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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Make My Mind Stop! – 4 Suggestions

Make My Mind Stop! – 4 Suggestions

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When your mind is racing and all you want to do is to make it stop, what do you do?

There are so many suggestions out there from the holistic aromatherapy approach, to the go to the gym and sweat your batoody off, to writing in a journal.  Many entrepreneurs, especially the stay at home mom kind, have their brain hardwired to think all day long.  It never shuts off.  When you lay your head down at night thats what it is the worst.

I can understand this more than anyone, my mind goes a mile a minute, especially at night when I want it to shut off.

What bills do I need to pay?

What am I going to cook for dinner?

What affiliate programs can I join?

How can I get more people for my portfolio?

What books should I read to help others?

Am I even going to succeed at this?

This right here is when the spinout of thoughts turns negative.  Self talk is so essential to an entrepreneur, so anyone really.  If you continually talk negatively then that is what will remain in your life.

In the book, “Mindset Magic: Using Scientific & Spiritual Principles to Create Your Life” it states “that if you claim something (think something) and claim it to be true your subconscious mind or amygdala will accept and bring forth into your experiences.”  So basically, what this book is saying that there is scientific proof that you can bring into existence peace, calmness, and all things positive is we just BREAK THE BROKEN RECORD OF DOUBT AND NEGATIVITY IN OUR BRAINS.

What is the reason we always go to the negative?

Some will say that it is because we had some type of experience in our earlier lifetime that has created this negative aspect about ourselves or a situation and it just keeps repeating until something happens where that chain is broken.

For me, I have a lot of experiences in my lifetime that has created the Negative Nancy tape in my head, but as an entrepreneur I am most guilty of comparing myself to others.

Why can’t I just look like her?

When I look like her or sound like her I will make more money.

My business doesn’t look like hers so thats why I am not making money.

I need to look prettier, skinnier…..and the list goes on, and on, and on……..and on.

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Society today looks at the exterior, your skins, your hair, your nails, you clothes, what your driving, where you live, as depicted in this image by Meg Gaiger from Harpy Images. If you do not fit in societies cookie cutter mold or what “the Jone’s” dictate as what’s in then your not part of it, your labeled, your an outcast.

The fact of the matter is, it all comes down to one thing….HOW WE FEEL ABOUT OURSELF.

What? What the heck does that mean?

My feelings are controlled by my thoughts and when my thoughts are negative then my feelings will be negative.  It is basically the proverbial chicken and the egg at that point.  When I feel I am not up to someones or myself’s standards my thoughts will find that negative tape and play it over and over.  On the other hand, when I am feeling confident, loved, on top of the world, worthy my mind will play the positive tape.

I know this has to be confusing, am I making any sense?

So, the key to stopping that negativity in your head will come down to what you want to do to help yourself.  Here are a few suggestions that will help when the Negativity Monster comes after you:

  1.  Come up with some positive mantras.    I am beautiful. I am worthy.  I am going to be the success I know I am going to be.  I am loved.   Remember, get your subconscious to understand it is true and forever change the tape and your life.

  2. Meditate or Breathing Exercises.   Mediation helps with relaxation, clearing your mind, and pulling you back into the present moment.  Being present in the moment is important because when we are over thinking or having a racing mind it is due to either looking towards the past, which is full of regret, or the future which is full of fear. 

  3. Soak in a Hot Bath.    ****this is my favorite method****  This is not something that is a medical explanation here, it is simply one of my personal methods to helping calm my mind.  Running a hot bath, maybe some bubbles, a good book or some candles and just zone out.  This is also a great time to combine mediation with this method.

  4. Journalling.  Writing what your thinking and what your feeling is so important on finding out the real, striped down thinking is all about.  Do not hold back, by raw, be real, be authentic in your writing so that way you can either look back and laugh, look back and realize you have had this issue before and it is creating a pattern, or look back and see how far you have come.

  5. Gratitude Lists.   Thinking of something positive will hopefully make you see and think of ho amazing your life really is.  

  6. Sleep!

There is so many other methods out there.  I can spend days and days listing them all.  Most people, actually 1 in 5 people have anxiety and depression, which can be tied to a chemical imbalance, but can also be tied to experiences that a person has gone through or is going through.  So, spending the time to uncover what is really going on will help you get through to the other side.

The mind, our thoughts are all an amazing thing.  Just like our bodies we need to take care of it.

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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.

 

The ultimate drug…Food?!?!

The ultimate drug…Food?!?!

Everything that you do you need to change! Everything that you’re use to…you need to adjust!

Small consistent changes over time will produce large results.

This seems to be the forefront of what is going on.  That’s the thing if you are not changing for the better, then what are you actually doing?  For the longest time in my life I was lost, with no direction, no ambition to make changes or even further my life in any form.  Now that I am working on myself for the last few years I am coming to the point where I want to make not only the internal changes, but the physical changes as well.

There are blogs out there that are all specifically about recovery, about depression, about weight loss, healthy eating, and even about current events that affect us today.

What about life?  You know we always see the blogs or websites where the people are successful at the changes and this is how I did it.  I get a little frustrated with it because I see it so much; I want to see the struggle, the slow transformation….not the before and after pics.

I am not just talking about weight loss transformation here.

So much has been focused on my recovery because that is a huge a part of my life and what has given me my life, but I want to make sure I show other aspects of it as well.

This is reality…this is a single mother in America.

I lost my job in July last year and trying to survive without help and making $300 a week on unemployment will bring anyone to their knees.  They say welfare was designed to help Americans who need it.  I needed it, so I got on food stamps.  Those food stamps bought my daughter and I food that was actually healthy for us.  I was able to provide healthy meals.

In November last year I found a job.  I am not one to stay unemployed for very long.  Working give me direction and a sense of accomplishment.

I work at a place that is very reputable, that is one of the best companies to work for and the pay to start, well, is decent – or at least it was about 10 years ago.   The government decided to take away my food stamps because I made too much money!  I was making $200 more every 2 weeks after taxes then I was on unemployment, yet paying $600 more a month in daycare for my daughter.

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DOES THIS MAKE SENSE TO ANYONE???

Their reasoning was that a family of 2 people in a household has to make less than $1700 a month BEFORE taxes!  Who can even survive off this!  Welfare was designed to help Americans get back on their feet, not keep them struggling because they can’t help you when it is actually warranted.  People that legitimately need the help CAN’T GET IT!

My daughter and I now can barely have the food we need in the house.  We are surviving and there is ALWAYS food in our belly’s, but it’s not the diet that should be fed to my baby or myself.  She needs more than carbs, fats, and processed food.  Food pantries are help, but you get the same types of food…processed.

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We wonder why there is the problem of obesity in America.  If we do not teach our kids about the food they put in our bodies this will continue.  We lead by example…going to the nearest fast food restaurant or buy all the quick frozen dinners at the grocery store is just showing kids that these food are what we should put in our bodies.

I am a heavier woman that is not a secret.  I grew up as a fit and somewhat thinner, but was considered “big boned.”  My mother was always in weight watchers and I saw her successfully lose 70 pounds through this program.  A lot of what she taught me about writing the food down, being conscious of what I am putting in my body has stuck with me, but I am stubborn, hard headed and impatient…so I lived in the trap of fast food and convenience.

I could be very real and just blurt out my weight, but this isn’t what I am going for here.  I want to feel comfortable again, I want to feel healthier, I don’t want my knees to hurt or back to hurt (surgery didn’t help that I am sure), I want to be confident again and feel sexy.  I am not looking to become some swimsuit model or even what we have been bombarded with by the media as beautiful, but I want to lose some pounds and become fit.

Recovery has taught me how to stay away from drugs and change my life for the better.  How can I view something that I need everyday to live…as a drug?  I used drugs to cover up the way I felt.  I eat when I am happy, sad, mad, stressed, so really what is the difference?

It is not that I do not think I am beautiful, people.  So I am not looking for compliments, I am beautiful, I am curvy and vivacious.  I am also beautiful on the inside and have a huge heart.  I just want to be fit.  I want to fit into the clothes that I chose and not what is available.  I know there are several other people out there that feel the same way as me.  Where are you?  Speak up!  Join me!

I want to talk about the real issues.  I want this to be real.  I want to know what you thoughts are, your feelings are.  I want to know your struggles with this and so many other topics.

You have to change EVERYTHING!

So much pressure!  Everything really?

People think that if you cut out this, if you limit yourself of that, and kill yourself doing, and then take this pill that the weight will magically fall off and stay off.  The thing to remember I didn’t get this way overnight and I certainly am not going to change everything overnight.

Small consistent changes over time will produce LARGE results.

Although, I do not have the extra money for the healthier food or the expensive name brand gluten free items I still am making it work.  I have been changing this now for the last 4 weeks.  I have changed from a frozen pizza every night when I get home to looking at it in a different perspective.

I am not the typical 9am – 5pm person.  I wake up later with my daughter and stay up later.  My schedule at work is what dictates this…so…my eating schedule had to change.

YOU CAN’T EAT LATE AT NIGHT WHAT ARE YOU THINKING!

Wrong!  I can as long as I do not go directly to sleep.  Since my body is use to a different schedule, when the clock turns 8pm my body doesn’t magically say to itself, “keep all this and store it” especially if I am active.

I have taken the food I eat and flipped flopped it around.  The traditional 3 meals a day consisted of a light breakfast, a little bit larger lunch, and a hearty dinner that we sit down with the family to eat.  WRONG!  I have changed to make my breakfast a little bit heavier with a healthy grain, lunch is moderate and dinner does not contain any carbs.  I have been doing this now consistently for 4 weeks.

I can’t tell you if I am seeing any results, but I can tell you that I feel better.  I have less bloating.  I have lost 4 pounds.  THAT’S IT?!?!  Absolutely!  This is a marathon baby not a race.

What I think I am going to do is incorporate some healthy recipe ideas and check in every week with the blogging world.  Maybe this can help someone stay motivated or you can help me stay motivated.