It just ticks so many boxes for my life and I think it’s the biggest gift to have it as a tool to be able to meet people and go places, and the inner work that’s required and that I get to see other people bring forward as well. It’s awesome, really fulfilling and I love it. I’m interested in people and faces.
I’d come in and set up and it would be like a little mini photo shoot for each person. I feel like it complements so well with the retreats where people go into themselves to learn more about themselves, or to get out of their shell a little bit and you can just learn so much about yourself through a photoshoot.
I’ve teamed up with Hayley Agnew, who is a yoga teacher and naturopath – she wears a lot of hats, and it’s called Beauty That Moves. It’s all about seeing yourself and expanding the idea of what beauty actually means and it’s not just about being pretty or just the externals, it’s about shining out who you actually are. It’s a day of exploring, because I think, even with photoshoots, I do a lot of portraits for businesses and they are doing it for a masculine reason (to get something done) because they needed it for their website.
I love the idea of being photographed for the sake of being photographed and that feminine energy of just being, you don’t have to have a purpose.
This is art.
You just get to see and experience yourself in that way for no reason and you end up using them anyway but that’s not the point to start with. So the retreat day is yoga, it’s art, it’s meditation, and then you have your photoshoot with me.
Where are you based?
I go between Millicent and Mount Gambier as well as Adelaide once a month and shoot because I did live up there for a while and I’ve got my client base there still.
I love to travel and am happy to travel anywhere.
Top 3 Tips – Learn to Love Being Photographed
I’ve got my top three that I’ve come up with and it’s the old saying, your weakness becomes a gift. I absolutely hate being photographed myself. If you’ve noticed my headshot, it’s so old and I don’t even have a good headshot. So that’s a bit ridiculous, but here we are.
Tip #1: Before the photoshoot, decide that this is to celebrate your physical self. Sue, we actually met through your Face Reading Workshop about six years ago, that I attended and it helped me so much, because it was the first time that I realized that our face and our body is a map of the life that we’ve lived and that meant so much to me, because instead of thinking that you’ve got to change things, and things aren’t right, that it’s absolutely perfect. It’s us. So it’s that decision that you’re gonna go into the photoshoot of being like, I want to see myself and I want to show up and I don’t need to wear a mask. This isn’t a logical thing. We don’t need to think about it too much. The more in your head you get, the less present you are.
It’s about embracing that uniqueness. We’re not supposed to look a certain way or like what we see online. So when you’re going into a photo shoot, make that decision that you want to show up as yourself and you want to be seen as yourself, and you don’t want to be wearing a mask, you want to celebrate exactly how you are and that absolutely shows through in the photos for sure. If we place all of our value in our physical self, that’s obviously going to be terrifying when you go to a photo shoot, because you’re never going to be perfect enough, or feel like you look perfect enough. Maybe tapping into a meditation of how much value you have, like, not physically, and how much you bring others just through the things you do.
That can be really helpful because that can be such a stress and thinking that we need to look perfect, when that’s just not the case. It’s more about that shining through.
Tip #2: See it as an opportunity for growth. I think that’s really going to speak to this audience, because I don’t know all about that but it’s amazing how many levels that being photographed hits on, people get in front of my lens, and it’s just like, Oh my God, and it’s really interesting, if you come from it ‘everything is an opportunity’ angle, you get to see what is it bringing up and you specifically go into it, it’s giving you a chance to look into it and accept it and integrate it. So it’s just another avenue for that. It’s one of the funnest ways to do it. If you keep practicing, and if you keep showing up in photoshoots and seeing yourself and allowing yourself to be seen, that’s just invaluable.
You get to see yourself from somebody else’s perspective, the photographer’s perspective, and we can see ourselves so differently. That’s probably my biggest superpower of being a photographer is that I find it so easy to see the beauty and the vulnerability in someone is just so beautiful to me and to then be able to photograph that and show that back to them. Usually they don’t really even realize what’s going on, they’re too busy in their head and worrying about things and they get to see it and be like, no way am I like that. That’s what you see? And it’s like, yes, absolutely and it just gets out of our filtered perspective and we can look at ourselves from a different angle.
Tip #3: I like this one, this is about accepting this version of yourself. So our life, just like nature, is just a series of life, death and rebirth. That means that we have to just fall in love with ourselves over and over and over again. It means that when we try and show up as the old version of ourselves, or the future version of ourselves, it just doesn’t work because it’s not congruent. We want to be skinnier, or we want to be more together or whatever, it’s just not authentic and you can feel it, and you can see it in the photos. For some reason, sometimes we think that the future version of us is going to be better or more polished, or, I’ll be more together by then. So you just want to keep putting it off and that is actually one of the main reasons I love doing this as an event or retreat style, because it puts a bit of structure in by having a set date and time to commit to because if you leave it up to a person to be photographed, it’s kind of like, never or later. That’s the main reason that I love doing events, it also catches people a little bit off guard, which I think is great, because like I said, when you’re in your head too much, or when you’re trying to think about it, or want it to look a certain way, we have no control over it, I show up to a shoot, and I have no idea what it’s going to look like, I don’t know what I’m going get, I just trust. I just know that if I show up with pure intentions, and just to see the beauty in this person, and what I can show back to them, I just know what’s going to work.
Do you get to see changes in clients when they back?
That is a really good part. I’ve got clients that I’ve shot for up to 10 years and repeat clients are just the best feeling ever. It’s funny, because if it’s a business headshot, and they’ve changed their hair, they feel they’ve got to get new photos because it’s just to get that update, and to keep documenting their life, which inspires me so much, because I’m shocking at documenting my own life. So when I see my clients, and they’re coming back to me, they inspire me to do that too. The transformation just even on the second shoot is just ridiculous. So it can be a little bit scary on the first one, but you know, then we go into it, it’s fine. Then the second one, when they’ve done it once, so they know that they’ve before, it’s not this unknown, scary thing.
They’ve seen the results and they love them, they know that it felt good and they know that I’m on their side with them. All I want to do is help you feel and look great, that is why I’m here.There’s nothing else that you need to worry about and if we don’t get the shot, I’m going to keep going until we get the shot or until you feel comfortable.
How many photographs would you typically take to get that shot?
I can answer this in so many different ways. I used to be a wedding photographer so I have this kind of PTSD of just shooting a lot because it’s a wedding day and you might as well get a million and I can come down on that. I probably do take way too many but I find that my favorites always tend to be the what you consider probably an outtake, it’s never the perfectly sharp shot or anything. It’s the one that’s a little bit half in movement and when they’re really shining through. I definitely take hundreds and then narrow it down. I do find that my client and I can often have different favorites, it’s just so personal.
I do that shoot and then narrow it down to the top 50 and then we do a viewing together and then I just select the ones that they love and then I’ll edit those ones. You can literally buy as little or as many as you want. There’s no obligation, but I just have come up with it that way, because that’s how I would like it to be if I was being photographed. It also takes the pressure off to purchase all of them. If you get to see them first, then you know what you’re buying. It’s kind of different, so I like to flip it that way around.
Do people prefer a certain side of their face to be photographed?
I wonder what you think from a face reading perspective, because definitely left side is always our best apparently, because it’s our most expressive side. It’s our feminine side and I find with myself, I would prefer my left to my right. I always ask the question, because to me, if I was getting my photo, that would be so important to me but when I ask, people don’t seem to know, either, they’re not really sure and they don’t really mind.
Want to book Amy for your upcoming event or retreat?
There’s a few ways. The host running the event could pay for the whole thing then each person gets two photos and if anyone wants any more, they could buy them themselves. The idea is they didn’t really even know that they were going to have a photoshoot until the day and then they loved it.
Or I can just arrive on the day and everybody has their own separate photoshoot with me.
It’s just whatever suits best, whatever the host wants to bring – either an all inclusive kind of thing where people don’t have to worry about it or I show up and then you get to do your own thing.
Men’s groups, women groups, hen’s parties, families, friends. So there is no limit.
I’ll be in Adelaide on 17, 18, 19 August and if you’re interested in a shoot, or you just want to be notified when I do have any openings or events coming up, you can go on my website, and register to be notified.
Sue Shaw Global Directory ~ Enlighten Tribe
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