FIRST THOUGHT: Going Solo
Real talk, ladies: I’m struggling to love my body right now. I know, I know. I should love myself for who I am, yada, yada, yada. Easier said than done, right? I’ve started a recent experiment in the face of all my negative self-talk: Instead of thinking in terms of “I” and “my,” I’m using the pronouns “she” and “her.” Framing criticisms this way makes it sound as though you’re saying them to someone else. Unless you’re a legit evil queen, most of us wouldn’t say some of the stuff that rolls into our heads to other people. Test it out. Stand in front of a mirror in your birthday suit. Then, Instead of thinking, “My body is ___” say aloud, “Her body is ___.” Use this pronoun shift any time you start to spiral into the self-hate hole. It might result in being best friends with yourself.
WOMEN IN NUMBERS: 63 Percent
A photograph tells a thousand stories, as they say. Some photos have defined key moments in history: Take, for instance, iconic images of 72-year-old Albert Einstein sticking his tongue out, which offer fun glimpses into what someone’s life might have been like. Did you know that back in 2010, 63 percent of photographers worked for themselves? Whether they’re snapping engagement photos or documenting the front lines, photographers must invest time and money to hone their craft, making it a hustling—albeit creatively fulfilling—career to have.
WOMAN TO WATCH: Valerie Sarron, Owner of VS Photography
One of the most beautiful things about being self-employed is you can drive the direction of your brand. Today’s Woman to Watch, Valerie Sarron, is a photographer who has done just that. Valerie specializes in beauty and boudoir photography, a niche that’s picking up steam as a way to empower women of all shapes and sizes to abandon their insecurities and accept who they are as the shutter clicks.
Valerie got hooked on boudoir after doing a session of her own. Her background in digital media combined with beauty blogging meshed well with female-focused photography. But knowing how to take a drop-dead gorgeous picture and starting your very own studio are two separate things. Valerie first discovered her passion for boudoir photography while photographing her friend for her wedding day. Eventually, with the help of her family and friends, Valerie developed her portfolio, picked a location and gathered up her business plan to create her very own studio.
Located in South Boston, the VS Photography studio has soft blush tones mixed with painted white brick walls. A crystal chandelier floats above a fluffy bed and not too far from a gray, tufted sofa. It’s the perfect setting for a model to shake out the nerves and be the model in her own life.
While some might hear “boudoir” and think it’s solely reserved for that special someone in your life, think again. Valerie says such intimate photography is even more of a way to celebrate your beauty and expand your limits. When you’re ready to step in front of the camera, remember some pieces of advice from this photog: Firstly, be 100 percent comfortable with the person holding the camera. If something doesn’t feel right, get out of there, sister. Secondly, wear looks that make you feel sexy, instead of putting on what you think someone else will like.
In the spirit of embracing all things artistic, Valerie also operates a lifestyle site called The Sweet Seed as a way to share her inspirations, whether that’s cool imagery or even cooler women. Valerie’s manifesto includes a sweet-and-simple phrase that’s a rosy reminder for us all. She writes: “I’m inspired by everyday moments.”
Follow Valerie on Instagram @valeriesarron.
In order for your business to run smoothly, you’ve got to make genuine connections with your clients. The more genuine the connection, the higher the client satisfaction. Check out our four ways to foster meaningful connections by clicking here or, if you’re listening via podcast, head over to OnTheDotWoman.com!
QUITE THE QUOTE
Before we go, let’s hear a little bit more by Valerie Sarron. She said:
"I'm a perfectionist at heart, which is great for certain aspects of entrepreneurship, but it's a quality that can also hold you back. If I could hit the rewind button, I wouldn't have waited so long..."