Monthly Archives: April 2014

On self-doubt

(From an email from a long-time client this morning & my response to her…)

“I’m hard at taking compliments without putting myself down.”
SO many women I work with do this which is why I chose this as my life work. I want women to see themselves how I see them… fluid, timeless, beauty incarnate… The process to get to that end result, to the photo that I see in my head before we shoot it is sometimes an intense process. I have to fight for it, for the vision, for that lens that drops down in my mind full of possibilities. A successful shoot is often defined by how much you can trust me and join in.

You are strong, intuitive, creative… which means I can’t let you give up on yourself during the process, knowing how mystical the end result ALWAYS is when we connect. The intensity of a creative process is our secret. 🙂 Whatever we have to do to capture your story, re-posing the flow of a veil in motion 10 times, re-setting energy each time, breath work, challenging your emotive visualization, is necessary to bring beauty to permanence.

That portrait is how I see you…. and now how others feel you…. and how you should feel of yourself, shoulders back, unabashed! So let it in & when people tell you how beautiful you are, just hug them & thank them. In the process, thanking yourself & healing your doubting parts. You gave yourself permission to shine. I was just there to instigate it & capture it. That giddy feeling when you see the edit for the first time is your crone self happy you are capturing this time in your life…. This is why I do this work, why I get so animated during our sessions…

When I first started out, people would tell me how much they loved a photo, and I would instantly tell them everything wrong with it, how sucky my lighting was, how long the Photoshop took. Even now I catch myself complaining about long flights, heavy cases, the expense of it all, how I can’t sleep before long shoot days. I watched them deflate. I invalidated their emotion. Now, I just simply say “Thank you.” and hug them… and I keep my self-critiques & admonishing about lighting/editing reserved for a later time…. Curiously, what I’m noticing lately is that I am forgetting to admonish myself. Later never comes & I just keep riding the good parts of my art, knowing the parts I fall short of will sort itself out eventually. Time has taught me as much. Gratitude has become the blazing sword of my life. Everything to get to that place, to form the art, just falls under the heading of vision, passion & a certain kind of cohesive openness that allows doubt to fall away….


Samantha Riggs