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Confidence means knowing that you have the ability to get the job done. It starts from there. Being confident you can do it.
The other day I was taking a portrait of a wonderful strong beautiful woman, who survived the brutal C. She lived her life being of service to her family and yet at 50, she was doing this photoshoot for herself, doing a photo shoot for the first time, doing something for herself.
She was still not sure this was something she deserves, as she received this photo session as a gift from her husband for her anniversary and had to be convinced to do it even though she has been thinking about it for a while.
My heart is still shattered in pieces knowing that in this world, people feel less than, not worthy of, not being good/beautiful/insert adjective here.
How do we get to a point where we realize our own worth? That we are worthy of love and respect, just because we exist. Not because of what we do or don’t do, but simply because we are.
It is my hope that this woman sees herself through my lens, the way I see her. Worthy, whole, and complete. Just as she is. Worthy of love, respect, and admiration. Simply because she is her.
As you embark on this new journey. Please repeat this mantra after me: “I am worthy of good things and I deserve to treat myself well. This photoshoot is a reflection of that belief. It’s a chance to step outside of my comfort zone and do something that makes me feel good.
I’m excited to see how this turns out, not just because of the end result, but because of the process. This is an opportunity to connect with myself in a new way and create something beautiful. Whatever happens, I know that I am worthy and deserving of love and care.”
Marianne Williamson’s words ring true for me.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. It’s not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.“ – Marianne Williamson
As you know, last year I have become a mother.
It was indeed the most remarkable and unforgettable year, becoming a mother, having a daughter.
It’s been a time of growth, acceptance and much-needed self-love.
It’s incredible to see a new story come to life, to witness it from the early stages, my daughter’s story, to be part of it intimately and also an active role as a parent. It’s a thrilling experience.
I’ve learned so much about life, again and again, it is like getting a new understanding of the world.
While I love my baby immensely and spending time with her has been the main pass of time in the last year, it is time to go back to work.
It is calling me, to be fully fulfilled, there is a side of me which aches to create again. Doing my life’s work, creating with a camera is essential to me.
Of course, my mission feels even more important now, having a daughter. I want every woman to realise her beauty is unmistakable and to understand that her role in the world is both irreplaceable and imperative.
My promise to you is that once you step in front of my camera, this will happen.
Leaving a legacy behind has become to me more important than before, knowing there’s someone to leave it behind to. I will make it a priority to get behind the camera more.
Returning to work will be a balancing act, and I will probably fail a couple of times in the beginning, and that’s ok, I’m new to all this. I hope you’re going to understand my clumsiness. It will all take time.
Anna allows me to play on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for now, and those are my studio days dedicated to you.
|I can’t wait to see your comments, bookings as I am ready.|
They start blaming the city, their busy lives, their careers.
I always ask them, are you ready for love?
Valentine is coming and I feel compelled to write about this. Soon, spring will be here, and with that the boom of nature: the flowers, the butterflies, the sun is back, and for me, this is the love season.
When everything around you blooms, the air is warm, the aroma of the flowers makes you dizzy, something happens inside. The many jackets you’re wearing during winter are falling off you now and you are feeling lighter. You feel freer: free to move, free to sing, to dance, to jump in the air.
Why am I talking about this? Because I want you to feel it, so much you could touch it. I want you to understand what nature goes through every spring to come to life and go with the flow and feel it.
Think about yourself, how did you feel inside this winter. Are the jackets become heavier to wear, the long winter days and nights are they unbearable and cold. Is it time to open up and let love in? Are you ready to bloom? How you might ask. Well…
This one is the toughest one. Are you ready and open to it? Are you allowing yourself to fall in love? Did you make this your priority? No more excuses. If this is what you really want, then you focus on it. Have a heart to heart conversation with yourself and decide: “This is the spring I’m going to fall in love! ”
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As the year renews, it is a good time to reflect back and see what still works with you, so you can keep it, and what does not, so you can throw it away. You can apply this for any item in your closet, kitchen, cosmetics, paperwork. Same goes for habits and rituals. Notice what has to stay, and notice what is better to go. Same for feelings or emotions. Don’t hold onto it if it does not serve you.
We are spiritual beings that evolve, change, with the passing of time. Make sure you like who you are becoming. Make sure you notice and accept your transformation, make sure it’s in alignment with your vision of your best self.
Since the beginning of the year, I am looking more into the meaning of things.
Naturally, I am observing what I am doing in my daily life and what I chose to create in my daily job. My job is to transform people. To show them the transformation. To bring them from their every day self to a potential very best self. Then to show it back to them. So how do I do that ?
1) It begins with makeup and the power of transformation once you put it on.
It is a very controversial topic, with or without makeup, and it seems the dispute comes apparently, from ancient times.
Make-up was considered to give you more attention, “transforming a person’s appearance, but changing their mood while inspiring feelings of power and confidence”. Ancient Egyptians believed lipstick has healing powers. (Read about the History of makeup here, I find it fascinating). Some believed it has powers over other people. There is a link between makeup and witchcraft and of course, there were also laws put in place to prevent it. Witchcraft, I wonder ? Then if you think about it, there all the beauty rituals, cosmetics and fragrances. Sounds a bit like spells.
I love everything about the power of transformation, and the art of beauty.
And how does makeup, make you have more confidence so you become empowered ?
Well, I think when you apply your makeup, it gives you a certain sense of yourself that you look better. And with that feeling, your inner self falls in-love with yourself a little bit more than before and then there’s your sparkle coming out with it. I feel it works from the outside – in. It has the power to transform your inside. Because your true beauty lies inside, and sometimes it needs a little kick to come out.
2) Then, after the makeup is done, I ask you to get dressed in your best clothes. Clothes that make you look good, that transform you from your casual self to your more glamorous self. This also contributes to your confidence and your perceived notion about yourself.
So looking into the meaning further, I research the word glamour. Its origins come from ‘enchantment, magic’, ‘beauty’ or ‘charm’. Imagine my surprise when I read that. That made me smile and think: what we are doing in my studio is truly magical.
3) There are some tips and tricks I give you for posing, I know what works best for your body type and face shape. There is science behind it, figure 8 shape is the most desirable body type. So every pose I put you in, enhances the figure 8 shape. Also, creating triangles in posing creates a pleasing image to the eye. I go through this posing training and after a couple of shots, you become a pro. You go from “I hate this”, to “I love this, give me more”. I like it when clients start revealing themselves fully, giving in and switching to their confident selves.
Have a look below to some of the metamorphosis I’ve done throughout the years. Notice first of all their increase in confidence besides their change of physical aspect. Magic!
I’ve just received the most heartwarming review from my first Glamour Photoshoot Session I’ve done.. I’m most humbled and grateful. I guess it’s been a journey for both of us, Su !
“Ever since I celebrated 30 years of my life I was preparing for my 40th birthday. I wanted to celebrate this milestone with an awesome party and photo shoot beyond awesome.
But when my 40th birthday came none of this happened. December 11th, 2010 my amazing father unexpectedly passed away abroad and according to Hindu tradition his death was followed with one year of mourning. Then a few years followed with a drastic change of my body filled with IVF related hormones. So I didn’t feel ready yet to still have that photo shoot.
When Cristina Stoian approached me for a glamour photo shoot three years later I accepted this opportunity with both hands and a lot of excitement.
This excitement was the most some days just before the photo shoot one day before my 43th birthday. Why? Because I am a result driven person and highly impatient when it comes to the good stuff in life. I pampered myself a lot with respect to preparing for the photo shoot and had regular contact with Cristina about what to wear, well actually about my whole presentation.
I already knew Cristina from an entrepreneurial circle. I met Cristina as partly down to earth but also a young talented woman who could capture life in all its features. Feeling comfortable with a photographer is the most important thing about being photographed so the play between expression and impression can be of great value for both the photographer and the photographed individual.
Being ‘naked’ outside the premises of my home, is something I haven’t done in ages, as my mother always taught her children that you never have a second chance to have a first impression, I am used to leave the house as impeccable with respect to my appearance.
On the day of the photo shoot I left home without make up and comfy dressed as I knew there was a metamorphose about to start.
On location my hair and make-up was done by to talented women and meanwhile I did my best to fit into the energy of Cristina and her studio. Initially it was hard to pose, as I am a woman who prefers to be behind the camera instead of in the picture. And also my serious look. I laugh a lot in life, but to pose with a smile is something that feels unnatural. The photo shoot almost took a whole day. Afterwards there was a mixture of feelings, feeling like I had an eight hour work out of yoga and Pilates in one and feeling in-convincible again. Cristina managed to make me laugh and loosen up. Though the final results were not ready yet, Cristina made some sneak-a-peak-pictures with her I-phone during and after the photo shoot. When I received those pictures shortly after the photo shoot and placed them on social media, the reactions were overwhelming. Many people assumed this was the actually result of the photo shoot. Most people reacted with love and awesomeness, seeing me as I used to be a long time, powerful and passionate about life.
The very first time I saw the results of glamour shoot, I was silent. Not because I didn’t like it, but because of Cristina’s ability to capture the nature of my soul, my fragile and powerful part at once, my completeness. It was quite confronting, realizing what the heck had happened to that woman I saw in all her brilliance again and feeling grateful to have reconnected with that brilliance. My favourite photo I installed as a screensaver, just to remind me of the woman I am working and living for. There is always a distorted self-image as looking at our reflection in the mirror, is not the way we are perceived by the world. The response to the pictures online were also amazing, people I had not been in touch with for ages reconnected with me and saw my heritage of people they once knew and respected, like my father and my grandparents.
I would definitely recommend this experience to other women. It is not just a photo shoot, any woman is worth such experience to meet and have the essence of yourself captured for the rest of your life and beyond. Actually, I already have recommended this experience to other women.
As I was the first in her glamour photo shoot and I didn’t know what to expect, but with Cristina met beyond my expectations, she captured my heritage and created part of my legacy.
Part of the acquired collection I hold like a treasure is private and part of it has been reason to completely rebrand my personal me. Some of those pictures were actually exactly what was needed to complete my personal branding. What you see, is what you get, the glamourous powerful passionate me.
Thank you Cristina and wishing you so many more women to re-activate and re-connect.”
While shopping for a Christmas tree, I remembered what my father always said when I was young.
As usual, like my parents did, I shop around for days, looking at trees around town, checking sizes and shapes and colours. Looking for the perfect tree. Then I find it. It is the most beautiful tree, double sided leaves, silver coloured, all round and rich in branches, symmetric. This is when my father would say: “we’re getting this one, this tree is for champions.”
It was a little bit on the expensive side, but I didn’t care, I wanted that one. Why? For the feeling it would give me.
“This tree is for champions.”
We are busy all year long, working hard and this is our reward, we deserve it. We get it home and decorate it the best we can and then enjoy it for the whole Christmas season.
So then I started to think. What else do I treat in my life like that?
What are the stories I’m telling myself on a day to day to day basis.
What are the shoes I’m wearing? What is the mattress I’m sleeping on? Is the bed for champions?
Can you identify what is the story you are telling yourself?
Because I realize, this is how we live our lives, based on this little story we tell each other and ourselves every day.
“Oh, I’m not going to buy that dress, it is too expensive for me.”
Do you recognise this ? It is the value you assign yourself.
It’s the value you think you are worth. I am not telling you to go on a shopping spree and spend unconsciously, I am telling you to start paying attention to what you are saying to yourself. And see if you are happy with that story.
Does that story serves you well? Is it a success story ?
Is it a story that gives you confidence and lifts you up?
Are you treasuring yourself everyday and treating yourself like you’re the champion?
If not, challenge your inner voice and see if there’s any other way to look at yourself. The moment you accept your story, what ever that story is, you know that this story is becoming you. This story you are telling yourself becomes your life.
Do you need a visual, a way to look at your self ?
We, at Cristina Stoian Portraits, celebrate your inner champion. We show you you. The holidays are a perfect time to capture joy. Come share the spirit in a photo session. Are you ready to book your shoot? Or maybe you still have questions. If so, press the button below, and we’ll go through them together.