Unapologetically Extra Sessions stemmed from my need to have a bit more fun with my photography. I also wanted to give my clients an excuse to show up for themselves - for 15 minutes in an outfit that makes them feel a little "extra." These are not headshots, but rather a beautiful moment in time, intended to show our most powerful, confident and radiant selves. Thank you for going on this journey with me. I can't wait to see the "extra" we create together.
A couple of weeks ago, we held our second Unapologetically Extra photo shoot. The first session back in May was truly remarkable, with each woman showing up with their own unique, fierce attitude to be captured on camera. This second shoot was equally as special, and in some ways even more inspiring because we had a chance to speak with each person about what makes them unique. We asked them a series of poignant (and maybe probing) questions and since we asked this of them on the spot, I thought it was only fair to share my answers as well! Read on to see how these beautiful people opened up not only to my camera, but also shared their thoughts on their personal power, what makes them happy, what motivates them, and how they’ve grown into the individual I photographed that day - in all their “extra” glory.
I feel most powerful when I have a camera around my neck and I’m directing a truly amazing shot of someone who had no idea of how stunning they are. I love teaching people that they have power and can make a difference.
When I’m feeling less than motivated, I count down from five...four...three...two...one...and force myself to launch into whatever it is that I’m conquering. Another motivating mantra is, as my mother says, “Hydration is the key to success!”
Something I’ve learned since my early twenties is that I am very good at lifting others up in a supportive way, but I am better at elevating others by claiming my own spot in the sunshine and working on my own terms.
One of my favorite quotes is, “She believed she could, so she did.” It makes me feel confident and motivated. I feel most powerful when I’m at home with my family, in the kitchen, in my own space. I enjoy supporting others. Showing up for people, helping them, and just listening to what they have to say is something that makes me feel really good.
I like to tell myself, “everything happens for a reason.” That might not sound very positive, but I see it as a hopeful sentiment. It reminds me that I can take on more than I think I can. If I could tell my 21-year-old self one thing, I would say that the things I was so worried about back then are not relevant anymore, and they weren’t as big of a deal as I felt like they were at the time.
I’m a very decisive person, so I feel powerful when I make a decision because I’m confident in it. Confidence is something I’ve learned over the years, so looking back at my younger self, I wish I knew that the people around me were not as critical as I thought they were. Now, I tell myself “I am worthy,” whether that applies to a job promotion, love, success…it works in any scenario.
My personal mantra is tattooed on my arm: “Live the life you’ve imagined.” I have sparrows around it because they are extremely loyal birds. They only have one mate their entire lives. I’ve been with my husband, Jeremy, for 22 years (but we’ve been friends since high school!). My faith is what keeps me grounded in this mantra, and what keeps me focused, motivated, and happy. Things always get better, and negativity doesn’t need to control you.
I believe that physical and emotional strength go hand-in-hand. I am a firm believer that there is no “ideal” body type, but I truly find my power when I’m in the gym working on my physical strength. The more effort and energy I put into my workouts, the more confidence I have outside of the gym. I tell myself, “Why not you?” Everyone has dreams, but it takes courage and confidence to chase them.
I was in a professional women’s group a while ago, and one of our assignments was to write a personal mantra. I have it saved on my phone to read every once in a while to stay motivated. Part of it goes, “I use my spiritual gift of creativity to inspire and empower others, and intentionally seek moments of joy and gratefulness in my own imperfect, breathtaking journey.” I think it’s so important to be who God created you to be, and not what the world expects you to be.
When I can “be the light,” in either a personal or professional situation, it not only elevates others, but it helps lift myself up, too. I love my job as a chiropractor; when I have the opportunity to heal people from the inside out. Beyond that, simple gestures like complimenting a stranger have mutual repercussions that brighten my day as well as theirs. You just never know who’s having a crappy day, so you might as well spread that light.
When I’m going through a tough time, I remind myself that these experiences are all helping to shape me into the artist I’m meant to be. I am proud to be able to work around any obstacle—kids, heat, weddings, anything. I strive to be the best part of my clients’ day, the force of calm in what might be a very stressful situation. Sometimes I think back to when I was younger and would get sad or discouraged, and I wish I could go back tell myself, “You don’t even know how good it’s about to get.”
I think guys are especially bad at keeping in touch with their friends. There’s not a set infrastructure for these kinds of relationships that are based on emotional support. If I’m thinking about a friend, I’ll call him up, just to check in and see how he’s doing. More often than not, those spontaneous conversations come at a good time. I’ve learned a lot dealing with painful relationships in the past, so it feels really good to connect with a friend who might be going through something similar in his own life.