We hear that a lot. Disbelief. A “Wow, I did that!”
“I am terrified, but I am doing this!”
“I am amazed I just did that! Wow!”
“I was nude! How did that happen?”
It’s an emotional roller coaster for most. The biggest leap is the phone call, email, or Facebook connection that ends with, “Yes, that time works for me, see you then.” It’s the first step, the first signal to your mind “I am going to do this.”
It often triggers emotional chaos.
Not for every woman, but most. We do have some who are inherently bold, confident, and choose to revel in their moment, in their beauty.
For the rest, this is the roller coaster, which by all accounts is extremely satisfying at the end. Looking back is a thrill, sometimes of disbelief. For example, Carol came back for her image selection telling me that she could not remember anything about her session but she had this strange dream “where I was nude and you could not get me to put clothes back on for any of the shots.” Which was what happened. Her nude black and whites are now showcased in her new home’s feature wall. It’s very striking.
It’s interesting that most of our clients wind up showcasing their images, or showing them off in the case of their books.
But, back to the roller coaster . . .
The phone call, the connection to come in to chat, is one of the most nervous stages. For some it’s the biggest.
Then she meets with us, with me. She sees the caliber of work, the empowerment; the emotional communication. We chat, we connect, explore ideas . . . then we book a date. At that moment, it’s a high of confidence. Surrounded by women who felt the same way when they started yet wound up with these images . . . this could work out, is the common thought.
Excitement, still tinged with nerves, emboldens her. This could work . . .
Once she leaves, slowly, the doubts come back. By the morning of the session, the thought, “What am I doing?” often finds its way into the mix. Margret, arriving nude under a trench coat, told me I was very clever. I asked why. “I am Scottish you know and you had my deposit. I had to decide if I was more concerned about coming to do this or about losing my deposit. I am here.”
But then the makeup starts. Jan, my wife and partner, does so much more than just makeup, she relaxes, installing confidence with excitement. Some don’t want this part to end. Some would like to come by every morning for it. Jan is really good.
Sarah is an example. She had bought her session for Sunday, to create a gift to her husband of several years, on a friend’s recommendation. On Saturday her husband packed up, leaving her for his secretary. Her friend insisted she still come to us, for herself, to find her self. By the end of the session she had. Months later, after he discovered his error, her husband asked to come back. She had moved on. She still looks at her images at least once a week, and she tells us of the power it gives her every time.
The confidence always grows larger, no matter the point it starts at. By the end it’s huge! Traci, a very shy, self-conscious young women, was so excited to leave to tell her friends about her shoot, she started up the stairs in just her heels. She laughed so hard at herself for nearly leaving naked.
Then the roller coaster starts down again. “Oh, my god, did I really get nude?” “These can’t really turn out, I look horrid in photos with clothes on.” For some it’s a small dip, the rush of the day stays with them for days. For others, years of self-criticism start to win.
The second last moment of the ride arrives: the viewing selection. The images are first seen big, bigger than a door; 50 inches tall. A small selection whisper glimpses of the days images to set the stage. There is often growing amazement as the selection process reveals stunning gems reflecting their beauty and personality. You can see her posture change.
She is at the top of the roller coaster ride, the peak of good feelings.
Everyone tells how powerful that moment is, to see themselves in this light.
The crown of the experience is picking up the finished images. There is a rush when the satin cover slips off your wall image, revealing you as art as it flutters to the floor. Or cracking open a hard cover book to see yourself looking up at you; with a sly smile.
Every woman tells us it’s quite the ride. A rush like few experiences they have had.
It is quite the roller coaster ride.
It’s a pretty bold thing to do. Luckily you don’t need to be bold to do it – just take a deep breath, step into the ride. It will create a boldness for you.