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Category Archives for "Confidence"

Dreaming of ‘me-time’?

It's such a lovely concept, isn't it 'me-time'?
I say concept, because the reality for many women is that me-time firmly remains an idea, a notion and an unachievable dream. 
Ask 'what have you done today'? and there'll be an endless list of how busy weekends are. Ask 'what have you done for you today?' and the list will be somewhat shorter, whatever the day of the week.

We have a lot of roles to play and a lot of jobs to do - the 'juggle struggle' is real. What were you today? A mother? A partner? A daughter? A good friend? We're maintaining relationships and, often, getting consumed by the roles we play - the hats we wear each day, swapping them round seamlessly as we go from work to school playground to home.

Sometimes who we are can get a bit lost in all of this. Well - we're busy. There isn't room for me-time in our day. But, we need it. We need to recharge and we really need to remind ourselves who we are, what our own wants and needs are (and sometimes that we do actually have these, in relation to ourselves, not just our children and families). Life can easily consume us, and we lose track of the woman we used to be. 

This weekend, try to do one of these things

1 - Do something just for you, that you really want to do. 
A long soak in the bath? A book you've been dying to read? A film you really, really want to watch and never get to? 
Whatever it is that you would love to just take the time to enjoy doing, do it.
(And it really could be anything - I managed to get some satisfaction from cleaning my car a couple of weeks ago. You would have to see a before picture to realise why this may be the case 😉 )

2 - OK, too short notice, you can't do your thing this weekend - so take 5 minutes to think of the thing you'd like to do - big or small - from planning a holiday to going for a long walk. Then rule out some time in your diary to DO it. Put it on the family calendar, put it in your phone, but make sure you schedule it for yourself.

Does it feel  a bit...self indulgent to try and do something just for you? Look at it this way - if a friend said they were doing this, you wouldn't think "wow, how selfish to take some time for yourself". So be your own friend.
This is the time you need to take to be able to carry out all the other roles you play. It's a little bit of time just being you.

Let me know what you decided to do. (Assuming it is suitable for sharing).

Much love,
Anna
xx

me-time

Message from Lauren

It's always nice to end the day with a message from a client - especially one who only left a few hours ago!

Dear Anna, Robin and Kate,

I'd just like to say a huuuge thank you!

I am so totally in love with my photos. They are absolutely stunning. You have all given me so much more confidence in myself and for that I am forever grateful.

I think you are all so fab. You made me feel so comfortable and welcome that it felt like home and stripping down to my undies felt almost normal to do so.

Your service is absolutely incredible from start to finish. And you were so right! That even when I looked in the mirror and was unsure with my look but I have never been so shocked and pleased in my life with the final outcome.

I am going to highly recommend you to everyone I know.

Thank you again so very very much!!

I cannot wait to see my images again.

All the very best,
Lauren
xxxxx

Lauren

Isn’t it a bit vain…

Isn't it a bit vain to want photos...of yourself?

I mean, what are you going to do with them?

Not an uncommon thought, yet for most women vanity has nothing to do with it.  In fact, if anything, it's the opposite.

I'm not sure that a lot of our clients don't come along waiting to be prove me wrong - that they're not photogenic, they can't look like those other photos we show, they're not going to have anything worthy of putting on their wall - because they never have, so how can it be possible now?

They consider themselves a challenge, a lost cause, an 'if you can make me look good, then you can make anyone look good' case.

It's not vanity, driving people to get in touch. It's not even self-indulgence. It's a vague kernel of hope that actually, maybe, possibly we might be able to change how they feel about themselves. Only probably not. But if we could it would be great. But "fall in love with me?" they think? "Not likely! Not me!"

It's not vanity that makes someone who is really, really terrified of a stranger seeing their body - a body that their partner never even sees - not only letting this person see them, but also photograph them.

It's not vanity that makes women cry when they watch their slideshow of images and slowly realise "that's me". And smile. And cry.

It's not vanity that makes a client think "I want these photos of myself" when they currently don't own a single photo of themselves that they like.

And it's important we understand that it's not vanity. That we know you may be feeling insecure, and probably disbelieving right up until you see your beautiful portraits.

If you were vain, you wouldn't need to come and see us for a chat first. You could pitch up with one bag full of self confidence and the other full of lingerie on the day, and happily disrobe, without a care in the world.
You wouldn't be feeling nervous, and we wouldn't be having to make quite so sure that we were reassuring, soothing, encouraging.

But then, we wouldn't be rewarded, either, with the chance to make a difference to how you feel about yourself.  So, on balance, we choose the self doubters, the less confident, the "I can't do this-ers".

And we'll nurture you through your session, and we'll show you the you that everyone else around you already sees. All you have to do is fall in love with her.

Much love,
Anna
xx

Ready to chat? Fill in the form below and I'll get back to you xx

Choose confidence

Can you just choose confidence? Or is it something you have to really, really feel?

Personally, I am a massive believe in 'fake it 'til you make it'.  Largely because I don't have a lot of confidence myself (I have a lot of anxiety instead).  The temptation is to just not do the things that would make me feel anxious.  However, some days this would potentially include 
- driving to work
- going out with friends
- interviewing staff
Not exactly conducive to a happy life or a successful business!

I pretty much make myself do things that are outside of my comfort zone, but then, my comfort zone is very small. Most people can manage to drive to work without breaking into a cold sweat, I expect!
So, I have to do things that are outside of my comfort zone, otherwise I'd be the mad dog lady who stays at home with her mutt and doesn't interact with people, except on walks. (Given, I suspect, around 2 weeks off work and I would become mad dog lady).

It is much easier to break out of your comfort zone when you have to, for life to run smoothly. It's considerably harder to do, when it's something non-essential.

For example, last year I went on a spa day. This involved:
- driving somewhere I hadn't been before
- being amongst other people, wearing a swimsuit/bikini
These things are a long way outside of my comfort zone, and I didn't have to go on the spa day. But I wanted to see my friends, get the facial, have a cream tea and feel a bit posh and pampered. I decided to book it, because once it was booked, it was carved in stone that I would be going.

The inevitable anxiety ensued - that I couldn't drive that far, that people would point and laugh at me in a bikini...
I did my planning - mapped & printed the route so that if my phone satnav failed I would still know where I was going. Made sure the bikini fitted ok. This doesn't help the anxiety, but it occupies my mind a little and makes me feel more in control.

And of course I went, and the drive was fine and no one laughed at me in a bikini/robe because everyone else was pretty much the same and really, what was I worried about?
It's always the same - get anxious about the thing, do the thing, the thing goes fine and there was no reason to be anxious.

So, do I really think you can choose confidence? Not fully, no. But you can choose to not let a lack of it hold you back if you really want to do something. 

Much love
Anna
xx

Ready to move the boundaries of your comfort zone, so that you can feel amazing?
Fill in the form below, and you could be selected for a complimentary boudoir portrait session, including a 12 x 8 inch portrait of your choice (worth £199).
A fully refundable deposit of £40 is taken on booking. This is refunded when you return to see your images.

Reasons a boudoir session can’t work for you

If you would love to have beautiful boudoir portraits taken, and think you can't, what is it that you feel makes you different?
You possibly feel like there are many reasons a boudoir session can't work for you.
I can pretty much guarantee that the biggest difference between our clients and you is that they managed to be brave enough to take that first step and get in touch with us.

The other reasons you think you have? They're unlikely to be real.

Here's what they've said about themselves:

Fiona

I've never had the greatest confidence over how I looked ..mirrors are not my best friend

Jane

...a few months ago I would say no way to doing this as I'm not confident with my body and plus I'm getting older!

Jo

It was something I had always wanted to do, but never felt I had the confidence.

Helen

After a marriage break up I wanted to boost my flagging confidence...I never thought for one minute I could look as good as the pictures showed.

I love sharing with you images of our fabulously confident clients, but it's really important too that you know they weren't feeling fabulously confident when they first got in touch - they were feeling scared, daunted and very disbelieving that they were going to have images like the ones they'd seen on our Facebook page or website.

Even though the portrait session itself isn't as scary as everyone is expecting, the doubt always creeps back to people, before they come and view their images.

Look at it this way - we're not going to invite you back to see images we don't think you'll love? Why would we?

Still, I can say all this as much as I like - you don't have to believe me.  So, let's get personal. If you are stuck feeling like you would love beautiful images, but you don't think you can have them, let me know why. I'll get back to you with a reply that let's you know 
- whether I think we can help
- if so, how I think we can help

And then it's up to you to decide whether you would like to come and see us for a chat to find out more.

Fill out the form below and take your first step towards going from "I can't" to "I can".

Much love,
Anna
xx

Fiona

Thank you so much to the whole team at smart photography you have helped my views of myself & I actually rather love the way I look now ..thanks to you!

Jane

I had a truly wonderful time at Smart Photography...My hair and make up was fabulous like a film star! And my friends loved my photos!! Thank you Anna & Robin.

Jo

I was so nervous, but the whole team were amazing, especially Robin. He is very good at making you feel at ease and is really professional and an amazing photographer. I would highly recommend them.

Helen

I would definitely say go for it to anyone who feels a bit down or just wants to feel gorgeous for the day whatever shape or size you are and keep the image for the rest of their lives 🙂 Thanks Guys xx

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