A picture that speaks a thousand words: My experience of a professional photo-shoot

Once upon a time there lived a fairy. Whether she was good or bad was unsure. What was sure that when she looked in the mirror, the challenges that life threw at her overshadowed the fire that burned inside her heart.

Enter the fairy godmother’s Maureen Grobler and Marethe Grobler.

In one day of compassionate caring, expert make up and art direction, they managed to capture the image of the fairy’s fiery heart, the passion in her soul that burned brighter than any fire trying to snuff her out. Most of all, they captured the joy she almost lost and with that fortified her belief in her own abilities and purpose in this world; to bring flavour and colour and ignite those around her.

Maureen Grobler is not only a highly talented make-up artist; she is a reader of souls, perceptively unlocking your authentic image. Unobtrusively reading your mind while bringing out the personality behind the face. Marethe works with unassuming ease, transforming in what could be a daunting thing, into a life-changing experience of love and compassion.

It is a shame and a pity that people view photo shoots as either narcissistic or self-promoting. I guess it depends on what you need out of it. For me it was a series in events in my personal journey to discovery of who I was meant to be and what I was meant to accomplish. I think it is an essential step in the understanding of ourselves, to see who we can be and how others see us. It should not just be at a wedding or special occasion, is should be somewhere in our career where we actually don’t feel bold and courageous at all.

 My photo shoot with Maureen and Marethe taught me this:

       We seldom see ourselves as what we could be and we should be reminded of that daily, for what we focus on, we become.

       To hide our own passion and light because we don’t want to intimidate others is a selfish act of self-destruction. Only when you realize what you are capable of can you ignite those around you.

       Taking care of yourself and taking pictures that capture your ‘you-ness’ is essential as visual reminder. We are bombarded of images of what beauty, success, wealth and health looks like. Perhaps we should be reminded constantly that we have all those things already, if we just dig deep enough and keep on focusing on what we already have.

       This should not be something mainly for female clientele. It is time that we break and re-write a lot of narratives, one of them being the gender stereotype narrative that women likes to look pretty and dress up and men just show up. It is complete and utter nonsense and degrades both men and women. We all have a need to feel accepted, mostly by ourselves; we all need to see who we really can be through the un-lying lens of and un-photo-shopped photograph.

       To present a professional, authentic you is essential whether you are a director of a company or a director of a house-hold. You must be reminded of the best version of you and you must broadcast the best version of you.

Ever since I was a young child I was intrigued by the magic of the camera. My birthday gift on my 21st birthday was a camera and I developed my own pictures at one stage. I became acutely aware of how a picture really tells a thousand words.

What are the thousand words you want to tell the world about yourself, and keep on telling you about yourself? How are you going to re-write your story to help you become the amazing person you where meant to be? As a story junky, a scribe and a strategic communicator I now fully understand how your story can be told in pictures, just like the old fashioned silent movies. What is it that you can add to the world, what are you hiding behind fear, insecurity or cultural and social perceptions? I dare you, to come out into the light and start a journey of self-discovery!

As the sun rises over a brand new day, the fairy looks into the mirror of her eyes, reminded by her camera image of fire and light and she ignores the challenges of life and burns ever brighter, because the flame within her is much brighter than the fire roaring around her.

Marethe en Maureen