What’s in A Selfie: Why Posting Self Photos Are An Essential Piece of Your Brand

Selfie photographs are not new. It is only recently that self portraitures emerged as a global phenomenon. Historically, self portraits were usually produced by the elite and revered. Fancy pants people who were adored, from artists to politicians. Now, anyone with a smartphone can be instantly zapped into stardom with just a selfie stick and a click.

Google estimates that roughly 24 billion selfies were taken in one year alone. A quick hashtag search for #selfies will yield you over 342 million post results on Instagram.

It’s no doubt we are living in a selfie-nation.

In my work, I most often come across three types of people: the selfie lovers, the dabblers, and then there’s people like me who hate the idea of being in photos. It’s why I spent years BEHIND the camera instead of in front of it.

Over the years, I’ve embraced a new idea. As the woman behind Project She Went For Her Dreams, a global brand that champions this movement of building a legion of confident women in business, I knew that I had to stop hiding behind my work and start being the face of it.

I was inspired by my mentor and many other countless women change-makers who unapologetically capture themselves in a good ‘ol fashioned selfie every now and then while giving absolutely no fucks about what others think of them while doing so.

And isn’t that what stops many of us? The fact that we care a little too much about what others think of us. There’s a little voice in our head that says, who am I to post this photo of myself? And another voice that says, who do you think you are, some sort of celebrity? Or we may buy into this false sense of humility, that shames us for daring to tie our name and face to the work that we do.

This is a problem I see mostly as women, while the men of our time have no issues being front and center of their work and accomplishments.

Without going too deeply into the social conditioning and systemic challenges women face as it relates to being seen and credited for their work, we can all agree that self promotion has always been a tough nut to crack for women.

I’m in favor of women amplifying their professional platforms and with that building mediums of expression and communication -- including the selfie. Selfies have an incredible ability to create a magnetizing power. Whether snapshots taken “on the go” or posed and non-spontaneous, the visual aesthetic of a person captured in their essence, helps us create an understanding of ourselves and establishes our existence to those around us.

In a world where we are our own brand builders, here’s a few statements that make the case for selfies as a brand advantage.

  1. Selfies are a form of self expression

  2. Selfie’s build trust

  3. Selfies humanizes you

  4. Selfies are an extension of your career

  5. Selfies are a form of reputation management where you can control how you are perceived

  6. Selfies can be empowering and encourage motivation and online support

Selfies, while they can be used as a form of self expression, they can also be dangerous forms of validation and sources of approval that if mishandled can drain you of all self esteem.

"The key is to make sure you avoid the psychological pitfalls. If you’re so keen to promote your ‘brand’ that you start to become reliant on likes and validation as a key to your success and if you just identify yourself as a brand, your self-esteem can become solely based on your pictures. You relinquish your control to people you don’t know and negative comments can be very hard to deal with." - Dr. Aaron Balick, Psychotherapist.

If you have a service, a mission, a cause you believe in, are an activist, a change-maker, thought leader, and have a message you want to get out to the world, make selfies a vibrant part of how you express that yourself and grow your platform.

Now I'm off to lunch to grab lunch at a beautiful Mediterranean bistro in midtown. The spicy shrimp risotto looks amazing. But first, let me take a selfie.

eBook Heart to Heart Debuts Today!

Today, I’d like to invite you into a conversation with your heart.

My new eBook, Heart to Heart debuts today and it is my absolute honor to share with you it’s unique message.  But first, let me share with you why I created Heart to Heart.

Heart to Heart was brought to you for several reasons.

I see potential for greatness in you.  
I see your desire to act on creative impulses and the fear that holds you back.  
I see your desire to live mindfully and purposefully.  
 
I see a hole in this world that needs YOU to fill it.

>>Click title to read full post<<
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Photography Saved My Life

I said this to someone just recently and I didn’t realize the power in that statement and the truth it held for me.

How exactly did photography save my life?

Before photography entered my life, I was so caught up in walking a path that was not my own. It was the result of living up to certain expectations that was placed on me by others and that I placed on myself which was not based on the truth of who I was. I was on a path that I thought would bring me happiness and “success” by enduring 6 years of advanced education so that I could get a job in cubicle nation.  The emptiness I felt inside at the end of each day was too hard to bear.

I had always enjoyed taking pictures in my spare time. I liked the feeling it gave me of soulful satisfaction and depth to an otherwise one-dimensional world. I held the camera in my hand; felt it’s weight and then as if by magic it summoned something wonderful in my heart & mind.

I lifted the camera to my eye and suddenly the world started to take shape. My imagination saw the world through the camera’s viewfinder. A bird taking flight, two dogs kissing, a butterfly perched on a flower, a long windy road that led to the unknown. Is this what my heart saw? And if so, how beautiful that I saw it? I somehow became a part of the scene in a photo. I felt actively connected to the world that was taking place right in front of me. It went from a vision in my mind to being captured in a photo and just like that my pointer finger became the executor of my hearts imagination.

Photography gave me life that I didn’t know I needed; it acted as a direct channel to my heart. I discovered myself and the truth of who I am in a photograph.

My life had truly begun. Photography reacquainted me with my heart and for that I will forever be grateful. Photography saved my life.

 

With Love & Light,

Ariane

Photographer, Grace Mz gie | See Beauty...™ Friday Feature

I see beauty in my dream that dream shouldn't stay as a dream anymore, you just have to take daring step for it. Your dream shouldn't make you weak but it must be the reason to give power into your life. However, a dream stays there forever, if you aren't willing to do any effort, seeing for an opportunity and ready to sacrifice.

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Guest Post on Meditative Arts: Why I Will Never Photoshop

As a photographer, I stand against using Photoshop in my work in a way that extensively manipulates an image to either create or take away from what I think makes a persons beauty shine.  And as a woman, I am in touch with the constant pressures of needing to look and feel perfect.  

But I say, beauty always starts from within.

 

"We can be emotional, we think with our hearts, and are stepping up to lead the world single-handedly. Shouldn’t that be included in what defines our overall beauty? These are the qualities that empower us to shine in our own unique way".

Click on image below to read more here from my guest post on Meditative Arts.

See Beauty...

Ariane 

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Photographer, Kim Manley Ort | See Beauty...™ Friday Feature

“The meaning of life is to see.” ~ Hui Neng, 13th century monastic

The quote above has been a favorite of mine for some time now. As a photographer and a human being, my goal is to see reality as it is, with as few preconceived notions as possible.

What I have found is that there are always new and surprising ways to see an object, a person, or a situation – and often, there is more beauty present than we ever imagined.

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Artist, Tracey Chan | See Beauty...™ Friday Feature

Today I woke up and I was facing the window side of the room. The light streamed gently down the wall from under bamboo blinds in a peaceful gradient; light to darkness. The sun was blazing outside, but the graceful sunshine filtered dreamily. With groggy eyes, I lay there for a while thinking about how gorgeous that small vignette was, and being grateful that I could see it. And this is my life; made up of these little beautiful moments in the simple things.

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