their right mind would give up  living 30 minutes from friends and family, to move across the state in a beautiful 3 bedroom home with in-ground pool and 35 acres, to traveling with her man and staying in a little 2 bedroom apartment?

Raising her hand and jumping up and down!!!

It is FAR easier to travel with him then to stay in a big house all by yourself.  My daughter gets to be with a steady father figure instead of a man coming in and out of her life; always leaving for weeks and months on end. She gets to travel around, learn from different parts of this beautiful nation.

People just think its all glits and glam.  They think just because us wives get to stay at home that we get to just lay around in our PJs all day, go shopping, and veg out.

Taking care of 2 households is rough, raising kids in tight quarters, making sure they get educated and socialize, waking up early to make you husband breakfast, staying up late to make sure his lunch is packed.  Waiting endlessly for a phone call to say he is coming home because its raining.  Watching the weather everyday to see if we get a couple more hours with him.  Praying for his safety when you know they are winching down a steep mountain side.

Whether we stay at home and our men are away or we travel with him this life is not for the faint of heart.  I can remember when we didn’t travel with him.   After only getting to spend 2 days with him at home to just turn around kiss him good bye, holding back the tears to help him stay strong, and waving until the I can’t see his tail lights anymore.  It is torture, but many women do this.

Now that we travel with him getting to see him every night is a blessing.  Transitioning wasn’t easy, but to have Jemma have her dad here everyday, that constant in her life is worth more to me than any heart ache that has come.

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And just to clarify…

Home schooling kids, finding a place to bring your kids to school if that is your choice, to doing laundry, preparing dinner, making lunches, make sure all the laundry and chores are done, grocery shopping, taking dogs to the vet, cleaning up poop, paying the bills, running a business and all that it entails is NOT us sitting around drinking coffee watching TV all day and shopping on Amazon.

The one thing that we know more than anything else is our love.  When we get to spend time together, we understand those precious moments that we have.  No one understands the best of what absence makes the heart grow fonder than us pipeline wives.

The women that live this life are strong, independent, hard working, creative, talented, and courageous.  I have met so many of them and they have built this community together that is simply amazing.  It is wasn’t for them, and especially the few that I talk to on a regular, I wouldn’t have gotten through some of the tough times.  We rally together to support our own, we bring our kids to places so they have friends, it really is an amazing community that comes together to create a family.

To all the women and men that live this life, you are the most amazing people I have ever met.  I thank you from the bottom of my heart for the blood, sweat, and tears, and countless hours you put in for your families.

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Parenting…Isn’t there a Manual?

Parenting…Isn’t there a Manual?

As a mom of a 4 year old and a 11 year old I sometimes wonder if I am doing this parenting thing right.  I think that is a question we all wonder as parents at one point in time or another.  I have been doing a lot of reading on parenting to make sure I provide the best childhood for my children.  There are so many different paths, techniques, and choices to make.

Lets give you some background:  My son lives with his father, which I would not trade for the world.  Is there guilt there? Absolutely.  I might not get to be there everyday living 3-7 hours away, but I know that where he is has to be the best for him.  I see him as much as I can see him.  With that being said, my daughter who is 4 lives with me.  I have sole custody of her and try to make the best decisions for her.  My fiancé works for the pipeline, so my daughter and I travel with him.

My thought processes on this is that she has a strong, consistent male role model in her life, we live similar to the military life, and she gets to see different areas that she might not have living in one area.  There are a huge number of critics about this life and having a child on the road with us, but in the end…there really isn’t a book on this parenting thing.

The environment that I am creating for my children is an environment where they are able to come to me, no matter what is going on, and talk to me about it.  I can remember being able to go to my mom about losing my virginity and I can remember talking to my dad about the drugs I use to do.  Having that trust was paramount on being able to know who to come to and who to trust.

Creating that trust and honestly starts at a young age.  The mind of a child is shaped by their surroundings until they are 7 years of age before they start to shape their own thoughts and feelings about what is going on around them.  How to create an atmosphere of honesty and trust means not always doing what is thought to be done.  Yelling, punishments, and corporal punishments aren’t always the answer.

Do I belive in spanking my daughter? Yes, when she deserves it.  Do I believe in sending her to the corner or taking a toy away? Absolutely, consequences for actions need to happen.  Do I yell too much? I certainly think so.  I am human and get overly frustrated, reached my limit, or just plain crazy when kids do not listen.

There is a different way to go about all of this.  Let your kids know that it is ok to tell you anything, regardless if it is bad or makes them uncomfortable.  Those are natural feelings that kids need to experience and you, as a parent, need to nurture.

One of the biggest take away’s I have learned so far as a parent is:  DO NOT SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF.

If you continuously yell, create a mountain out of a molehill, or always punish for every little thing then your child will wash it out as white noise and either chose not to listen to it, hide, lie, or sneak around so they do not have to hear the “white noise.”

Let’s be selfish for a moment, all this yelling and screaming, punishing, stressing, and everything that a parent does, what is it actually doing to you?  It is creating more stress in your life, it is playing a role on your health and mental well being.

The fact of the matter is that when a child is being raised in a house where love, trust, honesty, and reasonable consequences are given we are raising a child that will understand how to talk to adults, respect, and not fear authority.

Do I wish there was a manual? No way.  Life is too interesting, children are so priceless.  They are sponges and they take everything to heart, so be compassionate, show love in more productive ways then yelling.  Just because your parents did it doesn’t make it right, the world evolves and children think differently then when we were kids.  So we need to adapt.  We need to provide a better life then what we were given.

 

Let’s Talk About…Love Baby…

Let’s Talk About…Love Baby…

What the heck is love anyway?  I’ve thought I have been “in-love” before, I have told people I love them when I really didn’t, and didn’t really know what love was until I became a mother; even then I don’t think I do it perfectly.  When you get into the a 12 step program they talk about, “We will love you till you can love yourself,” “unconditional love,” and “you have to love yourself before you can love someone else.”  Let’s pick this apart here.

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We will love you till you can love yourself, with unconditional love, but you can’t love someone else until you love yourself.  

What!! Is this for real?

Yes, absolutely!

It is the weirdest thing I have ever experienced, but it works and it really shows a person how love can have such a powerful presence in one’s life, all by example.  I can remember my first meeting  (I am sure if you are aware of 12 step programs what I am about to say or have heard it a million times already) I sat in the back of the room and intently listened to the stories, thoughts and emotions that were being expressed.  All I could think was, Wow I have done that.  Are you kidding me?  I felt that way too.  I spoke up and just said a simple, “I need help.”  People were cheering, people told me I was important, and most of all they hugged me like I have never been hugged before.

What is this?  Why are people hugging me?

Out on the streets I have never got hugged like that; with such passion and empathy with each person.  That was the first time I felt unconditional love.  These people wanted nothing in return from me, but for me to get better a day at a time.  Was this love?

It took some time for me to understand what this love was all about.  My time, thus far in the program,  has been calm waters for the most part.  As I have told you in other posts that I was in an abusive relationship before I got clean, well what I haven’t told you was that man decided to follow me down to Virginia to “get his family back.”  Since I was very, very early in my recovery I wanted to make my family work, I wanted to be loved, and I wanted to show my daughter the same love that was given to me when I was growing up with a mother and father in the same house, and I thought no other person is going to love me because I didn’t love or accept myself.

He no longer…physically…abused me, but emotionally and verbally did, but I made excuses for him because I thought I loved him and he was in a bad spot…but he was trying.  I became his sponsor and he became my Higher Power.  In February 2015, I just had learned my patterns and a little on how I ticked.  What I would accept and keep on accepting because I didn’t know any better. Until that day when it was shoved in my face; he told me he was lying to me the entire time.  He had been using under my nose.  While I was working a full time job to support us, take care of all the bills, our daughter, go to meetings, do the laundry, and show him attention…he was out getting high.

Whoa! Stop the music! What just happened here!

Enough was enough!  I finally found enough worth in myself. I finally found enough love for MYSELF that what he was doing was not acceptable to me.  That I would rather be by myself with my daughter than with a man that was lying to me. That didn’t show me love in any form.

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We will love you till you can love yourself, with unconditional love, but you can’t love someone else until you love yourself.  

I finally got it! The greatest example of love was learned by the relationship with my sponsor. She taught me what was acceptable, how to show love (and not in the physical form which is what I thought love was) and slowly showed me how to receive love.  Unconditional love is love without wanting anything in return.  My ex’s love always came with a price; I love you baby….do this, do that, can you get me this…awe baby I love you thank you.  Finally, I understood the fact that he did not love himself, so it’s not that he didn’t love me, he didn’t know how to love me.

No one can tell you how to love yourself, or if you’re ready to love another person.  Even when my son was born, during the start of my real downfall of my active addiction years, I knew I loved him, but I was very unsure how to show him that love.  My idea of what love was consisted of spending money and gifts.  I have always associated love with gifts that you can give a person because that was what my mom did.  We use to get into arguments when I was younger and then my mom would take me shopping to show me she was sorry and she loved me.  After that she would say well look at everything I have done for you, I love you sweetie.  Love always came with a price or a condition.

It wasn’t until I had my daughter that I truly started to understand what love really was.  That I knew that it had to be more than what I was able to give her materialistically to show her love or at least I knew that I wanted to show her more than just that.  Thank goodness for the 12 step fellowships that helped me not just HOPE I could show this to her, but taught me how to love her, myself, and others.

No one person is perfect, so I will not say I am perfect at this on any given day, but I can look back and see the progression and say now, I understand what love is and what love isn’t.

We will love you till you can love yourself, with unconditional love, but you can’t love someone else until you love yourself.