Elise, Author at Smart Photography

All Posts by Elise

Accepting Weight Loss

Imagine achieving something amazing... and treating yourself as though you haven't.

Sounds unlikely, doesn't it?

Now imagine losing a lot of weight, but when you look in the mirror, you still see the old, bigger you.
You carry on wearing the same clothes you used to wear.
And you haven't changed how you feel about yourself. At all.

There's an expectation that if you achieve a weight loss goal you'll feel differently about yourself, but often it will take our brains a while to 'catch-up' - leaving us feeling deflated instead of elated!

In some ways, we trap ourselves by constantly referring back to pictures of how we used to look - we show them to other people and expect their reaction, their shock, their amazement, how impressed they are. But we don't feel it ourselves. 

One of the most common side effects of being unhappy with our weight is not wanting to see how we look. We get used to avoiding both cameras and mirrors. But the numbers on the scales can only tell you what you've achieved - they won't show you. 

And every time we show someone a photo of the old 'us', the bigger 'us' - if that's the only time we see ourselves, we reinforce to ourselves that that's who we still are.

Every time we wear the clothes that are too big, and just make do, we diminish our achievement.

To make our brains catch up with our bodies, we should celebrate - not just the numbers on the scale, but the physical reality of what we've achieved.

Buying new lingerie and clothes is a genuine act of love towards ourselves. We're telling ourselves we're worth it. We did it. That it's ok to like ourselves.

And when we allow ourselves to look in the mirror, and even be in new photos, we'll gradually replace our old notion of who we are,  and be properly able to celebrate who we are now.

Boudoir Before and After Images – December 2018

Here's a few of  the Before and After images for December 2018

These are our December before & afters, with some of our Christmas pin-up style boudoir clients!

​These are only clients who have said they are happy for us to use their images - there is always an opt out if they're for your eyes only!

This was my second time coming to Smart Photography, so I wasn't nervous, I already knew how comfortable I would be made to feel. The staff were very friendly and welcoming and were able to answer any questions I might have had. 

Anna went through everything with me, even though I had already been before, she covered everything in case I forgot anything. I loved the variety of poses and that I could request and any that I might have liked. 

My make-up artist Katrina was amazing, very friendly and very easy to talk to so I felt like I was in very good hands.

I knew my pictures would be amazing, but they still surprised me at how amazing they were. It was very difficult to try and choose a small amount as I would have had them all. 

It was amazing from start to finish... again. I've already recommended them to a number of people.

Sian

I have lost over 8 stone prior to my session and I was worried that my wobbly bits would look awful in the photos, so I was nervous before I arrived at the studio but soon felt relaxed by the team, everyone was amazing and made me feel at home. 

I don't normally wear make-up so I looked amazing to the point my friends didn't recognise me.

I would recommend anyone having a portrait session as the whole experience was amazing, especially if you have very low self confidence. I wished I had done this a long time ago, I will definitely do it again in future. 

Stephanie

Think you might be ready to fall in love with you?

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If you don't love your images, we will refund your deposit, in full.

We're confident you will love your images, in which case simply deduct your deposit from whatever you choose to order.

Click the link to fill in a short form and take the first step to falling in love with you.

Looking Good Doesn’t Equal Confidence

In my twenties, I was determined that before I turned 30 I would lose weight

Losing weight became something that would transform my life, because if I was only a size 10 I would surely also be beautiful. All clothes would look amazing on me. I could wear blouses! Tucked in! (Where I thought my chest was going to go is anyone's guess).

The important thing was that if I was thinner, I would also be more confident. And if I was more confident, I would achieve more things. 

  • I'd no longer be a wallflower at parties.
  • I'd be able to stand up and give presentations at meetings, without feeling sick.
  • I'd go and meet other business owners and create partnerships with our own business easily.

These are the things that confidence would surely bring me.

And the only way to get it, was to look 'right'. And right equalled thinner.

Needless to say, when I turned 30, I was the heaviest I'd ever been.

Not to worry though, because turning 40 is a much bigger milestone than turning 30 - I'd do it by then.

I carried on with the mythical version of what I could achieve, if I simply looked better.

I didn't, of course, join a gym, exercise a lot or eat healthily, except sporadically and with a faint feeling of disgust at myself, every time I fell off the wagon and ate a packet of crisps - thus ruining my life. Because each little failure made me understand that I could and would never be the confident person who would achieve more in life. 

I did lose weight - I crash dieted down to a size 12 for my wedding. We know what follows crash diets, right? 

Now, I looked fabulous at a size 12. Did I feel confident? Like I could do all the things I felt I'd be able to, if I looked better? No. I felt the exact same insecurities that I had when I was bigger.

So, I turned 40 and, amazingly, I was pretty much the same as at 30. Maybe a little greyer. OK, Probably a lot greyer (I haven't seen my real hair colour since I was 18, how would I know?).

By now I was spending my days talking with women with all of the same insecurities I had.

 There is something really liberating about finding out that everyone has the same insecurities, and this is my entire working life! 

What I learned was, looking great does not equal confidence. Women who are a size 8 have all the same body hang-ups and insecurities as women who are a size 18. And a size 28.

So if the beautiful women who I sit and chat to all day long aren't confident... would changing myself physically really make me any more confident? Probably not. I was looking in the wrong direction if I wanted to feel good about myself.

This could have been a depressing revelation - if these women weren't confident, what hope did I have? But actually, I found it liberating. I found I could change what I was aiming for, because none of my aims could really be achieved by changing my physical self - so my physical self could stay how it was - I needed to change my mindset.

And that's what I did.

I accepted I wasn't the 'ideal' that I had in my mind, and decided to be ok with that. Because what would I really gain by looking any different?

And it turns out that acceptance is pretty much equal to confidence. I'm not interested in what other people think of how I look, so I have nothing to fear from their gaze. I can wear what I want, have my hair how I want and not feel like I need to be fashionable, because I have no one to please but myself.

The confidence this has given me in who I am, is immeasurable. I can do the things I thought I couldn't - or if I can't, there's no physical change I can make to alter that. It all comes from within.

And, of course, I don't think about food, or calories. I think about keeping healthy enough for long dog walks, and so my weight stabilised, and then reduced. To my 'wedding' weight, without the crash diet.

Much love,
Anna
xx

Looking good doesn't = confidence.
Confidence = looking good.

Boudoir Before and After Images – November 2018

Here's a few of  the Before and After images for November 2018

These are our November before & afters, there's a few Christmas boudoir clients in here as well!

​These are only clients who have said they are happy for us to use their images - there is always an opt out if they're for your eyes only!

I decided to do this session on a whim, having never done something like this before, and I am so glad I did!

I had a brilliant time and have never felt so confident, let alone beautiful. The whole team made me feel amazing, thank you xx

Elize

After many months of toying with the idea of having a portrait session, reading all the amazing reviews and filling in the form but being far too nervous to press the send button I finally plucked up the courage and went for it and I’m so very glad I did. It was a fantastic experience from start to finish and a huge boost for my self esteem. Thank you so much to all involved x

Joanne

Everyone is very friendly and made me feel at ease straight away. I did this mainly trying to get some self confidence and never thought I would actually feel at ease enough to enjoy the shoot. However, I thoroughly enjoyed it and ended up doing far more than I thought I ever could.

They have a fantastic team and fantastic service still can't believe how amazing my pictures look.

Roxy

Having this portrait session was very empowering and helped enormously with my body confidence. Although I don't particularly like the way I look, my husband was blown away with the photos.
I'm so glad I did this and plan to put one of my 'Body As Art' portraits up in my lounge, it will be interesting to see peoples reactions when I tell them it's me!
Thank you to Anna and the Smart Photography team for helping me feel like a woman again! x

Emma

Think you might be ready to fall in love with you?

Come along for a complimentary boudoir portrait session and enjoy our 'Fall in Love With You' Guarantee.
If you don't love your images, we will refund your deposit, in full.

We're confident you will love your images, in which case simply deduct your deposit from whatever you choose to order.

Click the link to fill in a short form and take the first step to falling in love with you.

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