Self-Love Through Self Portraiture

Mar 24





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If you haven't figured it out already I have multiple passions beaming from me like the rays of the sun! I don't put myself under one label, because I believe we are all made up of multiple identities that make us unique. I'm ever-changing, and every piece of me intertwines with another — I think it's important for you to get to know them all.


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The Age of The Influencer is over, and there’s a new kid in town. Gone are the days of curated content and perfectly-planned Instagram themes. A shift in values is taking place, and we’re seeing it big time in the digital world. So, what’s the new trend that’s sweeping the nation?


And trust us: this trend is here to stay.

Abbey Anderson joined me this week on the Ascend Together podcast, and we dug deep into the importance of authenticity as a business owner, and how we can work harder to be authentic for our clients. In particular, we talk about self portraiture, and how dang impactful it can be for ourselves, our biz, and our clients.

Self portraiture is so much more than a way to get cute social media pics (although we can’t complain about that part). It’s a means for photographers to better understand and improve upon their client experience, to gain confidence and perfect their technical skills, and to craft a marketing plan that’s AUTHENTIC.

Abbey’s nickname is “Queen Abbey,” and once you meet her, it’s easy to see why. She’s confident, powerful, and brilliant. She radiates self-love and she’s always bursting with endless creative energy. She’s a library of inspiring artistic ideas that shine through in her work as a photographer and educator. She pushes boundaries. Abbey’s just one of those people who lights everyone up around her — in other words, she’s a total queen, and if you listen to Self-Love Through Self Portraiture, you’ll quickly see why.

The Power of Self Portraiture as a Photographer

Abbey was in college when she began dabbling in self portraiture. She’d lock herself in her room, prop a camera up on a stack of books, and create a world for herself in which she could play, let loose, and be unapologetically creative. A few years passed, and in 2020 she decided to take the leap and officially begin her journey as a professional photographer. She quickly realized that her passion for and experience with self portraiture had served her well. Why? Because it gave her a holistic understanding of her craft — not only had she mastered the art of photography from behind the camera, but she had a deep understanding of what it meant to be in front of the camera.

As photographers, self portraiture can serve us in so many ways. Far too often photographers and videographers will say “I feel more comfortable behind the lens,” as an excuse to avoid putting themselves in the shoes of their clients. It’s comfortable staying behind the lens because you have all the power — the power to dictate the photoshoot, tell the client how to pose, and remain in an authoritative, hands-off role. In front of the camera, you’re vulnerable. That’s why we ask our clients to do that part, right?

Abbey believes that all photographers should understand what it’s like to be in front of the camera. We should make ourselves vulnerable, so we can better understand and serve our clients. Self portraiture is incredibly powerful in helping you to understand how to work with people and make them feel comfortable and confident!

Learning to Appreciate Yourself as a Whole

Photographers are expert cheerleaders for their clients, but oftentimes not for themselves. In this episode, Abbey walks us through her journey with self portraiture, and how it’s helped her to love herself relentlessly. She explains this feeling as “appreciating yourself as a whole” — because, at times, there may be parts of us we don’t like. Eventually, once we appreciate ourselves as a whole, we can recognize the beauty in every part of who we are.

Self-love is a huge barrier for people when it comes to having their photos taken. When you’re not confident in yourself, it can be difficult to hop in front of the camera and feel at ease. How can photographers work to create a space that’s more welcoming for their clients?

Embracing Your Inner Child

Do you remember when it felt like when the whole world was a playground? When you did crazy things without thinking about the opinions of others? When your top priority was fun?

Abbey and I agree that as adults, we need to start embracing our inner child. We need to let loose and do more of the things that bring us joy, for no other reason aside from that they’re just dang fun! You’d be surprised as to what it can do for you. When we allow ourselves to play, we’re reminded of the simple joys in life, and how incredible it feels to free yourself of silly worries and reservations.

Abbey says, “What we do for our clients all the time is provide that opportunity for them to play {…} when you’re bringing your clients on set, they get the chance to have this experience that you’re creating for them that’s fun and different from day-to-day life. We give that to so many people […] but we don’t often give that to ourselves.”

More in This Episode

Fair warning: this episode is bound to get you fired up. We talk about our personal journeys with self-love, the search for creative inspiration, the beauty in letting go, and how appreciating yourself fully can create a positive impact for those around you.

To hear the rest of our conversation, you can listen to the full episode wherever you get your podcasts.

To check out Queen Abbey’s incredible photography and learn more about her, visit her website or follow her on Instagram!

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