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“If we would only see that all limitations are self-imposed and chosen out of fear, we would leap at once.” – Adyashanti


Why is it most of us bristle at the sheer idea of being truly seen? We dream will have a better figure, be happier, more connected. Gone are the days when we can delight in our own appearance.

A couple of weeks ago I had to opportunity to face a current fear. Well I didn’t HAVE to, but knew it could be a game changer. I stood in front of the camera. Not because I lost 10 lbs or felt beautiful or even just to celebrate something. I booked a session just because the mere idea made me crazy, it caused me to feel fear and doubt myself.

You see this past year I shifted priorities in my life and as many of you know when we change our focus and drop the very things that matter the results can be dire. I would liken my year to riding a roller coaster, as I rode the waves of highs and lows and occasional bumps I let the very thing that would keep me going slide. Food. Yes food. The very fuel that is required to keep us healthy and strong. As time ran out of my hands I didn’t prioritize what I needed and ME. Now months later that food that was eaten out of convenience and not with thought have added a few unwelcome pounds.

Of course we all have an ideal vision of ourselves. We set the bar that we stand by regardless of our age, status or situation. So when we deter from that bar it can have devastating effects of not feeling worthy, good enough, beautiful. So here I am outing myself that yes I too struggle.

These photos are the beginning of the next chapter in my life, a chapter about focusing on self-care. As time goes by, my body will shift with the nurturing foods and exercise I supply it and I will have the experience and photos of being truly seen to remind me where I stand and what I stand for.

Big thank you and shout out to my friend Trina, from Trina Koster Photography in Guelph, Ontario for capturing these moments for me. It was a wonderful evening standing in front of the camera and being truly seen.

Ready to gain a superpower and learn to delight in your own appearance? Or even if you aren’t, I invite you to contact me. Let’s talk! Shannon Nicholson, Cambridge Kitchener Waterloo Guelph Portrait Boudoir photographer.

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“Sometimes smiling is the greatest act of defiance, and sometimes asking for help is the most meaningful example of self-reliance. Sometimes the best medicine is to just laugh until you cry and sometimes the greatest wisdom comes from accepting you will never know why. Sometimes just going to bed is the best antidote to trials and tribulations and sometimes just being blessed to get up again and face it all, for one more day is worthy of celebration.” – Unknown.

You spent years tending and growing those luscious locks. Brushing, lathering and conditioning thoroughly, investing in products, colours and countless cuts. This beautiful veil that adorns your head has been the one thing you’ve always loved. Its been loyal, supportive, covering you like a blanket for security.

So it’s okay that your struggling with it falling out so carelessly from your crown. Soon you will be defined by the hair that’s not there and well that’s not fair.

I’m sure many ask WHY? Why me? What did I do to deserve this? These questions can never truly be answered with any satisfaction. One could drive them selves’ crazy trying to figure it all out.

You simply take one day at a time. Find a sliver of light each day. Give yourself permission. LOVE yourself enough to do what you need to for YOU! Lean. Laugh. Cry. Love.

Cancer does not define you. You’re a beautiful, enlightened soul who will get through this with grace and dignity as you do everything else in life.

So even on the darkest days remember you are not alone.

Sending love + light to you my friend.

In her words…

“This session was liberating. Shannon helped me to let go of my fear and uncertainty as I start this new chapter in my life. She captured the person I am at that moment allowing me to celebrate it, and morn it. Thank you for helping me to discover whom that person is.” – M.S.

“There are far better things ahead then any we leave behind.” – C.S. Lewis

Do you know someone who is facing a battle in their life? Won’t you share this with them so they know there not alone. Cancer isn’t pretty.. but there’s power in creating a community of support. I’m grateful my friend is allowing me to document this journey, as one of her worker bees and its such an honour to stand in support of her.

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  • Phoebe Fazio - What a beautiful way to celebrate this journey. The tunnel to a new you. I am currently working on my book of my journey with breast cancer 8 years ago this month. I would be thrilled to share my journey in manuscript form. Let me know if you are interested.ReplyCancel

  • Terry Maurer - Losing your hair due to cancer treatments can be a very difficult transformation. As a survivor myself, I found this was a turning point when I had to release my emotional denial of the illness I was battling.

    As someone who has been there… Please know, you will get through this and will find a strength within that goes beyond words.

    Terry
    Founder – Act After Cancer TreatmentReplyCancel

  • Brenda Mann - Thank you for doing this Shannon, such an amazing photoshoot! She’s one beautiful lady, inside and out. Continue to stay strong my friend! ~ Brenda xo ~ReplyCancel

  • Joely Smith - Simply beautiful ! Thank you for sharing. My dad and I are raising money for breast cancer research. We are flying to England tomorrow, where we will walk from one coast to the other. It will take us 14 days.306KM
    We want to do our part to eradicate this horrendous disease. It is for beautiful women like the one above and others like her, the reason why we are doing this.
    Take care, God bless, JoelyReplyCancel

  • Pam Cerqueira - The beauty, strength and emotions illustrated in these photos are beyond words… I am so proud of your grace and courage to share your journey. I learn from you daily. You are an amazing woman. Love PamReplyCancel

Lists.

The word alone can invoke grimaces as we think of our daily chores, honey-to-do-lists, or even groceries. If you’re like me these lists can be insufferable at times as we re-write things over and over due to our procrastinating.

For those who don’t write down lists.. You ‘re scratching your head wondering why we would torture ourselves so..

Simply because it’s so REWARDING! Yes.. Rewarding writing down 5 – 10 things and scratching or ticking them off one by one. With each achievement you feel pleasure, a good deed done and if it’s been on the list more then once and you’ve finally checked it off well its time to celebrate!

Hence why a Bucket list, Life list, Goals list, Awesome lists whatever you want to call your list counts. Why people are creating these amazing lists of achievements they want to accomplish so they push their boundaries, experience new and exciting things and learn stuff about themselves they couldn’t even have imagined being possible prior.

This brave beauty deserves a hip hip hooray for checking off an item from her bucket list. She’s been working a little harder lately as she prepares for a grueling 200 km bike ride and with a special Birthday just around the corner what better way to showcase some of her achievements then by doffing her clothes!

Wishing her great success in her upcoming ride!

I would love to hear what you have on your bucket list, leave me a note in the comments.

Is a boudoir session on your bucket list? Want more information or to talk about achieving your goals then lets connect!

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what-to-wear-photo-shoot#1 Question I get asked about photography sessions.. What to wear! You’ve decided to update your headshots for your business or professional use, gone are the days of wearing only black and white to look qualified. In this day and age it’s imperative you set yourself apart from the competition. The best way is to showcase who “YOU” are! To shine a light on your fabulous personality, make people feel like they can identify with you and of course create a friendly and open environment so they want to connect with you. I get not everyone has a closet like a super model. Heck I wear a uniform most of my day’s, between dog walking outfits that consist of various hiking shoes/rubber boots, yoga pants and well whatever I can find for a top, to the standard issued polyester fire uniform neither is a great option for a photo shoot. But that doesn’t mean I can’t pull together some outfits that highlight my best features, camouflage a few areas I’m not fond of and make me feel freaking fabulous inside and out. When I was photographing families the first thing I suggested was COLOUR! Yes lots of colour, you can never go wrong with adding a splash of colour to any outfit. Well now that I say that it reminds me of a family that showed up in red, burgundy and dusty rose, imagine, that is a whole other story. When thinking about colour ask yourself these questions: What colours pop your eyes? What is your favourite colour? What is the mood you want for your photos? Have you been meticulous at building a brand around you and have a unique colour palette? All these things should be considered and more! It could be related to a season, location and what is your profession? Obviously if you are the CEO of a major corporation you may not want to show up in fluorescent pink with lime green! That doesn’t mean you can’t wear a tailored suit with a silk scarf, coloured shoes or funky patterned button down. Example: Here is one woman, 4 colours.. Amazing how a simple colour can change the whole vibe of the image. Which one is your favourite?what-to-wear-photo-session-colour-choicesNow for the fun part..

* C O N T E S T *

ENTER TO WIN YOUR SESSION FEE FOR HEAD SHOTS! (value $295)

Step#1. watch the short, showcasing outfit HITS and MISSES

Step #2. Record the number of HIT outfits that would rock a photo session and email your name, email address and # of HIT outfits to Shannon@discoversessions.com.

Step #3. Leave a comment on this blog post telling me you’ve entered!

BONUS: to receive up to 3 more entries SHARE this post on..
Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest

Don’t forget to tell me your comment on the blog ALL the ways you’ve entered!

Draw will be made Monday May 12th, 2014.

Winner will be contacted via email and posted on Facebook.
• Contest open to everyone • Photo session will be conducted within Waterloo Region
• Winner receives session fee of $295.00 • Prize does not include images/artwork/products
• Prize must be collected by June 30th, 2104

Best of luck to you ALL!

Do you know a friend who could benefit from some wicked new head shots? Would love if you pass on this post..

Stay tuned for guest post with a REAL FASHION STYLIST and more inspiration on how to ROCK your headshots presented by Shannonview Photography | DISCOVER sessions, professional headshots Cambridge Kitchener Waterloo Guelph.

Ready to SHINE in your headshots? Email shannon@discoversessions.com to book your unique session.

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  • Sheena - Hi Shannon! Great advice for headshot outfits. I e-mailed you to enter the contest, shared on facebook, and pinterest. Thanks for the contest opportunity!ReplyCancel

  • Jean Dickinson - I scrlled thru and learned U R in Waterloo so won’t bother U to enter even tho I’d love it!!! even for my daughter but she too is in B.C. I’ll SHARE with a friend in Montreal, maybe she &/or HER daughters wld like to enter. THANX FOR ALL YR CONTACT.ReplyCancel

  • Linda - love the advice, and the tangible demonstration through the video! …. I entered the contest through your email, and I have also shared this on Facebook! … what a great opportunity! :) Love your work, and discovering you through your blog!ReplyCancel

  • Ricki - Just entered–thanks for the contest! :)ReplyCancel

  • Jenne Todd - hey lovely lady! I’ve entered via email and shared on FB :) thanks for the fun opportunityReplyCancel

You Bravely: empowering and healing portraiture
Right now, write down 3 things you love about yourself.
Now write down 3 traits you dislike about yourself.
Tell me which was easier? Be honest.
Most people can easily rhyme off 3 traits they’re not keen on, but struggle to find 3 things they love. Yet they wonder why they are struggling in their life, relationships, career, or health.
Why is that?
Where did we get this ridiculous perspective that says we aren’t good enough just the way we are?
I am guilty of falling into this limiting belief. It’s so much easier to shine a bright light on someone else to lift their spirit, to remind them of their best traits than to do it for myself. Some days it feels impossible. I am, however, committed to breaking this once and for all!
I’m going to change that shameful and guilt laced way of thinking in myself and for anyone else who feels there ready to LOVE bigger and better!
Introducing YOU BRAVELY.

You Bravely is a powerful experience that focuses on establishing acceptance. This photographic session is for women who would love to bolster their confidence, and triumph over the belief they aren’t good enough. By truly seeing yourself, an amazing shift occurs within ones self.

Imagine discovering a way to love every morsel of your being. The images captured in the photos will be a lasting reminder of your ability to be brave and stand for you.

THE SESSION:

It begins right out of bed, au natural. Yes, imagine finding away to enjoy seeing yourself first thing before the day takes you away and your mind into space that isn’t always uplifting.

What dreams, activities or goals have you been held back from because of your misguided beliefs about yourself? Maybe its as simple as feeling more connected? What are you protecting yourself against? What blocks are in your way from being the best you can be?

Imagine having the ability to begin washing away those fears, finding peace within yourself so you can live your good life.

I invite you to be truly seen, be YOU BRAVELY, experience a shift in your thinking and walk away with a new found confidence.

Are you willing to invest in yourself and your future?
Email Shannon@discoversessions.com today to start the conversation and plan all the juicy details.

I can’t wait to see YOU BRAVELY!

you-bravely-portraiture-toronto

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