What is Beauty?
This age old question of what is beauty has both haunted and defined people’s lives for thousands of years. We can see even in our earliest history that people were designing ornaments and jewelry to add to their wardrobe. We have seen this develop into a full blown industry of fashion and makeup products allowing for consumers to find any particular style their heart desires.
This creates a few challenges though. People are overwhelmed with unlimited options, and bombarded everyday through the media with someone else’s idea of beauty — leaving most feeling like they can not measure up.
Confidence is key.
Let’s be real, with the exception of a few, most men don’t really care about how they look. At least not in the way women do. So for women it is very important to define what their idea of beauty is and then feel confident in their definition of what this means to them. Once this happens a woman will begin to shine.
As a man I believe this to be so true, and as a photographer I’ve seen it time and again while working with women. Sometimes a woman will come into the studio not feeling very confident, but as we start working and she begins to see the results, her confidence begins to grow and from that point on her photos just get better and better.
There are a few things woman can do to help them create their definition of beauty. Most of these involve stepping out of our comfort zone or our normal daily routine. Not because we want to live in this uncomfortable place, but it is in this place we often find something about ourselves we didn’t know existed.
Below are a few ideas on how to stretch yourself out of your comfort zone.
Go out and buy something you would not normally wear. Take a trusted friend with you and make a day of having fun trying on new clothes. Think about the entire ensemble: shoes, lingerie, etc. It isn’t all going to looking good on you, but make it a goal to walk away with something completely new.
Once you find something, go out and celebrate by having a meal/drink with your friend while wearing your newly purchased outfit.
Take a day to go and get your hair and makeup done by a professional, and be brave enough to let them tell you what looks good on you. With that said choose your stylist wisely. Ask around and get a bunch of recommendations, but then trust them to do their job.
Book a photoshoot.
Celebrate your newly defined beauty by booking a photography session. This can be a great culmination to the entire process and is a fantastic way to capture your newly found confidence. Maybe you even plan your day of shopping and pampering to coincide with the session. If you plan on doing this I highly recommend talking to the photographer first.
You might think that this advise is totally self serving, but in my experience it is a real confidence booster to get in front of a camera. It also will test your definition of beauty to see if you truly believe it or not.
Be accountable to someone.
It is important to make sure to not allow ourselves to fall into unhealthy lines of thinking and beliefs. There are some lines we should be careful to not cross. For instance a person can be so skinny or too over weight that is begins to impact their health, so it is important to have trusted friends or consultants who you let speak into your life.
Choosing the right photographer.
Selecting the right photographer can seem like a daunting task, so here are a few suggestions to make the process a little easier.
Start off by finding imagery you like. Ask yourself, “Do I want something dramatic, bold, bright, vibrant, indoors, or outdoors?” Then create a Pinterest board or saving images to your phone. This process will help you narrow down on what you like. It is also creates great reference material to use in future discussions with your photographer.
Do a google search for photographers in your area. This will help bring up some of the best photographers in the region to allow you to begin seeing if their style matches what you have in mind. While there, read their google reviews.
Ask for references. Once you find a photographer, ask around to see who has had experience with them. Maybe ask people they have previously worked with to hear about their experience.
Ultimately you need to go with your gut.