Thank God for Women

Love Your Curves-1Because in a world gone mad, at least there is still unending, unquestioning and untiring beauty. We lift up, we smack down. We bring mystery to everything and clarity to all. Our smiles have inspired peace and our curves have bore nations.

Our bodies are the roadmaps upon which history is written. Our minds are the eternal link to the universe that builds the future.

Say what you want, do what you will. This tribe is just getting started…

Creating Belly Art

DSC-500-2Yep. It’s art. Don’t you think?? What could be more artful than an¬†implied nude of a beautiful woman celebrating what her body can do?

Such a beautiful and important thing to commemorate. Don’t let anyone fool you: just because every 2nd person can do it, and it’s gets done hundreds of times everyday doesn’t mean it isn’t the most incredible, amazing, crazy thing in the whole wide world.¬†Maternity Boudoir-4Maternity Boudoir-8Maternity Boudoir-2Maternity Boudoir-11Makeover by AtHome Beauty.

Note to Self

Pittsburgh Personal Branding Headshot Photographer-9

Hi Self!

Just dropping a line to tell you how kickass you’ve been doing lately. I’m not sure the last time I said this, but you’re awesome, gorgeous, brilliant, funny, kind, the best friend a gal could have a fierce force to be reckoned with. Your smile lights up a room and your whip-smart sass brings people to their knees.

You keep trucking along because whatever it is you’re doing, it’s clearly working out beautifully. I’ll be here, cheering you on and doing cartwheels for you. When you’re feeling down or tired, lean on me. I’ll be the rock waiting for you to lay down on.

Just know that I love you, deeply and truthfully. I love your flaws, your good days and bad. I love your sense of humor, your eyes when you laugh, your wobbly bits and everything from the top of your head to the tips of your toes. All of those things you think you don’t like about yourself? Those are my favorite bits, so lay them down on me and I’ll be here to heal you.

Deeply and madly in love with you.

MePittsburgh Personal Branding Headshot Photographer-8Makeover by AtHome Beauty.

Who is Responsible for You Liking Yourself?

Self Love = Self Care-1Let me answer that as clearly and compassionately as I can: your own damn self. That’s who.

Let me explain…

For a very long time I have been a collector of a certain type of woman in my studio and it has been such a blessing. All sarcasm and Ebeth-ism aside…I’m realizing my passion is women and I express that passion through photography. I always thought it was the other way around, but it turns out it was the complete opposite. Who would’ve ever guessed that??

So…here I am collecting these beautiful, engaging, brilliant women just overflowing with life and energy, but I see that so many of them share the exact same problem and they just don’t see it…

They are each asking someone close to them to fill them up, love them unconditionally, cherish their faults just as much as their strengths, find them to be exactly what they want and need in this life in every way, believe in them fully, and finally, to simply just love them for who they are, as they are.

But here is the thing: they are not willing to do even ONE of those things on that list for themselves. Not. One. They look in the mirror and sneer at that reflection. For every compliment they are paid they follow it up with some perceived fault of themselves. They go to bed at night counting every calorie while having a pretend fist fight with themselves and they wake up in the morning picking up right where they left off.

What’s more, I’m starting to see a trend happening whereupon women are starting to lay this responsibility on me. Now listen, do not get me wrong here. Nothing, and I mean nothing, gives me more joy than watching a woman walk into my studio as sure as she can be that she’s not going to like her photos and then hand her the box of tissues without her even having to ask as tears stream down her face because she just cannot believe how much she loves them, and herself. It never ever gets old for me.


If someone was doing a street survey and walked up to you and asked you the question: “Who is responsible for you liking yourself?”, what answer would you give? Yesssssss……that’s right. Could you really choke out any other name, other than your own?? No. No you could not. And you know it. So why, then, are you walking around each day as if that answer is any other name other than your own??

And here’s the other thing–pay attention here. This is important. If you are waiting around for your partner to make you feel good about yourself and take on that daily responsibility to fulfill you in every way that has to do with your own healthy self-image….boy are you going to be madly disappointed. First, why would someone do that for you and when you won’t even do it for yourself? Second, do you do that for them? Do you believe it is your sole responsibility to do whatever it is you need to do to make sure that your partner is in love with their own self?

Let me say: if you have a partner that is actively trying to make you feel bad about yourself and does not lift you up in the ways they absolutely should then you have to do your own soul-searching as to why you are still there. I’m talking about 2 people that care for each other very deeply. But you have to know that no matter how much your partner, or anyone else, loves you it is simply not their responsibility to make you love yourself. And my dear dear beloved darlings: it is not my responsibility either.

You have to give something here. You have to see that if you do not ever take an active and participating role in your own healthy self-image, absolutely no one can do it for you. You will, without a doubt, spend the rest of your life living in a puddle of disappointment, disillusionment and dis-ease. Please don’t do this to yourself.

If you have now had your daily wake up call for taking responsibility for your own self love, acceptance and care then may I make a few suggestions? Please start some kind of daily meditation on affirmations of self love. Please take some time each day to sit in stillness and get to know yourself. Please write a list or journal entry on the many ways you cheated yourself and your partner by putting this burden upon them. Please talk to your partner about this soft spot for yourself and ask them how they feel about all of this. Please put some kind of plan of action into place allowing you to spend time doing things that will help you begin to heal and accept yourself.

After all, if you don’t do this, who will? What are you waiting for?Self Love = Self Care-3Self Love = Self Care-4Self Love = Self Care-6Self Love = Self Care-5Self Love = Self Care-2Makeover by AtHome Beauty.

Instantly Connect with Your Audience

Pittsburgh Personal Branding Headshot Photographer-4How do you do that? By making sure, no matter what product or service you’re selling, that you let people actually see you.

I recently had a woman say that her name made it difficult to personally brand herself because it is a very common name. My instant response to her was that she needed to visually set herself apart so that no one could confuse her with any other woman with that name. How? She asked. My response was that she needed to flood her social media with creative, striking, unique and beautiful imagery of herself. That way, when her name gets Googled, it’s her own image that comes up the most. Not a product, service or other woman with that name.

Go ahead, now ask me why she wouldn’t want a photo of the one thing she is selling to come up before a photo of herself? I’m so glad you asked!

  1. Because my guess is there are countless other people selling either that exact, same service or product or something very similar. Why would you want your photo of your thingamajig to come up in a sea of everyone else’s thingamajigs and how do you expect anyone to differentiate your thingamajig from anyone else’s? If a sea of them come up, what is to stop your potential customer from picking someone else for the job?
  2. Since there are a sea of others out there doing the same thing, you have to do everything you can to get your potential customers to connect with you in an instant. The number one way to get someone initially interested enough to keep clicking to find out more about you is a photograph of you. And a good one. A damn good one. The second way to get them to stay interested is to provide storytelling and visuals that are aesthetically pleasing, consistent and especially represent your product or service in a unique and interesting way.

Go ahead, ask me how you achieve this amongst the 373,982,972 other things you have to do that also cost money to run your business? By realizing that you absolutely have to invest in your imagery and it will be worth it. Listen, there is a reason that everyone you talk to is telling you that 75% of the new business they get (or higher!) is from Instagram. We live in an “instant” society and Instagram is Insta-instant (get it??). You are immediately awash with image after image after image, and you scroll and scroll and it is only an image that will intrigue you enough to get you click your way into seeing more. An image. A photograph. A picture.

And listen, it doesn’t have to be me, but if you’re not planning on getting into photography, then you need to do your research and invest in a photographer that “gets you”. Quit putting hours into whether or not your business card should have a green star or a gold star and if you should spend the extra moolah to get the extra thick paper. Quit doggedly worrying about if your website should have a black background or a white one. Should the color of your sign be pink or blush? Or blushy pink? Logo font a 16 or 26? You get it. None of this matters and all that money is waisted if you can’t get people to look further into whatever it is your selling.

Understanding that you need good photographs before anything else will get you kickstarted wayyyyyyyy ahead of anyone else in the same game. How do I know this? Look at who you follow and figure out why you started following them.

Gotcha.Pittsburgh Personal Branding Headshot Photographer-5Pittsburgh Personal Branding Headshot Photographer-1Pittsburgh Personal Branding Headshot Photographer-2Pittsburgh Personal Branding Headshot Photographer-3Makeover by AtHome Beauty.