Mina: My typical client has evolved over the years. I started by photographing families, babies and kids but always had an interest in women's portraiture. In fact, I remember the first Goddesses that I photographed back in the Fall of 2009! While I still photograph families, couples, high school seniors and some weddings, my work has definitely shifted more towards women.
My typical clients now are women of all ages and women entrepreneurs who want to reconnect or perhaps even discover the Wild Woman and Goddess within them, who want to feel empowered, who want their clients to "know" them from their images displayed on their website, who want to leave a legacy, who want to show they are more than mommy, wife, worker, who want to reveal the magic that lies within.
Meg: "Revealing the magic within." So powerful. So how do you work with your clients to design their ideal shoot?
Mina: Often clients come to me and have no idea what they want to do for their shoot. So we start off with some questions. Some of the questions are basic but some of them start to dig deeper. For example, a client might answer I love nature or I love flowers. So then I ask, how does nature make you feel? And then it's the feeling(s) we start delving into. Those answers reveal so much and that's when my vision takes over. I use my intuition to visualize the styling, the location and other ideas. Then we work together to find just the right outfits, location(s), props and mood.
Meg: That sounds incredible! Sign me up! However, some women are squeamish about being in front of the camera. How do you make your clients feel comfortable being in the spotlight?
Mina: Believe me, I know how awkward it can be to be in front of a camera! I've had a photoshoot done and being comfortable from the minute you walk in the door is so important to how the overall experience is going unfold.
On the day of the shoot the first thing we do is go over some details to get those out of the way and then go through outfits, accessories and styling. Then it's time for hair and makeup. I work with some amazing artists that are super friendly and engaging. You can't help but be relaxed around them. We'll have some snacks (nobody wants to be starving when they're trying to pose!), coffee, tea or maybe even champagne. :) Depending on the shoot, we sometimes use my home for a studio and my clients get a very nice dose of zen here!
Then when it's time to shoot, I walk my clients through everything. How to stand, where to look, what to do with their hands, what kind of gaze and expression. There's a lot of hand holding at first but I can tell you that by the end, every single time, that awkwardness has simply disappeared and my Goddesses are rocking it on that Wild Woman who has emerged!
Meg: I love that! And think it would benefit all women to see themselves in that light. What do you want your clients to feel when they see their portraits?
Mina: I want my clients to feel like they've been transformed. That they have unleashed their Wild Woman that was craving to be released. That they embody the Goddess they are.
I want them to feel powerful, empowered, brave, beautiful, liberated, on fire, bold, amazing, excited, fearless, loved by themselves.
Meg: This is such important work you're doing to empower women to love themselves. Why do you think it's important for all women to see & recognize their inner goddess?
Mina: Our Inner Goddess or Wild Woman is the essence of who we are as women. She is beyond the daily errands, the laundry and dishes, the taking care of others. She is who we want to be, whether that's powerful and bold, or vulnerable and soft. When you say to yourself I wish I was (fill in the blank)... guess what? You already are because She is always there inside of us. And when we see and recognize this we are able to invoke and embody Her all the time. And then we are unstoppable.