101 in 1001 Goal Accomplished : #5 Pics of Me!

So I was really hoping to accomplish goal #4 (lose 20lbs) before I accomplished goal #5 but I’m still working on it. Here is what I realized though, if I kept waiting to lose 20lbs I would have no photos of me. That isn’t good. How many of you out there are waiting to lose weight before you have new family pics taken? I’m betting a lot of you and I’m here to tell you to stop putting it off!!! Ten years from now you are going to want to have photos of you with your kids or husband but if you keep procrastinating you will be dissapointed. Now I’m the first one to admit that seeing myself in photos makes me want to start a crash diet immediately. There is the old adage that the camera adds 10lbs but really I think when we look in the mirror our brains subtract 10lbs. What I see in the mirror is not what I see in photos, I think I see what I want to see in the mirror and the photo is the reality! As women we tend to pick ourselves apart and I’m totally guilty of it too but I can tell you as a photographer I hate it when a client doesn’t love my favorite photo of her laughing because all she sees is that her arms are bigger then she thought. I promise you that everyone else sees your beautiful smile and doesn’t notice any of the other stuff. So even if you are not happy with your weight I’m telling you to not let that stop you from taking photos with your family. I watch a lot of What Not to Wear and the right clothes make a huge difference! So make this the perfect excuse to buy a new outfit and make an appt for hair and makeup. Personally when I get a new outfit I love, it boosts my self-esteem immensely, I feel like the best looking girl on the block! Stop by your salon for a new hairstyle and makeup and I know you will come strutting into your photo session feeling confident and ready to rock it out! I promise you that when you stop comparing a photo session to a root canal and start thinking of it as a day to pamper yourself you might start looking forward to it. Seriously you deserve to be pampered at least one day out of the year and you will have so much more confidence in yourself that we will have a blast at your session. Years later when you look back at your photos you will be so happy to have them and remember those moments! I can stand up here on my soapbox and tell you all this because I did it and I plan to do it again this Spring when David gets home.

I knew I needed headshots for my website and marketing material and handing David the camera to snap a photo of me on the front porch wasn’t cutting it. I certainly couldn’t ask you to hire me for professional photos when I didn’t even have one! So I called up my friend Korie Lynn and scheduled a session.  Before the session I knew I wanted to do two outfit changes and go with something casual and then something more dressy.  Yes I picked outfits that match my website colors on purpose, I like those colors!!  I even threw together an outfit inspiration board that I blogged about.  Korie and I had to reschedule a couple times for rain so we ended up doing the session early one morning.  Since I had to meet her at 8am I didn’t have time to get professional hair and makeup but I did get up at 6 am to try to do something with my hair myself.  This was before I learned to use a smaller curling iron so after 45 min of hair curling it all fell out by the end of our shoot.  I was so excited to do this session though because it was a first for me.  I had never had photos of just me done before!  I skipped senior pics and just went with the traditional drape and I’m still waiting to do a Trash the Dress session with my wedding dress.  I brought along some props and even a dresser to somewhat style my shoot.  Korie and I started at a park and then moved over to Chatham and last but not least we trolled around downtown Fredericksburg looking for fun backdrops.  Being on the other side of the camera is an interesting experience because you are so used to telling clients what to do that you just start doing those things yourself.  I had a rhythm of smile with my eyes, smile small smile big, laugh, look serious.  It sounds funny but I have no idea which face I might make that will look best so you gotta try them all!  I should have known that as much as I love photos of people laughing that those would be my favorite.  So I’ll start with my absolute favorite from the session and then a collage of the others that I love!  Thanks so much Korie for the photos and you can check out her favorites on her blog here!

Melissa Arlene laughing headshots, peach sweater and green backgroundVirginia Wedding Photographer Melissa Arlena with cameras at Chatham for headshots.Melissa Arlena headshots on vintage dresser

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  • HeatherFebruary 8, 2011 - 9:56 am

    you look so cute! I love your boots 🙂

  • melissaFebruary 17, 2011 - 12:34 am

    Thanks! I have almost worn them out I love them so much. I just picked up a second pair of brown knee high boots from Aerosoles on clearance with an extra 20% off!!! Wahoo!!!

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Melissa Arlena is an award winning Richmond and Charlottesville photographer. She recently earned her Master Photographer Certification in the Maternity, Newborn & Family categories from the National Association of Professional Child Photographers. Melissa offers maternity, lifestyle newborn, and family photography in her relaxed, natural, and joyful style.


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