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oh just shut up! | Ashburn, Va Portrait Photographer

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Over the past few months, I've had the pleasure of photographing some amazing women.  Many of whom mean a great deal to me personally and have touched my life deeply in some way.  During this time I've come to realize what my photography has to offer my clients.  What it has to offer YOU.

I think many of you would agree we live in a world where where women feel scrutinized about whether they are thin enough, tall enough, short enough, curvy enough, athletic enough, sexy enough, busty enough, or just plain.... enough.  What's worse, is that feeling of lack, that seemingly insurmountable mountain of "enoughs" is often built and cemented by our own inner dialogue.  We are in a sense, our own worst enemy.  The internal conversation about who we are, if written down on paper, would shock even your most ardent enemy.  Then why would we allow this voice of self-hate to define whether we are enough?  Why would let our "self" talk behind our back like that?

In a recent workshop, Sue Bryce a photographer mentor of mine recommended a book entitled There's Nothing Wrong with You: Going Beyond Self-Hate  by Cheri Huber.  At first, I felt apprehensive about the title.  I mean, I don't like  some things about myself, but I certainly don't feel like a flagellating Danielle-hater.  A few chapters in, my eyes were opened.  I realized that 80% {Ok it's probably more like 90%} of the dialogue taking place in my head was fueled by the voice of self-hate.  From the "You could never wear that, you're just too fat" to the voices about others "What was he thinking saying such a stupid remark."  All are the voices of self-hate.  The self-sabotaging, unproductive, incessant, demeaning, won't-shut-up-unless-you're-sleeping voice of self-hate.  All of it... created by me. 

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Without giving too much away  {because I know some of you need serious beach and pool reading this summer} the book's solution is simple.  Tell the voice to "Shut up!" That's right, when that voice creeps in again and rears its ugly head you need to tell it to stop, shut up, and go scratch.  You are enough.  You have always been enough.  Right now at this moment you are enough and will be enough until the moment you leave this earth.  Say it out loud if you must.  "Oh just shut up already!"  

The voice will be back.  Many times and especially when you are feeling vulnerable, afraid and unsure.  But you now you know what it sounds like and its motivations are not in YOUR best interest.  It is in your best interest is to silence it.

These amazing, smart, talented, beautiful women that I have had the honor of photographing, they have taught me so much about what it means to BE beautiful, inside and out and I hope I have been able to reflect back to them that beauty that I {and all those who love them} have already seen.  Through my photography, I simply helped to bring that beauty forward.

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Look at yourself now, love your self now.  Today.  Not 15 pounds from now.  Right now.  Tell that voice to, "shut the front door" and you get out there and rock it girl.  YOU are enough.

Have a great week! 

xoxo,
Danielle
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