Posts in I Am Woman
Um, no thank you.
" 'Um, no thank you. I done and I’m going to go home now. Thank you for your time' I said. I remember hearing the shake and irritation in my voice. " | Self Care Tips | Self Value | Confidence | Inspiring Quotes for Women | Set Healthy Boundaries | quotes on nature | Encouraging quotes | Winston Salem Photographer | Jasper & Fern

A few years ago I decided to do something that would help me grow as a photographer. I wanted to thoroughly understand what someone might be going through in front of my camera. That way, I could balance helping them feel comfortable and confident while also being “in my zone.” The best way to do that, I determined, was to be in front of the as many different photographers as I could be. It was there in my vulnerability I learned not only how to be a better photographer but about the importance of healthy boundaries.

When I first began my project, I started out with photographers I knew - keeping in my comfort zone. Then, as I grew in my confidence, I started venturing out and working with photographers I didn’t know. It was here in the realm of the unknown photographers that I met a man we’ll call Blake.

Blake was a quiet man with a gentle demeanor who happened to have a love for the horror genre. When we first talked about working together (because I ALWAYS recommend meeting with someone and talking ideas over before you officially decide to work together) I was specific about the fact that I had a few dresses I wanted to wear and was open to some more creative ideas as well but did not want to do any or much horror-esque photographs. We came to a set plan and scheduled the session.

The day of the session, I met him on location, rotated through a few outfits and then we looked through the RAW images. Once we’d selected our favorites, he asked if I wanted to do some more “horror-esque” photographs with fake blood and wearing some torn up clothing he had. I commented that it wasn’t really my cup of tea, like we discussed, but would be okay if we could brainstorm an idea we could both get behind. Ultimately, we found an idea that he was still excited about and I was feeling okay about doing. (Do you see my wavering boundaries?? Eeek - I should have acknowledged those flags going off in my brain)

As we photographed the last segment of our session - the horror-esque portion - Blake began to try and push my boundaries with the horror aspect. While I’d previously stated I didn’t want blood or anything too dark, he started to ask again if I was sure and then make slight passive aggressive remarks like “this would look MUCH better if we could do blood” and “too bad you don’t want to have more fun.” (Throw up more of those flags!!!) I began to grow uneasy and uncomfortable. I kept politely declining his asks and, finally, after he made the comment about not wanting to have more fun, I finally put my foot all the way down.

”Um, no thank you. I'm done and I’m going to go home now. Thank you for your time” I said. I remember hearing the shake and irritation in my voice. I’m not a confrontational person but I felt disregarded and like I was being manipulated. I was done being pushed to do something I was uncomfortable with and I needed to course correct and honor my original boundaries.

This experience sticks out in my mind because it happened at the stage of my life where I started to be more assertive on my own behalf. I remember how uncomfortable it was to be asked to do things I didn’t want, how small I started to feel when he disregarded my simple boundaries and how icky I felt after the whole situation. I walked away with stress bearing on my chest and guilt riding on my brain.

This experience helped me learn that I need to be assertive with my boundaries up front. I need to be kind but firm in what I say and I need to walk away more swiftly from situations where I’m not being respected - even if it’s as simple of a situation as my time with Blake. If I would have set my boundary more firmly upfront, it would have been more difficult for him to try and push me and manipulate me. I also wouldn’t have walked away feeling gross that I had been disrespected because I would have had confidence in knowing I did my part.

To this day, I still see those images on occasion and I wish I’d set my foot down earlier. Hind-sight is always 20/20 and, while the images aren’t trashy, they still pick at my brain a little. They just remind me of a time I was uncomfortable because I valued keeping someone else happy over truly sticking to who I was. In the grand scheme of it all, I’m thankful for the reminders that pop up and show me how much I’ve grown, encourage me to keep growing and reinforce how important it is to care for myself and respect myself always.

From the Trenches of Imposter Syndrome

I had a wakeup call recently. Someone told me “Stop focusing on what you’re not” and it hit me square in the chest. I was sitting there wishing to be one of those CEO, Type-A women who always has her life together (and color coded), and is somehow always ten steps ahead of the game. I was seeing my failures in BOLD.

What was so kindly pointed to me was that what I admired about these women were their strengths. BUT just because I didn’t share those same strengths didn’t mean I did have my own strengths or my own pieces of my life together.

It’s not what I wanted to hear. I wanted to hear a “You’ll be like that someday with enough hard work.” I wrap my head up in these ideas that some day I’ll run my life “like a boss.” Really though, even if I stopped and listened to my own advice that I’ve shared with you, I already know the way back to peace and contentment.

Stop Focusing on What You're Not | Inspirational Quotes for Self Worth | Self Care Quotes | Encouraging Quotes for women dealing with Imposter Syndrome | Boss Babe | Entrepreneur Life Quotes | Hustle Quotes | Comparison | Strength | Winston Salem, North Carolina Photographer | Jasper & Fern

Being strong and successful is not about matching someone else’s abilities. It’s not about making the same type of impact as another woman I admire. It’s not about pushing myself to be something. It IS about realizing that I’m built a specific way. It’s realizing I have my own strengths which I need to celebrate and not ignore or demean because they are different than what strengths I think I should have. It’s remembering that life is a journey and the “end game” isn’t even the end game. I just need to focus on being the best me. After all, I am me and I was made to make a specific difference. I have my own pace, my own path and I need to accept who I am and where I’m at.

(Sincerely,
Self)

No, really though, I’m writing this to myself and to anyone else who feels this way. Don’t just tell other people how great they are and that they have wonderful strengths. Make sure to celebrate your OWN strengths. Encourage yourself, lift yourself up, be real about what you’re going through and hold space for what’s happening in you. Be your own wakeup call.

Celebrating Jacey
Just because you have a certain diagnosis, doesn’t mean you have to live your life like you’re dying.
— Jacey

On the day of her session, Jacey washed into the studio like a wave greeting the shoreline. She was grounded, excited and ready to have new portraits with her hair all grown back.  From the moment she walked in the door, Jacey had a bounce in her step and a propelling energy in her smile.

As a Face of Komen, Jacey is not only a cancer survivor but has also had a reoccurrence of her cancer, which classifies her as Stage 4. You'd never know she'd been fighting so much because her positivity radiates. Once you get to talk to her, however, you start to realize just how much of a fighter she is - constantly staying positive throughout her treatment. 

Come and be a part of her session by viewing our behind the scenes video!

I'm a Sucker for Cute

I am a sucker for puppies, baby animals, tiny plants, tiny mittens, odd animal friends cuddling and the, often silent, characters in movies that say anything and everything with their eyes and over-exaggerated body language. In fact, the whole reason I decided to write this blog was because someone shared a tiny knit mouse image to me and its little whiskers and teeny-tiny eyes melted me. Yes, I was melted by an inanimate object. There's proof below at how cute this thing is though! Seriously, it's adorable.

Anyway, this little mouse and my reaction to it got me thinking. I feel SO MUCH happier after I have seen something cute. There's a science behind "cuteness" and I'm sharing a link to that article below. Really, though, I just wanted to share some cuteness with you and push that happiness towards you all!

(You're welcome!)

tiny knitted mouse | cute things | cute animals | animal knit patterns | cuteness overload | cute | field mouse | gifts for people who appreciate tiny things | diy gifts for children