I had my picture taken last weekend. A bunch of pictures, actually. And I wanted to throw up.
It’s not that I’ve never done this before. In fact, I’ve primped and posed for a fair amount of professional photo shoots over the years. But in the past, there’s always been someone else directing the shoots – reps for radio stations, publications or organizations – guiding the process, going for a specific “look” or “feel.” Not this time.
I’m launching a new web site next month {so exciting!} and need new photos to match the site and reflect me. But in the days leading up to the photo shoot, I became a nervous wreck thinking about my clothes, my hair, my makeup. How would I do this without having anyone to tell me how to look and what to do? 
Thankfully, I had an amazing cheerleader and ally in my photographer and new friend, Jennifer Liv Olson. Yep – her middle name is Liv and – like mine – it’s pronounced the Scandinavian way {leeev}. And she is all sorts of awesome. She has this crazy ability to capture a person’s essence – like she can see right through to their soul. So, I knew the photos would be great – but I was still freaked out.

Jen must have sensed it. In the days leading up to the shoot at her studio, Jen emailed and texted me tiny pep talks. Told me the shoot would be awesome no matter what I wore. Told me I’m beautiful inside and out. Told me to expect to just have fun. So incredibly sweet.

When I arrived at Jen’s studio, I suddenly realized I had been to the building before for another photo shoot. I flashed back to that day, four years ago, when I was three months pregnant {and not feeling particularly svelte}. I had to wear a certain hue and the shirt that worked was less than flattering. The makeup artist applied fake eyelashes so big I could barely see and told me my lips were too thin. And the photographer huffed and puffed through throughout the shoot. I remember smiling for the camera while feeling deflated and unworthy of the spotlight. And, no surprise, I hated the final photos.

As I stood in that space again last weekend, the nerves melted away and I actually felt relieved. I was far better off, I realized, calling the shots – wearing what I wanted, applying my own {minimal} makeup, working with a photographer who looked through her lens and saw beauty – not extra weight or short lashes or thin lips.

I wasn’t put on this planet to be a supermodel. And I’m pretty sure longer lashes and bigger lips won’t help me be any more authentic, any more creative, any more compassionate. What you see is what you get. And that’s what I love about these pictures of me.

photo credit: 
jennifer liv photography
web site: jenniferlivphotography.com
email: jenniferlivphotography@hotmail.com
{thank you, jen!!! you rock!}