If you are anything like me, then you absolutely CRINGE at the thought of having your photos taken. I am SUPER self-conscious about taking photos of myself. I don't know how to pose. I don't wear make-up. I'm not into fashion or accessorizing.
But one aspect of owning a business and existing in the online realm is that people need to see you. They actually need to know what you look like to connect, and in my case, to recognize me when I meet a new client for the first time in a coffee shop. This is all part of Personal Branding, which in this digital age is just as important as your business branding.
As much as I hated to admit it, I needed some new photos of myself. I wanted natural looking professional photos that made me look like the best of me and not like some glamor shot or real estate photo. When Monica from Unbridled Studio suggested participating in her Professionista Experience, I reluctantly accepted.
But then I realized that this photography stuff wasn't half bad!
I'm completely amazed at how much I loved working with Unbridled Studio, Brideface and photographer Jess from Say Yes To Jess. It was a fantastic experience from beginning to end. I brought my closet of clothes and Monica helped me choose what would work best for the camera and for my personality. She knew just how to listen to my needs and worries and then make decisions with authority to overcome my ambivalence and anxiety on what was the right outfit.
My daily beauty routine is pretty much limited to a shower, so I was worried that having a professional make up artist do my face would leave me looking like Tammy Faye Bakker. Compared to what I usually use (nothing), Nancy from Brideface seemed to put on a TON of make-up on me. She sprayed foundation on my face with an air brush and added a few eyelashes because that is one area where I am definitely lacking. To my wonderment, she managed to make me look really great and totally natural. A few turns of a curling iron with the hair stylist and I was ready for my close-up, Mr. Deville.
All gussied up, I went for a walk with photographer Jess Summers. Jess also knew exactly what I needed to feel comfortable and look like "me" in the photos. We talked about what poses I didn't like as we walked around the urban neighborhood as she casually pointed out buildings that had the right color or texture in them. In no time, she had me laughing for real in each shot, and fifteen minutes later, we were finished! Funny story: The couch I am sitting on in one photo was actually abandoned in an alley in a not-so-great part of Cincinnati. Not knowing what or who could have been using it, and after checking for needles, we decided that a quick few shots sitting at the edge wouldn't hurt. These ended up being my favorite shots.
I feel so satisfied that I have this series of photographs that capture my various moods and personality so that I can represent myself professionally online.
So I'm proof that even YOU can look fabulous in a photos with the right team working with you. If you're in or near Cincinnati, I highly recommend the Professionista Experience. Worth. Every. Penny. Here are a few of the photos captured from our session.