Welcome to the Green Apple Photography Blog. By viewing my stories and images, you will get a glimpse into my shooting style and personal experiences. My mission is to get you excited about your family portraits, about the moments I capture of your gorgeous children and the beauty of your pregnant body. I want you to share them with your friends and family and to see quality and artistry in every image.

For the many people who share their comments, stories, and lives with me, thank you!

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Replenish 2018

I recently had the honour of speaking to a room full of lively, fun, fierce-hearted women as part of Replenish in St. Jacobs.

In my work I often come across women who ask about photoshop, encourage me to solely photograph their "best side",  or even refuse to be in the photographs with their children because they aren't comfortable how they look.  And while I get (I really, really do), my philosophy has always been that in 10, 20, 50 years - these photographs won't be for you.  They're for the generations to come who want to know what their great-grandmother looked like.  For your children whom, someday, will cherish this photograph as a way to remember you.  No, these photographs really aren't for you.  And the people that they are for - they don't care about your fly-aways, or your double chin, or you uneven smile.  They care about your laughter and the sparkle in your eye.  They care about your heart and your soul. They care about you - and I encourage you to care about the true you also.  

So when I'm speaking to women, I'm typically not talking photography, but rather about acceptance of ourselves and who we are as human beings on this planet, who love other little human beings.

I was asked to share a few of my notes from last Saturday's event - and I'm happy to do so.

I first spoke of my own self-doubts as a speaker.  I have no formal training. I'm not an "expert".  I am probably sharing information that isn't revolutionary to most.  But as we looking further into "The Imposter Complex", I was able to re-frame this thinking.

I shared 7 of Tanya Geisler's 12 Lies of the Imposter Complex because they really resonated with me.  You might find different lies that fit well with you.  We simply used the lies as a way to recognize that we are sitting in this "imposter" space.  I suggest we use the accompanying truths to redefine whatever situation we found ourselves in.
Here are my notes:

Your self doubt is proof of your inadequaciesYour self doubt is proof of your humanity
Successful people don't experience thisYou are not alone
You have nothing useful to say (or original or important)Your way is the way  - When you stop here, you miss out on growth and learning and connection - There is a distinct possibility that what you have to say has been said before, but not in the way you will or did share it
You are not readyDo it - you're ready enough
You'll never be able to pull that off againYour success is the result of the skill and will you brought to the table
You can't trust the praise of othersDare to believe someone when they tell you how remarkable you really are
Asking for help is for suckersYour people want you to succeed.

I had the women do a simple exercise. This is something I recently started doing when I'm brainstorming ideas of any kind.
  1. Take a sheet of 8.5x11 paper and fold it into 8 equal sections
  2.  Draw 8 things you are good at.  The drawing part is important because it's likely outside your comfort zone.  Symbols, stick figures are all acceptable.
  3. On the back, draw 8 things you'd like to try, master, or experience.
This exercise was meant to give everyone a true sense of who they are and what they've accomplished.  It may not be easy to find 8 things for each side - but that's where the challenge lies.

I also mentioned a Brene Brown paragraph from Braving the Wilderness to encourage everyone that they are in control of their own stories.
" ...If we can learn how to feel our way through these experiences and own our stories of struggle, we can write our own brave endings."

I closed with a posting by Seth Godin about Imposter Syndrome.  My favourite line is the very final one, which states, "Time spent fretting about our status as impostors is time away from dancing with our fear, from leading, and from doing work that matters. "

I would like to encourage you to step outside the "imposter" space and reach beyond your comfort zone.  I believe that you can find something really rewarding on the other side.