Morris County Newborn, Maternity, Headshot Photographer, Denise Dougherty on feeling like a kid again.
This is me, Denise Dougherty...I love being behind the camera, being in front of it always makes me a little nervous, so I do know what some of my clients are feeling when they "have to" be in front of my lens; sometimes it's not by choice; they may need a headshot or their family has scheduled this session and they're reluctantly choosing to be a part of it. I realized during these feelings of reluctancy and anxiety about having photos taken (and other life situations), that I've instinctively allowed my mind to 'go somewhere' to give me a certain feeling and attitude that will help me in this situation. I have done this for years many times without even realizing I'm doing it; however recently, at 51 years old, I've started to become more aware of how I feel, why I have these feelings, where it's coming from and how it helps me to cope. My secret is....feel like a kid again, playing around with other kids.
YES! This is why I choose my exercise classes that I do, because they give me that feeling that I'm a kid running around a playground again, this is why I allow my mind to go 'there' during my own photosessions when I'm having MY own pictures taken; because I feel more playful, more in tune with what's going on around me rather than focusing on me and my 'flaws'.
I always tell my clients that I photograph real people; there are rarely if any times that supermodels and chiseled movie stars are walking through my door...infact, is less than rarely, it's like NEVER. Ha! I photograph real people and guess what fellow humans, we all have flawless. We're perfectly imperfect! It's a rare occassion that someone comes through my door and is not self conscious about some part of their appearance.
Allowing myself to feel like a kid gets me in a playful mood and I'm not focused on wrinkles, or my puffy, hooded eyelids (which really piss me off, however, my Dad had the same eyelids and I feel like that's a part of him that I carry, so deep down I'm okay with this), or the fact that I'm 10 lbs over what I want to be and that I haven't exercised in a long time so I don't have the muscles that I once had...I'm not focused on any of this for very long, I just allow myself to break down that wall and play.
The facial expressions in the photos I'm posting here aren't really saying "let's play", however, I was going for a more magazine-style session here, working with new lighting, editing and a new poofy gown for my client wardrobe. Yes, when you get to my studio, I can dress you up or dress you down, or many even decide to get naked for maternity or boudoir sessions. It's totally up to you; for this session, I wanted to update my headshot, and I've been playing around with new editing styles, so I wanted to experiment with the editing process that I'm learning about and see if I feel like it's "me" or something my clients would enjoy for themselves. We shall see, what do you think?
Anyway, if you've been to my studio, or in front of my lens, you know it could be alot of fun, even for those that are reluctant to get their pictures taken. I offer corporate headshots and have the opportunity to travel to different businesses for headshots sometimes and I absolutely love doing this because I get to meet so many personalities. Everyone from sales people, to accountants, to CEO's, to administrative professionals to attorneys, builders, hairdressers, realtors, etc. There are a ton of personalities and some tell me they're NOT smilers. I always say if you're not a natural smiler, then there's no reason to fake it, but I work on getting a genuine expression from all of the clients that sit in my chair. Sometimes it's more work than others, but that's the fun of it, and the longer you're in front of my lens, the more we get to talk and the more I get to learn about you and connecting with people is a huge part of my job. If you're able to chat, connect and feel that playfulness, we can make magic together. Be open to playing. We all have flaws...try to embrace it...surrender to it....I can pick myself apart in these photos, but the only one who really cares about the flaws is ME. Well, if you're out there, caring about my flaws, and picking my photos apart, then I may just use that old Dr. Suess saying about Those who matter don't mind, and those who mind, don't matter. I've heard that being in your 50's you realize a few things and one of those 'things' is that you learn not to be so hard on yourself...acceptance...it's huge...It's like being a kid again; accepting yourself; not caring about flaws and playing with all the kids around you because all you want to do is connect and play.
If you're looking for information on our next headshot day, a glamour or boudior session, please visit www.milliedeephotography.com or call the studio 973.805.FOTO and please follow us on Instagram: millie_dee_photo. ENJOY and BE SAFE! xo Denise
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Where did the name Millie Dee come from? It's my 2 nicknames, my maiden name is Miller, so some friends call me Millie and some call me Dee instead of Denise, so I jammed them together and made Millie Dee...