Think back to the last time you said this to someone. Do you remember what they did? How did it make you feel? All this month, studio has been focused on the spirit of gratitude, and how it makes the way you appear in photographs better.
The last three months of the year are always full of many celebrations and joyous events, however, we sometimes may find ourselves in a fit of winter blues if we aren’t careful and conscious in our pursuit of happiness. One of the best ways to secure happiness, we’ve learned, is by simply being grateful. Say things like “please” and “thank you,” and treat every new day as a gift rather than a debt owed to you from the universe. Yes, there will be moments when you wish things were better, but regardless of what is currently happening in your life, you have the power right now to make things better by being grateful.
For myself, I know that there is so much I have to be grateful for. Sometimes, I find I have to stop during the day to make a verbal list of what I am thankful for to ensure I am consciously appreciative of the blessings received through family, friends, clients, staff and more. What are some things you are grateful for? Being so intentional with my gratitude helps me to keep a sense of balance in my life- especially during the busy holiday season at studio! Gratitude allows you to maintain focus, and supplies you with positive energy wherever you may be. As a photographer, I am certain that a photo session is one of the most important places to bring said energy.
Earlier this week, I lost a friend. His name was Perry, Perry the Pumpkin. When I found out what had happened to him, I was beside myself with grief and anger, inconsolable nearly. Not too long after, a neighbor of mine showed me an act of kindness- he offered me the most beautiful pie in honor of my friend’s memory. He then continued to share some incredibly thoughtful words that reminded me of all I had to be grateful for from my brief but meaningful relationship with Perry. Sometimes, it’s just one word or act of kindness that can remind you of all the many things you have to be grateful for. At a certain point, the accumulation of these positive experiences gives you a powerful sense of energy and possibility. That’s when you truly begin to live in peace.
Now, if you clicked on the link above, then you’ve discovered my friend Perry was in fact a pumpkin. In all seriousness though, we sometimes lose sight- especially during moments of grief and sorrow- of the positive contributions others have made in our lives. The power of these contributions is very real. It gives us the energy needed to embrace a sense of confidence, and to lead a fuller life. As I always say, take a look at a recent photo of yourself, and you will see your truth. If we are honest, many (if not most) of us would like to photograph better. We want to know how to look more confident, or more graceful, more content even. We learned this month that the solution to photographing better is to be better. If you want to look more confident in your photos, then you should be more confident. If you would like to look happy in your photos, then you should actually be happy! Gratitude is a core value that brings elements such as confidence and happiness to the surface in our lives, and I’ll be diving deeper into these thoughts and studies in my next book, How to Look Better in Photographs, but for now, I would like to take a moment to practice gratitude together with you.
Do you remember the person from the opening thought of this article? What is the last good thing they (or someone in your network) did for you, and what positive feelings did their actions invoke within you? Take some time now (3-5 minutes) to write them a letter of gratitude. If you do this from a place of honesty, you will find that when you reciprocate a positive experience, you increase positive energy in your own life. I wrote one for my neighbor, and then I wrote one for a very dear client of mine- she has no idea I’ve done this, and I am thrilled for the opportunity to present it to her this week! Once you have written your letter, share the experience by sending us a photo, or leaving a comment on Instagram with the hashtag #getlucilled
So there you have it. We changed the way we look at each day and circumstance (each one is a gift!), and we now know how gratitude helps you to look better in photographs. Also... look at what you’ve done! You took some time to reflect on a positive experience, and you increased your own positive energy by writing a thoughtful letter to someone who recently showed you kindness. Imagine how they are going to feel when they receive that letter. It is often said, that “life is full of ups and downs”- I say photography is the best way to keep the “ups” with us, even during the “downs.” Cherish the goodness this life has to offer, and maximize every positive moment.
*snap you soon*