Sept. 16, 2021

Insider Secrets to Getting a Great Picture of Yourself with Michelle Adams

Insider Secrets to Getting a Great Picture of Yourself with Michelle Adams

Do you have a great picture of yourself both inside and out? In this episode, you’re going to learn how to show up and to feel strong for when you’re having your photos taken and in other areas in your life where you want to make a positive presence.  My special guest and dear friend Michelle Adams will show you how to come out from hiding whenever there’s a camera around and how to master how you express yourself when you want to connect with others.

Michelle is the photographer behind the image I used for my cover art for the Make Time for Success podcast.  Her caring attitude, professional know-how, and her expertise in the field of photography make for an incredible experience in working with Michelle.  Listen to the episode to hear tips for how to work with her or the photographer of your choice successfully.

Michelle Adams is an award-winning, international Brand Photographer. Michelle specializes in female branding photography and has photographed thousands of women. She’s in demand by notable female entrepreneurs, thought leaders, and corporate presidents.  Michelle is also the founder of She Gets The Picture and Self-Styled Photo Workshops created to help women grow their impact and income while saving time and money by creating their own brand photos. 

Timestamps: 

  • [3:35] Michelle’s passion for photography and helping women show up
  • [5:10] How you can get aligned with your message before having your photo taken
  • [8:37] How to show up seeing your potential instead of your faults
  • [10:11] The incredible power of pictures
  • [12:42] What to do when you want to hire a photographer

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For more information on the Make Time for Success podcast, visit:

https://www.maketimeforsuccesspodcast.com

Connect with Us!

Dr. Christine Li -

Website: https://www.procrastinationcoach.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/procrastinationcoach

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/procrastinationcoach/

Michelle Adams -

Website: https://www.MichelleAdamsmodern.com and https://www.MichelleAdamsWorkshops.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram@MichelleAdamsModern

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/MichelleAdamsModernPhotography

To get Michelle’s Pocket Posing Prompts package, go to: https://www.maketimeforsuccesspodcast.com/Michelle

Transcript

Christine Li:

Welcome back to The make time for success podcast. This is Episode 40. Oftentimes, the fastest way to achieving success is by showing up as our full selves. When do you agree? Sometimes though, we need a little boost, and a bunch of coaching in order to show up in a way that reflects who we really are, and our true potential. In this episode, you're going to hear about how Michelle Adams award winning brand photographer teaches women how to show up in front of the camera to achieve maximum effect and impact. Michelle is in demand by notable entrepreneurs, thought leaders, and corporate presidents for her incredible work. She is also the founder of she gets the picture, and self styled photo workshops designed to help women grow their impact and income. By creating their own brand photos. You're going to learn how to express yourself with the message that you want to have in your photos, whether they be for your personal use, or for promoting your business and brand. Michelle's passion for this work of coaching women to express the very best of themselves to the outside world is throughout this episode. So let's go listen to her wise words. I'm getting great photos now.

Unknown:

Hi,

Christine Li:

I'm Dr. Christine Li and I'm a psychologist and a procrastination coach. I've helped 1000s of people move past procrastination and overwhelm so they can begin working to their potential. In this podcast, you're going to learn powerful strategies for getting your mind, body and energy to work together so that you can focus on what's really important, and accomplish the goals you want to achieve. When you start living within your full power, you're going to see how being productive can be easy, and how you can create success on demand. Welcome to the make time for success podcast. Hello, everyone. It is Christine Li and today I have the distinct pleasure of introducing you to my beautiful and wonderful and talented friend, Michelle Adams, Michelle happens to be the photographer who took my cover photo for the podcast. So you've all seen her work before. And today, I just wanted to have a conversation with Michelle about everything she knows about photography, brand photography, and looking your best in front of the camera. Welcome to the show. Michelle,

Michelle Adams:

thank you so much. It's so good to be here. And you know, I always love talking about how people can get out there and get more engagement and look great and feel great about themselves and photos because it is such an important thing.

Christine Li:

Yes, you have taught me that. And you've been an amazing coach in that way. So thank you for joining us on the show. Could you first start us off with giving us a little bit of a sense of how much photography you've done and your journey in the field.

Michelle Adams:

Thank you I would love to. Right now I specialized in female branding photos for female entrepreneurs. And that hasn't always been the case. I've done families portraits, then I got into advertising groups, things like that throughout the years. And I really believe in what I'm doing. Now. I'm so passionate about having women show up and feel strong and who they are and what they deliver to people, whether it's coaching a group, whether it's just standing up and saying this is who I am, this is what I believe in. And I just feel it's so important for our voices to be heard in a photo graphic way that I know that sounds a little funny. But back when I was a teenager, I wasn't so good at expressing myself. And what happened was I ended up getting into photography as a visual expression. And it also allowed me to stay behind the camera and shine my camera on other people. So as I grew up and learned more about my life, I realized I needed to come out from behind the camera and share more of who I was. And that was not easy. That wasn't an easy journey for me. And I love helping people make that journey themselves.

Christine Li:

Thank you for sharing that story. I did not know that. I can't see a shy person but oh my goodness story. Okay, so what have you noticed, as you've developed your career developed as a human being and woman about women is confidence and what might be interfering with the expression of a natural self confidence in women?

Michelle Adams:

That's such a good question. I know that there comes a time in many people's lives. When you look at a photo of yourself in your say, Oh my gosh, that is not me. Oh my gosh, tell me that is not me. That's not how I look, is it? Well, no, it's not I have to say it's not the camera sees you completely differently than who you are and how you express yourself. It is you in the sense that you haven't learned to align yourself with what you're really feeling in the moment and how you want to express yourself. In that split second, when the photo is taken, I always recommend that people think about what it is that they want the message to be. If it's intentional, you want to think about what do you want your people to feel and experience and actually do that in the photo yourself. So if you are showing movement, and carefree feelings, you would actually feel that and there's different ways of doing that. Or if you want to feel like you want to be more approachable, you're going to lean forward, you're going to feel that feeling that vibe of wanting to meet the person in front of you. Which is so important now, because of all the screens that we have to communicate through. So we have my screen, your screen, and all the space in between. Now if we lean back, it's very standoffish. But if you were to greet a guest at your front door, which is really what branding photography is, that I feel your branding photo is your front door of your business. So you would walk forward, you would greet your guests, you would shake their hand or give them a hug and pre COVID times for sure. But you would lean forward, you would interact, you would look beautiful while you're doing it because you're caring and loving and kind and considerate. And that's what you want to create in that photo. When you do your approachability photo.

Christine Li:

I love it. I love the idea of having it be your greeting and that you are wanting to convey your own warmth to the people who are looking at you. What do you say to women who get really nervous in front of the camera, or they get really stiff or they they're just like themselves?

Michelle Adams:

totally get it, I get it too. I think that you really need to align with what it is your message is and then it becomes very fun. You know, you can always get a headshot. That's easy, that's clinical, that's quick. But to really think about what it is you're trying to do who you're trying to serve. People ask me all the time is branding photography, really about who's the prettiest? Who's the hottest? Who's got the cutest clothes? Who's in the best location? And I feel? I have to say no, because I actually love understanding people. And I will search them out on Instagram and watch them because of their energy alone. I mean, I love so many different things. I do love seeing what certain influencers are doing, and outfits and stuff like that. But I don't just stop there. I love to learn from all types of people. So it's not just about the way you look.

Christine Li:

How would you coach people into feeling more comfortable,

Michelle Adams:

okay. Think about how you're serving people, it's so easy to think about your flaws and to say, oh, man, I look like crap. That's horrible. It's just so easy to stay there. And that's coming from a place of limited beliefs, limited vision, it's so easy to fix something that you might not like, like, if you're standing broad to the camera standing on two feet, you want to kind of move your body, you have this wonderful body that you can use in so many different ways to express yourself. And we're not taught this, the people on the red carpet aren't taught how to walk that red carpet. But when you learn how to move your body and what it's saying with your body language, there's so many different things that you can do. And you start to photograph and see your potential instead of your faults. So when you can come from the place of looking for your potential. That's what you're capturing instead of your your faults or your past or the way you used to look. We need to take stock of who we are now and feel strong in that and know how to express it. I feel it's every business owners job to get that down and understand how to use this kind of language because it is a language.

Christine Li:

Yes, and you've taught me how important The power of pictures is could you describe your own understanding of the impact an individual picture can have?

Michelle Adams:

Well, I know for a fact that there is nothing quicker that can instantly give the vibe you want to communicate. Now it's up to you to do that, in one second or less, you can communicate an entire What is it? They say? What's that saying? A picture says 1000 words. And it is kind of true. Because video can't do that. I love video. And you know, but in one second, the photograph is an actual symbol that goes right into the brain quicker than words quicker than copywriting quicker than anything. And there's a reason they do that in the dating world. That's the swipe right swipe left mentality. But if you overload that picture with too much information, or your lighting is wrong, or people don't understand, or maybe it's just a little funky, you know, people will pass you right by. So we really want that picture to create the front door, and then maybe people will be more curious about you, they might want to go to the side window and check the behind the scenes photo. Or maybe we might share a little bit more about you, but come through the kitchen. You know, there's different ways that you can express yourself with activities that you do.

Christine Li:

I love it. And you've helped me in my business so much with your beautiful skill.

Michelle Adams:

Well, Christine, you show up beautifully. I admire you so much You show up so well.

Christine Li:

Thank you, you helped me to make it really fun. And it is fun. I can tell our listeners that Michelle is great at just guiding how to pose how to give that attitude how to come forward in the picture. And I really appreciated your help, could you describe to our listeners, what the advantages are of hiring a professional photographer for business shots for personal shots, and how they might think about doing that versus trying to do the photography on their own. I know you're an advocate of both, I just wanted to hear your thoughts on both both options.

Michelle Adams:

Thank you. 121 is a very interesting way to work with somebody, I don't believe you should rely on your photographer for your branding. I think that there's a responsibility that people need to partake, because as far as handing over your branding is like handing over your business to a photographer that might not have the training that you have had and might not have invested in different coaching aspects of what's so important in your business. So the first thing I would do when hiring a photographer, there are so many fabulous photographers out there, the way I work with people is I want to create a safe space for them to step out and be themselves. And they don't even know the first thing of doing that. So that's why I recommend working with yourself a little bit going on Pinterest, creating a mood board, but knowing what it is that you want to say. It's not just about pretty pictures, but you're not going to post those pictures. If you don't feel you look good. I mean, most people would say no, I don't want anyone to see this. So it's really good to understand yourself, work in the mirror, take out your phone, use an inexpensive tripod, there's a great one for $28 Amazon basics that I love and just use a digital clicker and start learning your angles. And that will only prepare you all the more for when you get in front of a photographer's lens. Have that meeting with your photographer get a feeling of are they just a photographer that uses strobes? Or a studio? Are they comfortable going on location? Are they a available light only photographer? What is it that they have as far as skills so look at their technical side? Find out what it is that they are like as a person? Are they friendly? Are they encouraging? Do they have a vision that they can share with you? It's kind of the Wild West out there. As far as branding, photography, people charge all different prices. So you want to find out does that come with a makeup artist? Hair and makeup? Do you have extra pieces of wardrobe that you can use? How many pictures do you get for that? Is there retouch? Is there editing? Or is it simple just editing or do you get the retouch as well? How many do you get retouched? And do you have free rein to use all the images any way you want? Or are there usage fees?

Christine Li:

Wonderful and how about working on your own in terms of with that $28 tripod? What tips would you have for people who are just trying to do their initial shots on their own?

Michelle Adams:

Well, there are so many things that you can try out, I would say Go to Pinterest, find out some poses, I have a bunch of poses, there's like 20 different categories that you can really use that I offer as a photographer. And that's just the start of it. There are things like office photos, there are approachability, there's a cart open cart, close look that really get the results that you need for people to understand that your programs are opening up and make a jump, get going. Let's do it. There's ways to practice how you sit, how you stand, how you shift your weight, and understand that when you do that, you have more impact to make the proper message.

Christine Li:

I love it. Thank you so much. Where is your own development? Come through your work now that you've gone through so many different subsections of the field? And you've worked with so many 1000s of people and women in particular? Can you describe what has changed maybe inside of you or what you've grown to know?

Michelle Adams:

Well, I used to always think, Oh, it's kind of like dating, you know, I would look at people and say, Oh, I'm so glad I don't have to put myself out there that way. Boom, here's a divorce. Great time to learn how to put yourself out there and date, you go through things you might not want to go through. But at the end, it's awesome, because you've learned so many more skills than you would have otherwise. So I used to think I feel so bad for these people that have to do Tick Tock and dance. I mean, I'm a serious executive photographer here. This is crazy. Why would I have to dance? Well, now I'm out there doing different reels, doing different things and acting, and it's a lot of fun. So I don't like to say never say never. But keep an open mind and keep learning and trying new things. And I hope I always do that I used to hide now I'm out. And I love it.

Christine Li:

I love having Michelle as my personal experimentation partner, we talk a lot about things that we want to get to the things that we want to try and exciting ideas that are our head. So I love how Michelle you encourage women to expand themselves and to expand while also feeling like themselves. Because I think when we're in any way in the public eye or doing something to promote something, there's that element of fear. And I know again, from working with you that there's no fear involved, when you have the right attitude that this is fun, this is the right thing to do. We can only have more fun that when we push ourselves, we can only find more opportunity and more about ourselves in the process. And I think you do beautiful work, everyone, I really encourage you to follow Michelle on Instagram, because think it's like this fantastic array of Michelle's work and the beautiful people that she has captured. Could you let people know how to follow you on Instagram?

Michelle Adams:

You can find me at Michelle Adams modern on Instagram and Facebook. And I also have, she gets the picture and self styled photo workshops that are themed workshops that let you join as a group.

Christine Li:

So could you describe that a little bit more because I think it's a unique opportunity. And I don't think many people know about this kind of opportunity that they could work with you but still be not in California where you are. Can you describe the whole range of what you offer?

Michelle Adams:

Well, during the pandemic, I tried virtual photos. And that's how you and I were able I mean, you actually got a session that we still haven't used yet. I'm so excited to get you in front of my one to one lens. But during that time, I wasn't able to photograph people. So we opened up the virtual photoshoots. And I was able to go all over the world. And it was through iPhones or you know your cellular phone and then I would photograph my huge monitor and it was a little soft on certain parts. And now I discovered how to do things differently for a group so everyone will sign on one day a month. I have a big theme that we do I have a model. We do exercises belief action statements, we get the vibe up and fun and you can get all of your branding photos done for the month with a simple background and interaction as a group. We have hot seats, I answer questions and we try new things with new prompts and it is so much fun. And that's what it's all about having fun doing business, you should never do things that are not fun, I believe.

Christine Li:

I love that it could you remind us what the name of that particular program is?

Michelle Adams:

Thank you. It's called self styled photo workshops.

Christine Li:

Okay, so to recap, because I think it's a great program, every month, there's a different theme for what you're going to get. And once you have that session with Michelle and the other students who are each in their own homes or offices in the States, you'll get a set of fresh photos that Michelle has consulted with you on to use for your business, for your family, for your uses. And I think it's a great opportunity to get good looking images during these COVID times, unfortunately, we're still here in these COVID times.

Michelle Adams:

And not only that, though, I think that it puts you right in the driver's seat, it helps you to realize exactly what to do. So when I work one to one with people, it's so fast moving, we're going all day, we have 20 different outfits that we're changing into, and it's easy to follow my directions. But when you're doing it yourself, it's so much easier to say, Oh, I need a branding shot. What am I gonna How do I post this without a picture, it just makes things so much easier to do. you're posting on Instagram to send out an email to motivate people by seeing an image. I don't know about you, but I'm very visual. So when I see those things, it puts more attention on the caption on the writing on your messaging. And posting it is just so much easier. So you don't have to wait for a photographer. If you're on vacation, you know what to do when you're doing it yourself. I'm not putting down photographers, they're amazing and gifted. I'm one. And I would never take away that part of expression. Because we really do great work photographers. But I really feel that the two go hand in hand when you understand what it's like to represent yourself. And it's a coming together of the minds. And nothing's impossible at that point.

Christine Li:

I love it. And Michelle and I are joining forces here to remind you not to leave your images out of the picture, to make sure that you're showing up as fully as you can and to have good shots supporting you and what you want to put forth into the world. Michelle's being so sweet and supporting what I'm saying right now. I love that Christy. We really share share ideas in that way to share our love for women and share our love for people having more fun as they do their good work. So thank you, Michelle, for joining me today here and for sharing your wisdom and knowledge. Again, everyone check out Michelle's work on Instagram. And Michelle, I know you have a gift for our listeners. Could you describe what that gift is?

Michelle Adams:

Yes, it is pocket posing prompts, where you will know how to move what to do it has 20 different categories. And right now it has $30 off which makes it $17 for your make time for success podcast listeners. So if that sounds like something that you could use, then I recommend you go to make time for success. podcast.com forward slash Michelle.

Christine Li:

Wonderful again, that's it make time for success. podcast.com slash Michelle, please stay in touch with Michelle please consider hiring her as your own personal brand photographer. She's fantastic. Thank you. I cannot speak highly enough for this woman who might love so Thank you Michelle again and everyone. I want to wish you well and thanks for listening to the make time for success podcast. We'll see you soon. Thank you for listening to this episode of The make time for success podcast. If you enjoyed what you've heard, you can subscribe to make sure you get notified of upcoming episodes. You can also visit our website make time for success podcast.com for past episodes, show notes and all the resources we mentioned on the show. Feel free to connect with me over on Instagram too. You can find me there under the name procrastination coach. Send me a DM and let me know what your thoughts are about the episodes you've been listening to. And let me know any topics that you might like me to talk about on the show. I'd love to hear all about how you're making time for success. Talk to you soon.

Michelle Adams

Brand Photographer

Michelle Adams is an award-winning, international Brand Photographer. She specializes in female branding photography and has photographed thousands of women. She's in demand by notable female entrepreneurs, thought leaders, and corporate presidents. Michelle is also the founder of She Gets the Picture and Self-Styled Photo Workshops created to help women grow their impact and income while saving time and money by creating their own brand photos.

Michelle lives in Laguna Beach, California and when she's not working, she loves working out, biking in the canyons, checking out art exhibits and farmers' markets.