Do something scary.

This September, I’m attending a really cool photography conference, and I am beyond excited.  But, just to add a little bit more stress to the idea of going to an event where I won’t know a soul, I also signed up to do something really scary. I scheduled my first-ever professional photo session. No, not my first client … my first “I need to pay someone to treat me like a queen, give me a makeover, and take photos of me that are going to make me feel FANTASTIC!”

And I’m terrified.

It’s crazy, I know.  I’m usually the one telling clients that they are beautiful exactly as they are … that we will work together to capture photos they will love … that we will make the experience fun … that they should trust me.

I’m think I’m beginning to understand why they look at me like I’m crazy.

Tell me if any of this sounds familiar:

  • All the photos on your site look so glamorous. I am decidedly *NOT* glamorous.
  • Uch, I am SO heavy right now. All I see are chins and belly.
  • I haven’t had awesome hair since, well, ever—and now that I’ve hit 50, it’s even worse!
  • What on earth am I going to do with a printed portrait of myself? I just need a quick digital image for my website.
  • Can I really spend that kind of money on photos?
  • What if you make me feel fantastic about myself as a woman, but totally insecure as a photographer?

Okay, so maybe that last one is unique to me. But the point is, I said them all. And, except for that last one, they are pretty common reactions to booking a photo session. They are so common, in fact, that they are exactly why I decided to sign up for one.

I’m doing this because I want to know how my clients feel when they come to me. I need to experience your insecurities first hand. I can empathize in theory—and to some extent, in practice—but until I’ve actually paid someone to take my photo (rather than just looking at photos taken by friends), it’s hard to understand the stress associated with adding financial risk to the whole insecurity mix.

I also want to experience a full-service session (with hair & makeup) to see if that’s something I want to add to my portfolio of services.

I want to go through the process of deciding how many prints to purchase, how much money to spend (because I know that prints are more real and meaningful than digital images), and what I can afford.

And I want to use what I learn as I go through the client side of the process to improve the experience I offer to my clients.

So, I’m doing it. I’m bringing my heavier-than-I-want-to-be, multiple-chinned, totally insecure self to get my photo taken. And I’m going to do it right. I’m going to trust my photographer, and believe in myself.

But first I’m going on a diet.

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