My Experience

THOUGHTS WHILE DRIVING TO MY PHOTO SESSION AND FEELING KIND OF "MEH".

"I wonder if my hair will calm down. I hope so.  Today, of all days. I hope I brought the right clothes and, dang it, I I left my favorite dress at home. Oh well.

It's not going to matter.  I've had my photos taken before, so today is no big deal. I sure wish my hair wasn't so poofy.  I hope this doesn't take too long. 

I sure wish my hair wasn't poofy.
Did I remember to bring that dress? No....
My makeup always looks the same anyway. 
What time will we be done...

REALITY

All that couldn't be farther from the truth of what really happened. The session was all about me and, which actually helpmed me to relax.  That helped me to feel better and not worry about my poofy hair. That, in turn, made me feel better. And there, in her wardrobe rack, was the perfect sparkly dress. And I liked hers better than the one I left at home.

And, one by one, my fears and worries seemed to leave. I stepped into someone else that was worthy of all this attention and affection. It felt awesome.

Please read that again: "I stepped into someone else that was worthy of all this attention and affection."  Don't you think that worthiness carried over into the rest of my day? You bet it did!

Even though I'm a photographer and I pose people all the time, I still can't pose myself. So having her there to pose me and bring it out of me made it all the better. This photo shoot was fun! 

Huh. Who knew? 

MY BIGGEST TAKE-AWAY

When I showed images to friends and family I got the love of "wow, you look great!". But then - wait for it...here's what I heard: "what are you going to do with them?" And my favorite one:

WHY??

Why did I need that picture of me in the sparkly dress? Sure, Liz, you look great, but there was always this sense of WHY? What am I going to do with it? 

1. Why not?
2. Because it makes me feel good every time I look at it.
3. Because it reminds me of how I felt the day I let that woman come out and play.
4. Because I'm 59 years old and I LOOK AMAZING.
5. Because I am on my side, I support and believe in me, and I am a shining light TO MYSELF first so that I can then share it with others.
6. Because in this world where life likes to take us down, I look at that image and say to myself "You've got this, girl."
7. And I believe it.

That's why. And here's something that could possibly shock those people even more: Are you read for this? 

I am having that image printed - BIG! It's going to be 30X40 smack dab on my wall in my office! I challenge you to get a tape measure and bring it to your wall and measure how big 30X40 actually is. Now, why on earth would I pay the money to do that and have it framed and then hang it on my wall?? Do I think I'm all that? Am I in love with myself? Am I full or pride, does this mean I'm self-centered? No it does not. 

Listen, I need to talk to you about that. No matter who you are or what you do, if you are an entrepreneur who is out there hustling every day to grow your business, if you are commuting every day in corporate America, if you are a stay-at-home-Mom, you need to be on your side. You need to encourage yourself first before you can encourage others, you need to make sure that your own self-care is very near the top of your list (dare I say at the TOP of that list?), you need to believe in you because how else are you going to do what you need to do to make it if you don't believe in YOU? No one else is going to do this for you. It can be a rough world out there. Who's got your back? You do that's who. Having this photo taken, then having it printed and framed and put on a wall, reminds me that I am worth it, that I AM WORTH it. It's a mind-set thing - that's what this picture, this HUGE picture is all about. 

I wasn't always like this. Even now I can hear this voice in my head thinking that there'll be someone reading this that won't get it and will think that I think that I'm just the best thing ever. Okay - whatever! If there ever was a time to let that shit go, it's when you turn 59 and you look like this in a photograph! Do I look like this every day - no. Do I think that it's all makeup and photoshop? Makeup and photoshop can only go so far. You have to have something going on before the camera ever takes its first shot. Do I want to go around looking like this all the time? Oh hell no. That's not the point. The point is that on this day, right before my 59th birthday, this was me. And I'm proud of this woman. I believe in her. I love her. She's super-cool and really fun and funny and nice, too. And when I walk by this image on those days when I need to bring it, I will look at her and say, "Girl, you've got this."

Liz dress.jpg