I don’t like getting my photo taken. I have lots of stories about why I don’t. You know, the ones on Facebook where I think “I did not approve that!!!”, a nose angle that I didn’t even know I had, the shots where my features don’t line up and the “I am pretty sure that looked good in the mirror” one.
But when I began putting my website together, I knew I would need them.
And when I decide to go for something, I am the type of gal who says “who the fuck cares, it’s all in or nothin’”.
So I decided to do all I could to ensure that I liked getting my photos taken this time.
I asked for help finding a photographer. It took about a blink to find a fantastic, sincere lady who I clicked with like a Wonder Years friend over the phone in uh, about five seconds. Her name is Lindyn Williams. Go and see her stuff here.
Then I looked through my wardrobe. This makes me look pale, this makes my hips look disproportionate, this makes me look short, this is too bright, this is too girly, this is too masculine, and on and on. Literally after hours at shops and hours of going through my wardrobe not once, but about a dozen times, I went back and chose pieces I always wear.
All I needed was what was already there.
After the over thinking and over planning, I had somewhat sated my detail oriented self, but I felt an unease I couldn’t shake. I went for an hour run and that just made my shoulders rise even tighter and higher, dammit! I tried hydrating. Breathing. It just made me more uptight. Then I tried acceptance. “You want to do this, Criss. You need to stop and remember there are people out there that you want to meet. This is about showing up as you, 100%. No excuses. Trust.”
So I did show up. 100%. Shoulders too.
Lindyn used her sincerity, easy nature and savvy to calm me down, embrace the shoot and invite me to be me.
I managed to get into it. It may have involved an imitation dance of Ellen. We did close ups, walking in nature shots, texture images and a segment with other women in the background.
There was just one elemental characteristic of me left to capture at the end of the shoot.
There is this very childlike, wonder-filled, magical, mischief-making, I ride unicorns didn’t you know? part of me that my web designer Tzaddi, (and her awesome self can be found here) along with Lindyn wanted to capture for my site.
Y’all, it involves sparkles.
I love sparkles. And I don’t mean the ones you sprinkle on the cupcake, although those are damn fine, colorful and yummy. I mean the golden, energetic kind that surround you when you are in the zone, in love, doing your thang, opening yourself up, living in creativity, showered with awe kinda sparkles. The essence of who you are pouring out kinda sparkles.
Tzaddi suggested I get some paper confetti and use it in the photos and she could then play around with this using whatever amazing design voodoo she uses to transform the confetti to sparkles.
The little girl in me was so down with that. The adult (responsible, I need to be a seriously taken professional, what will those people think) part of me was so not down with that idea.
But I committed to being all in, right? So I bought some gold confetti. In a few sizes. Just in case.
Lindyn and I are nearing the end of the shoot and it’s time for the confetti. I am reluctant. I am concerned it will seem contrived, stupid, amateur-ish. I take it out anyway.
Oh, and did I mention that the day of the shoot we have 50 miles/hr winds? Yep, so there’s that.
I open the sparkles and the little girl in me yells “It’s about time!!” and shoves adult me to the side. “Give me those!” she shrieks and she takes over the rest of the shoot. Sparkles are flying in all directions, blowing into my face, into Lindyn’s face, and whirling all over the damn place. I am chasing it down the sidewalk, laughing and giggling and I can’t get enough. It is so silly and fun, that I forget about being a poised and perfect professional.
The next day I get a message from Lindyn. It ends with, I found sparkles in my bra!!
I burst out laughing. The shoot was over 100 minutes filled with a bit of awkward, uptight and freezing with cold, but I didn’t remember any of that. I remembered the sparkles. And apparently they wanted to be remembered too. In a bra of all places. Think about the metaphor there right? The bra which carries our breasts. The most heart-centered, life-sustaining, nurturing, gorgeously ours part of the female body. I take this to mean if you want to fly or catch some sparkles, have more wonder and free your feisty, try doing it from below the shoulders.
Ladies, find your sparkles. The unique, mysterious, creative, authentically you energetic ones. Let ‘em fly. Run after where they lead you. Share them with abandon. Free them from the container. Don’t care about where or how they fly or where they land. Trust them to go where they want and that they will leave joy and impressions wherever they go. Even in a bra. Especially in your bra.