Week in Review: 12/11-12/17

Take a look at what we shared this week:

The good, the bad and the ugly: a selection of pics from my photo shoot last April Weekend Observations: Finally, my Photos From the Photo Shoot

Sometimes the quest for beauty is actually a quest for imperfection as evidenced by the pic of the week from Japan Pic of the Week: A Turn for the Uglier

In her third installment, Karen shares her motto for change: act first and the emotions will follow 30in30 Week 3: “As-if!”

An example of a beauty brand that doesn’t just resort to pretty pics for advertising Beauty Brands Can Have Actual Campaign Ideas, Not Just Pretty Pics

More great reading More to Love: Additions to the Reading List

Enjoy the weekend!

Weekend Observation: Finally, My Photos From the Photoshoot

If you’ve been a follower of Beautyskew for a while, you probably recall that I experienced a transformative experience: my own personal photo shoot.  While a number of the pics from the shoot have made their way into my various social media profiles over the past few months, I haven’t actually done a “big reveal” until now.

Why a photo shoot?  I realized last year that it’s not enough to have great content to share with the world.  I needed to put a “face” to that content.  So some new awesome shots were in order.  But I wasn’t going to rely on my husband or mom for some homey pics.  Nooooo.  I needed to go professional.  And the right “image” was critical too, e.g., not too corporate, but not too coy or cute either.  Luckily, I had a friend of a friend (photographer extraordinaire, Stephen Sullivan) willing to do some for free!

Why has it take me so long to post my pics?  First of all, I took over 1000 shots.  That’s a hellava lot of pics to agonize over.  Second of all, some of the pics weren’t quite appropriate for all eyes (if you catch my drift), though I’ll include some of the less nasty ones anyway … heee, heee.

Finally, SO many of the pics just downright sucked.  I’m not being overly judgmental either.  Sure, I’m going to be more sensitive than anyone to my pics, but still there were a ton of hideous ones.  And these shots aren’t a reflection of my photographer either.  But, as a recent story about photography points out, camera angles can MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE. (“The camera does lie: proof that a lens can be the difference between pretty and pretty ugly“)  As the article points out: “Depending on the lens’ focal length, the image will deform and affect how the image looks in photos.”

But as I also learned (and wrote about in another post (Can I Really look Hot In Pictures?), being comfortable or uncomfortable in one’s own skin can change the quality of the shots more than anything.

But, there were still a lot of great shots too.  After becoming more at ease with myself, after my photographer got used to my best angles, and after we figured out the best hairstyles and make-up, we hit our stride.

The following slide show gives you a taste of the absolute horrendous as well as a number of my faves.  The first 5 are the sucky ones, and and the rest are a variety of the goodies (please keep in mind these aren’t adjusted for color/saturation etc, in other words, not photo shopped).




Am I totally satisfied?  Sure, I think there’s some room for improvement.  But at least I have a better sense of what I can do better (e.g., relax), how to use the camera better and how to do my hair and make-up better.  At the very least, I have some instant comic relief. 🙂

Comment or tweet us your thoughts @Beautyskew.com


Week in Review: 7/10-7/16

Take a read of what we shared this week:

Will immediate praise of our girls’ beauty misguide them? Weekend Observation: Should We Compliment Little Girls on Their Beauty?

Why we admire pregnant beauties Pic of the Week: There’s A Human Being Behind That Pretty Face

Why do pics of ourselves always look worse than our “real selves”?  Can we change that? Can I Really Look Hot in Pictures?

What explains the desire for moms and daughters to share quality time while beautifying themselves and each other? Why Do Mothers and Daughters Bond Over Beauty?

The beauty news continues with More to Love: Additions to the Reading List

Can I Really Look Hot in Pictures?

“Can the unphotogenic learn to love themselves?”  That’s the sub-head of a great article written by Candice Rainey in the June issue of Elle Magazine.  While she loves to pore over photos of others — from fashion to street ones, she hates posing for her own.

I can relate. I’ve always said I’m much better looking in person than in pics.  That’s why I went all-out to do a semi-professional photo shoot.  If this digital age requires us to be on display 24/7, I might as well minimize the risk of ANOTHER bad mug shot hanging out there in cyberspace.

But perhaps we shouldn’t blame the lens for the bad shots.  After all, cameras just shoot what they see.  Sure, lighting and angles matter.  But in the end we should blame ourselves.


Rainey points out all the things (conscious or unconscious) we do when we know a camera is focused on us.  We get so uptight.  We’re trying so hard to control the picture so that will be perfect when in fact that control makes us seem contrived and stilted.

Perhaps this explains why it took 1000 shots at my photo shoot to come up with a few I can live with.  And it also explains why the shoot was SO exhausting.  I had to perform. I was so concerned with looking right. As you can imagine, the first shots taken, when my need to control the pics was at its worst, are downright horrible.

But as I warmed up and began to relinquish control to my photographer, the pics became much better (of course a few sips of white wine helped too!).  And I had more fun too.

I’m still fiddling with the pics (I can’t TOTALLY relinquish control, of course), but I’m narrowing them down.  As soon as they are ready, I will post and seek out your opinions.  Can’t wait!

Weekend Observations: Behind the Scenes of MY Photo Shoot

“Get those nuts out of your mouth,” said Stephen Sullivan, photographer to the stars.
No, it’s not what you, with the dirty minds, are thinking.
Stephen was merely advising me to stop eating the various nuts from the “crafts table” (aka my friend’s spread on her kitchen counter) during my photo shoot.  They kept getting stuck in my teeth, forcing me to unconsciously pick at my teeth with my tongue during shots.
Why am I the subject of a photo shoot?  Sure, I’m in the advertising world, so I’m no virgin to the concept of a shoot, but as a strategist I’m rarely a participant in them.  And I’m certainly not the focus of them.  So what makes this photo shoot different from all other ones? (OK, definitely been to one too many Passover seders lately…)  Given that I publish a bit, my shot gets bandied about in company presentations, and I write this blog all about beauty, I figured it’s time for me to have a professional head shot.  Not something stuffy or corporate, but a pic that I wouldn’t cringe looking at.
Like many people I know, I’m my own worst enemy when it comes to pictures of myself.  You know when you hear the sound of your recorded voice and you can’t believe you sound like this to others?  Well, that’s how I feel about how I look in pics.  So, imagine the luck I had when I met Stephen at a party.  We struck up a conversation and he offered to take a few shots.  And to add to my luck, my friend who was having the party loves to do his make-up for photo shoots!
I was set.
Sunday was the day.
I have to admit, I was nervous.  I went to the gym to let out some steam and drank a glass of wine at 11 am to relax.  To make matters worse, during the shoot I was asked to position my hands, face and body into weird positions.
But then I started getting into it and even began to enjoy the whole experience.  I realized I could be super concerned about how “good” I looked in each shot or I could let go and be fully expressive (Ok, maybe not FULLY expressive, but you get the idea).
No coincidence, once I loosened up a bit everyone started having a better time and the pictures began to get better and better.
I left the shoot in a high state.  I felt liberated and empowered.  In letting myself go and be vulnerable, I truly believe I looked more beautiful, more interesting, more, well, like me.  And then it dawned on me what a great lesson this is for life in general.
As soon as I get the photos, I’ll publish them here…the good, the bad and the ugly.

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