Authenticity and Ownership
Authenticity. It’s such a ‘now word’, but do we really know it’s meaning? Literally, it means to be true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character. Whether you’re a vegan, a carnivore, a lip gloss lover, an “au naturelle”, a yogi or a home body – Just be you!
The road to authenticity is as long or as short as you need it to be. We need to travel it to model it for our children.
So where do we start? We start with US.
- Bridge the gap between who you think you are and who you really are.
- Own your emotional self and express yourself often, honestly and without apology. (A few years ago at my grandmother’s funeral, I realised my daughter had never seen me cry and it rattled her. Watching her get upset at me being upset made me even more upset. I’ll never forget that look on her face. She doesn’t have that look anymore and I make a point of not hiding my emotions with her. She knows I love her, even when I’m cross. She now knows that there are different types of tears.)
- Create your own story and control your own perspective – NEVER let others create it for you.
- Remember there are differences in us all, but there are no flaws.
- Breathe deeply – everyday.
- Have an opinion, share an opinion. It may not make you popular but it will make you honest.
- Getting free of inflated self-importance is a key to happiness.
- Forget big change – start with a tiny habit. (My first tiny habit was remembering that No is a complete sentence.)
- Clean out your friends list and stay away from anyone who doesn’t empower you and encourage you to be the best version of yourself. Look, some of these people are even in your family. They’re not evil, they’re just stuck in their own cycle with a problem that’s theirs, not yours and you can’t fix them – you can only work at fixing yourself. If you don’t politely distance yourself from them, you will end up just like them. You know when you’ve surrounded yourself with people who are good for you because you leave them feeling good…not flat, drained. You deserve that feeling all the time.
There is no quick fix, it takes work and we struggle. It’s ok to struggle, it shows us hope. But if we don’t step back onto that road of truth, this is a cycle that will continue. Knowing and liking who we are is a birthright, anything less is an injustice to our heart. As a woman, a Mama and a portrait photographer I genuinely feel that this is the key to existing in print – worthiness. You need to believe that you matter, you make a difference.
I am learning to like my photograph. It’s not an instant thing, but it’s something I’m continually working towards. The older I get, the easier it gets because I realise that there’s more to me than the skin I live in and I am mindful of who I share my innards with. My skin is all some people will ever see and that’s ok. This is me and I like me. But it’s not all that I am. I am beautiful. I feel it. Beauty is not a shiny finish, it’s the substance, the passage of time and the things that happen along the way. At the end of the day, my opinion of myself is the only one that really matters. I will exist in print because I matter, I make a difference and I will be remembered long after I am gone. My grandchildren’s grandchildren will be able to point to my picture and blame me for all the damn photos they’ll have a lug around!
We are drawn to portraits because they are of human beings and we are human beings. We can relate to them because a face can say so much without words. I encourage you to take a moment after reading this and look at the people around you. Take a good long look, how do you see them? What’s the first thing you notice? Is it the same thing for everyone or something different? There are no right or wrong answers here, just an attention shift. I wonder if they think similarly when they look at you. The next time you look in the mirror, I want you to pause and really look at yourself. Look beyond the surface and be proud of you. Like yourself – you’ll like you back!
“The aim of art is not to show the outward appearance of things, but to show their inner significance.” Aristotle
Maybe if we all work towards discovering our inner significance, we will realise that we are already our own glorious works of art. Art that should be printed to be cherished.
So get your camera or your phone out, take pictures of yourself, get someone else to take pictures of you – ask your partner, your kids….and PRINT them! Put them on the wall and keep them on the wall. Change doesn’t happen overnight…but it does happen. Trust me!
If you don’t have a good picture of yourself or you think it’s time to call a professional, there is a photographer out there for everyone and any budget. With me, you get a personable professional who’s focused on authenticity. When I’m connected to you, I take better photos that are incredibly relatable . You are beautiful NOW!
Get in photos.
Exist in print for your friends and family because you matter.
If you’re just joining in, you can find Part 1 HERE.
About Salt Mama Studio
A trusted name in Family & Creative Portrait Photography; Salt Mama Studio offers a unique experience for parents who want to slow down and capture themselves and their relationship with their children, just as they are now.
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