It astounds me, whenever I do a Personal Branding shoot, how transformative this process is for my clients… and me! Within the space of a couple of hours, the transformation is VISIBLE. And it’s all down to one secret ingredient.

Yes, with a professional photo shoot, there are many moving and practical parts that brings the about the final result. Location, hair, makeup, outifts, jewelry, props, camera gear, technical ability… the list is vast. But there’s one ingredient, a massively overlooked but essential piece of the puzzle that turns a generic photo shoot into a transformational experience.

Our amazing makeup artist – Bia aka. Little Harlequin

Our beautiful second location… The Happy Space!

I’ve been doing this long enough – nearly 13 years in fact, to be able to share this with confidence. In fact, I intuitively knew this long before I could ever shoot in manual! I was still a happy snapper prancing around in auto on my first ‘professional’ grade camera when I realised the importance of this special ingredient. And at the time, I didn’t even realise that I’d realised it!

It’s only after putting in my 10 000 hours and more that I can reflect and acknowledge what I was unconsciously valuing, prioritising and intentioning each time I picked up my camera to capture a person’s portrait.

….. and that secrect ingredient is….

ENERGY!

Yup! I’m going all woo-woo on yo’ ass!

Energy is EVERYTHING!

I’ve felt and seen the impact of energy on a photoshoot – the experience of it and the resulting images.

When the energy is off – when there’s a mood/vibe/feeling of anxiety, stress, loathing, forcing, constriction or any other negative heaviness, the photoshoot experience is hard and uncomfortable, things don’t work as intended and it’s jolty. And when looking at the photos after the fact, they’re one dimensional, disconnected, awkard looking and just not my best work.

But when the energy is right…..oh boy! Does is show!? The session is easy and floaty, fun and vibrant, we hear laughter, we notice beautiful light, the inspiration flows abundantly and all the moving parts coalesce synchronistically. And then the images….man, those images – there’s something about them. Something intangible and magnetic. It’s the thing that we don’t have an ‘ego-based’ word for, but which our soul connects with, without needing a vocabulary. The person’s ‘Truth’ shines through from the other side of that lens.

Side Note: As I write this, I can feel my heart beat a little faster in my chest because it knows this is the true expression of this energy.

And it’s not ME that creates the energy, it’s not my client who creates the energy. Yes, we independentaly CONTRIBUTE to the energy, but really… the energy is always there, it’s here, it’s all around us. We merely make it welcome, together. We invite it to focus at a specific time and place, and coupled with the ripple effect of this tranformative experience and resulting imagery, that energy is fueled and expands into the full future impact of this co-creative process.

Phew! It feels good. Like a natural high or that feeling after a few drops of CBD oil… I’m guessing. I dunno, I’ve never tried it.

So when I have a client like Sonja McKaiser… who’s portraits inspired this writing, I’m reminded of the value of collaboration.

The value of Collaboration

Yes, when I’m booked there’s a functional & transactional exchange. But more than that, there’s an impactful collaboration unfolding. When my role as ‘the photographer’ plays itself out and comes to an end, I have a front row seat at the unfolding of the aforementioned energy’s impact. And my word, is it beautiful to witness.

Sonja in particular is both literally and figuratively a shining example of this…

See what I mean!

I’m on the edge of my seat with excitement to see where Sonja and that beautiful Energy go next, and what impact they create together, with their future collaborators along the way…

Sonja is already helping people create their vision for their life through her Vision Board Workshops (and as the very first guest expert in my Confident Creative Academy), and she’s enabling people to articulate their stories through her Expressive Writing Workshops. She’s also instrumental in shaping the future women of our country by volunteering for the Grrrlcamp NPO, and now she’s taking her special spark into the corporate environment too – lawd knows the corporates need their energy shifted!!

So find out more about how you can work with Sonja by visiting www.sonjamckaiser.com, and follow her on Instagram and Facebook.

I emplore you to follow this woman – she’s real, she’s raw, she lifts your energy by just being in her presence.

And remember…

Each one of us is adding our own little contributory ingredient to each other’s journey, and girl, after all these years, I’m so grateful for the multitude of flavours that have been added to my energy, which of course I pass on to the next person. We’re all connected afterall so be mindful of the energy you’re allowing or disallowing. It can make or break the recipe…