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Category Archives for "Confidence"

Summer Of Self-Love : Week 2

Welcome to the second week of our 'Summer of Self-Love' project

Each week throughout the summer, I'll be giving you one suggestion of something to do to enrich either your mind, body or soul.

I'm sharing a weekly video on our Facebook page each Monday, with that week's idea.
However, I don't like watching videos, so in case anyone else feels the same way (which is basically 'Why can't I just read it?'), each Wednesday, I'll be doing a blog post like this, one, where you can either read what to do, or watch the video (just scroll down).

List 5 Fabulous Things About Yourself

Last week was about appreciating and thanking your body, this week we're thinking about your mind, because your mental health is definitely at least as important as your physical health. 

As it's only week two, I am still keeping things nice and easy for you. All you need to do this week is list five fabulous things about you.

These things can be as deep or as superficial as you like. If you love your bum, list it. If you know you're a great listener, list it. If you get to three things and you're stuck, then keep at it throughout the week - you've got the whole week to do this.

Write your list down - make it a physical list that you can pick up and read throughout the week, and keep adding to it. If you get to five really quickly, and I really hope you do, then keep on going throughout the week.

Look at it every day, see if you can think of something else, create a huge list of all of your fabulousness. You could be an amazing cook, a great dancer, a fabulous friend. You could be the absolute queen of spreadsheets, or of finding things, or of making other people feel good.

There are many, many fabulous things about you that you are currently taking for granted. So write them down!

Try to get started on this today, write down your first thing (either write it down or keep a list on your phone) and then every day look at it, add to it, just build on it throughout the week. Store it somewhere that you can look back to, that's easy for you to get hold of and read again so you can refer back to it. 

You know when you get a compliment, a genuine compliment from somebody, and it gives you a warm glow? When you look at your list you should be getting that warm glow. You're entitled to give that to yourself. 

If you immediately think "there are not five fabulous things about me" then yes, it is going to take you all week to get through this list. Don't give up, you have that list in you!

You don't need to think of five things -  you need to think of one to start with, and then just see how things go.

Let me know how you get on.

Much Love,

Anna

xx

(ps - I struggled with this for sure, however, here is my own list:

1 - My hair! It is multi-coloured marvellousness

2 - My eyes - so strikingly blue, I get asked if I'm wearing coloured contact lenses (which would be odd, since I wear glasses all of the time)

3 - My listening abilities - need to message us at 10pm in a panic about your session the next day? I'm listening!

4 - my ability to question the status quo - just because that's how things are, doesn't mean that's how they have to be

5 - my love for my dogs - I mean, and for Robin obviously, but I am a great dog mummy)





Do you have the right to feel good about how you look?

Or should you feel guilty?

In an average week, I talk to maybe twenty women about how they feel about themselves, their bodies and how they look.

Phrases that come up again and again are:

"I've let myself go"

"I haven't managed to lose the baby weight"

"I hate my body"

"I don't like to look at my face"

"I hate my mum tum"

"I hate my sagging skin"

"I have cellulite"

"I'm ugly"

"I used to be so much slimmer"

"I've got scars"

"I've lost weight and I don't feel any different"

All said with a constant undertone of "I look wrong. I should do better."

If I can sum up it all up on one word, it's guilt.

We have gotten to the point of feeling guilty that we don't look how we perceive we should. That if we only tried harder, we could look better. If only we hadn't let ourselves go.

And yet - the majority of women who have children, have a different body shape to the one they had, pre-kids.

The majority of people find that gravity takes hold as you age - our skin gets looser, saggier. We get wrinkles.

Operations leave scars - it's not a failing on your part to have had some kind of injury or medical intervention in your life.

Our guilt often 'crowds out' other thoughts

I spent a long time unhappy with how I looked, my weight and my body shape.

When I got to the point of not thinking 'I should look better', and decided to accept who I am, I found it much easier to start listening to what I actually want.

I want multi-coloured hair. Other people don't have that. It doesn't 'fit in'. That's no concern of mine.
I want to wear clothes and shoes that make me happy - they don't necessarily always flatter me - that isn't my problem, because if something's making me smile, that's more important.
I want time to walk my dogs every day.
I want to make my back healthier, after years and years of pain and problems.
I don't want to wear make up - I want to be able to look at my face as it is and accept it.

These are the goals that I work towards - and none of them are about what other people want from me. Exercise naturally fits in with these goals - walking with my dogs, yoga for my back - because these are what I feel I want and need, not what I should do.

Let the guilt go

If you can stop feeling guilty about what you should do, how you should look, and really think about what you actually want and need (and question a little why you want it - is it to fit in with other people's expectations, or is it truly for yourself?) you can move towards being more accepting of yourself. Because you're not battling the powerful negative emotion that guilt is.
You'll give yourself head-space and the freedom to address the things that mean something to you, not that mean something to everyone else. 

Everyone has the right to feel good about themselves, as they are

Allowing yourself to feel good doesn't mean you'll never want to change anything - it simple means you are not locked in negative thought patterns that actually end up holding you back from what you want. It's the best thing you can do for your mental health, for sure, but almost certainly for your physical health too - when you listen to it, your body will tell you what it needs (having the motivation to do it may be a different story!).

Much love,
Anna
xx

If you think a confidence-boosting portrait session could be just what you need to set you on the path to body acceptance, just fill in the form below, and I'll give you a call xx

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Summer Of Self-Love : Week 1

Welcome to the first week of our 'Summer of Self-Love' project

Each week throughout the summer, I'll be giving you one suggestion of something to do to enrich either your mind, body or soul.

I'm sharing a weekly video on our Facebook page each Monday, with that week's idea.
However, I don't like watching videos, so in case anyone else feels the same way (which is basically 'Why can't I just read it?'), each Wednesday, I'll be doing a blog post like this, one, where you can either read what to do, or watch the video (just scroll down).

Be Kind To Your Body

This week, it's all about your beautiful, gorgeous, fabulous, automatically beach ready body, and we're going to start our summer with something very easy.
We often don't appreciate our bodies, or even worse, we actively dislike them.
So, this week, do something fabulous for your body that you will enjoy - now, this can be anything to eating your favourite food - and really taking the time to savour every mouthful, to massaging in a gorgeous body cream, and slowing things down to enjoy the sensation, the fragrance and just thanking your body.

It could be something like getting a new bra, that fits you well, if it's been a while, and making yourself feel more comfortable. Or it could be wearing something you already have that has fabric that feels gorgeous against your skin.

So, take the time to choose something that engages as many senses as you can - this isn't a rushed thing - and do at least one fabulous thing for your body.

If that doesn't seem like much - well, there are seven days in a week, so if you want to do 7 things that make your body feel wonderful, absolutely go for it!

Enjoy!
Much love,
Anna
xx

How boudoir portraits build confidence

Why does portraits being 'confidence building' mean I need to be in lingerie?

It's a valid question, and one that lots of people think but don't say, so I think it's time to address it.

There are a lot of ways to build confidence - I've talked many times about how confidence is a muscle that needs to be exercised. The truth is, most of us don't exercise it. We think people fall into two camps - confident or not confident - and that's pretty much that.

You can switch between camps! And in a way, you know that - because all the time I hear from women who have lost confidence.

If you can lose it, you can get it back.
If you've never had it, you can get it.

But it takes a little work, because, chances are, it's not going to come back on its own.

Our confidence building portraits aren't just about body confidence

It's an easy leap to make - don't feel good about how you look, get shown you look good (and have photographic proof!), feel better.

If only it was that easy!

The core element of what we do is not 'showing you a lovely photo' of yourself'. If it was, you could pop in for a makeover and a headshot, and that would be that.

If we want to really build your confidence (and we do), then we need to gently lead you outside of your comfort zone. Most of the women who cme along to our Witney studio believe:
1. they would be too nervous to have a boudoir portrait session
2. they won't look good in their photos

The second of these is what we deliver -and we know that anyone can look great in photos, when they are posed well for them, and the lighting is perfect.

The first part is where the confidence transformation truly happens. Because just by doing something outside of their comfort zone, and pushing back against self-limiting beliefs, our clients are building their own confidence.

You don't have to be photographed in lingerie, but if the thought scares you a little, that's why you should be

When you push yourself to step outside of your comfort zone, you not only feel really good about yourself, you start to learn that your comfort zone is an illusion. So, if you can do one thing that's outside of it, maybe you can do other things to?

And there you go, exercising that 'confidence muscle'. With your portraits serving as a positive reminder of what can lie just beyond what you think you can do.

See - boudoir is more than just 'portraits in pants'!

Much love,
Anna 
xx

Ready to start building your confidence? Fill in the form below, and I'll be in touch xx

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Have you lost yourself?

A common theme among many of our clients is that,  somewhere along the way, they have lost 'them'. Their feeling of self has been eroded, and they feel adrift - not really knowing who they are.

There are lots of reasons why women get to this point. Often life can almost consume us as individuals when the demands from children, relationships or work pull us in many different directions. 

Who's at the top of your list?

When you're dashing around, prioiritising many different things, do you ever make it to the top of the list yourself?

Actually, do you sometimes feel that you're not even on the list? You think 'me-time' is a lovely theory, for those that can have it? And, more crucially, you wouldn't know what to do with it if you had it?

Have you stopped listening to yourself?

When we consistently subdue our own needs, eventually, we lose track of what they are. Our internal pleas die away, when they're a voice that never gets listened to.

Then, when we suddenly do find ourselves with the opportunity to do something we want to, we can't hear that voice. It's learned to be quiet. We taught it to be quiet, and we taught it well.

Learning to listen to yourself

We should be able to listen out for our own wants, and, more importantly, needs - it's at the absolute root of self-confidence. As we let that inner voice get faded out by the demands of life, that is how we lose ourselves.

We taught that voice to be quiet - all we we have to do is teach her to speak up again!

You have to make it back onto your own list of priorities. If it feels self-indulgent, look at it this way. You can't maintain everything else you're trying to do, if you disappear yourself.

You can't draw water from an empty well.

Emily Ley

Start small

Building confidence and listening to yourself means making decisions that are about you. Compromise is, of course, necessary, a lot of the time. So pick something that isn't going to have a huge impact on other people and go from there.
It could be as simple as choosing a film you want to watch on tv, or at the cinema. Rather than saying "I don't mind", make an active choice - it may not be everyone else's first choice - let them have their first choice another time.

It could be saying yes to a night out (or it could be saying no to something you've fallen into a pattern of doing, but don't enjoy).

Just start letting your voice be heard by you. Stop subduing it. Hear her - she's the 'you' you've lost.

Start listening to your own voice, and hear it get louder

I've said time and again that confidence is a muscle that has to be exercised, and in tandem with this goes listening to your own wants and needs, and sometimes (not always, you don't have to get selfish about it), putting those to the top of your list of priorities.
Even acknowledging how you feel when you can't necessarily act on it will help you to find your path back to you.

Much love,
Anna
xx

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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