Thank you so much for being here, I appreciate those of you who have been following our journey for a while and to the newbies, welcome!
I first all of just wanted to take the time out to tell you about the new direction Hel of a Beauty is taking and why we are so passionate about these changes and the prospects of being able to improve the lives of many.
You will also be given my 6 Steps to Positive Self image to help you implement this into your life and business too.
As you may have noticed our new aim and focus is promoting Self-love, Healing and Growth through photography.
This came about because as a hair and make-up artist that also happens to be a photographer, I’m only too familiar with how magazines and social media can affect our body image.
When we’re talking about body image, we are talking about how we as individuals see our physical selfs and the thoughts and feelings that come from that perception, whether these are positive negative or both are all influenced by individual and environmental factors.
More and more research is showing that the time spent on social media and looking through magazines can sometimes leave us feeling not so positive about our own lives with more and more research showing more people reporting feeling depressed or unhappy in their lives.
Some might say “Well just take yourself off social media” We’ve all heard about the benefits of “unplugging” but the reality is most of us might have a hard time doing that, not because we don’t want to break a habit but because it’s integrated into our day-to-day lives and ultimately how we earn money.
As a beauty professional, we are at the very forefront of been able to influence how women feel about themselves and their body image. We owe it to them and ourselves to not only put out beautiful images but to ensure those images are true to real life. We need to work on maximising the positive effects whilst minimising the negative and thats why we at Hel of a Beauty are working to fully integrate this into our photography services.
Here are 6 steps to Having a Positive Body image
1. Unfollow People and Accounts That Trigger You
It’s no secret that a lot of images we see today are altered in one way or another, Unlike when I was growing up when this is limited to magazines and TV, photoshopping and editing is literally in our faces more than ever more often than ever, and because this might be appearing on someone’s personal feed rather than magazine, it’s easier for the lines to be blurred and for you to think more things are real than they really are.
If you find yourself constantly feeling bad after looking at someone’s post it’s probably time to stop following them, find people to follow who leave you feeling empowered and inspired.
Take a look at your social media who are you following? What pages do you like? Is the content you’re seeing really what you want to be seeing or are you a victim of your own habits? Instagram and Facebook tend to give you more of what you “like” which can warp how you view the world instead of helping you see it better.
So be sure to unfollow negative people and unlike pages that you don’t need on Facebook, you could even use the handy “see first” tool which can help you select who and what you want to see first in your news feed.
Find magazines and wellness blogs that truly speak to the person you are and the person that you want to be.
For me personally, I want to be authentic ,beautiful and intentional in what I do and also want my social media consumption to reflect that. I worked on making these changes myself and now my style inspiration comes from bloggers who fit my body type and my body confidence is almost back to where it used to be. I also found wellness blogs that focus on health rather than appearance which is funny for make-up artist and photographer but guess what? I’m feeling more energetic and happier than ever and feel my audience probably feel the same from my content.
I pay better attention to what I’m putting out there and now my friends and followers will see far more inspirational quotes, pretty pictures that are realistic, thought provoking articles all geared towards promoting self love, healing and growth, all of this done in an authentic and intentional way.
2. Keep it real
As a professional photographer working mainly with beauty brands there are certain industry standards that are expected from my clients where the desire for perfection can border on obsession. This needs to be looked as it can be the main cause of negative body image.
Whilst when you’re advertising products and services you will always want to present it in the best way possible with gorgeous flawless images but don’t forget to mix it up with real images of real people in real situations.
Don’t let your images be over edited when you’re hiring a photographer. Make sure your models still look like real people with pores, smile lines, freckles, lines and wrinkles.
Where possible try not to edit your images at all. This is especially important when you’re posting images of yourself in a lifestyle situation.
3. Get Out into The Real World
It’s so easy to go to an event or be in a situation and rather than taking it in you’re tempted to pull out your phone to capture it, sometimes this means you don’t get the full experience that you actually went for in the first place. I’m not saying don’t take pictures when you’re out but make sure you enjoy life through your eyes and not through the screen.
As someone who was very snap happy in every situation I’ve had to learn to do this myself. I’ve made it a rule to only take a certain number of pictures whatever I’m doing to ensure I always taken my environment and the situation (this is apart from when I’m photographing for a client of course). It might sound cheesy but I actually do find myself in awe of how amazing and beautiful everything is.
If you know you’re guilty of pulling out the phone every opportunity you get, stop, make a conscious effort to really take in the atmosphere through your eyes.
I’m not saying don’t take any pictures at all just limit them to maybe 10 for the whole night. (Yes that’s including your makeup looks before you leave home as well haha)
4. Look At The Whole Picture.
When we take these pictures how often is it do you zoom in to inspect yourself straightaway? Even in a group picture, we go straight to ourselves to pick out what we don’t like. It time to shift your focus and look at the whole picture. Shift your focus on the event that you were at, if you followed step 3, remember where you were, who you are with and how you felt, if you truly soaked up the atmosphere and the event, then the images that you’ve taken will probably mean so much more to you rather than if you lived it through the screen. Your pictures should be capturing these memories not projecting fantasies.
You’ll be a much happier person doing this all and living for yourself rather than for the gram.
5. Love One Thing
As I mentioned in step 4 we have a tendency to zoom in on what we think are our floors. Next time you take a picture if you’re ever looking for what to fix, stop, look for what you love instead. If you can’t find anything at first, look at the bigger picture, what did you love about that outfit? the location you were, the person or people you were with. Start to train your brain to see the beauty in you and others around you. It’s usually our imperfections that make us beautiful and uniquely who we are.
In the words of Leonard Cohen “there is a crack in everything / that’s how light gets in”
6. Practice Self Love
A great way to start to retrain your brain to see the beauty is to just start in front of the mirror. A self love practice that works for me, my daughters and a lot of other women I’ve advice to do this, is standing in front of the mirror and saying at least one thing we love about ourself everyday. It doesn’t have to be anything physical either, it could be your behaviours or characteristics, either way the more you learn to love yourself the more you’ll have to give to others.
Implement this into your day-to-day lives as well as your beauty brands, for your first steps towards Self Love, Healing and Growth through photography for you and your customers.