I’m a women of influence, at least according to Main Line Parent! Our studio’s mission is to create a culture of inclusion, fun, and self-confidence. A little lofty for a portrait studio but to me it’s my gauge in this world. It’s the imagery, the experience and the sessions aligned with delivering a better community. To be recognized for that work resonates so deeply.
To be named a woman of influence by Main Line Parent is so incredible. There are a lot of amazing women in our community, doing incredibly impactful things. To be included among them is of course and honor. But it’s personally very validating that it’s ok to be unique and that people really understand our mission. The thing we work so hard to bring to life through sessions, charity work, and how we engage with the community. For it to be seen and really impact the community lets me know this crazy dream of mine, isn’t so crazy.
Being Authentic – So Overused
I hate to use the word authentic because in the age of instagram perfection the meaning has totally been diluted. Authentic has come to mean, beautifully curated moments. And I’m not mad at that but it isn’t the whole truth. I’m not mad at that, either. It’s ok that the whole truth is saved for your inner circle. That’s the way it was for me, as a millennial growing up. People ask, “how are you?” and the answer is “good.” But when the closest friend or sister asks, that’s when you spill the beans. But to get back to authentic, I do think it’s important that what you’re putting out into the world is real. That’s why the studio takes a natural approach.
My husband was diagnosed with a degenerative disease when I was in my early twenties, looking back we were babies! But it has given me this incredible gift to see the world without all the BS. It’s also allowed me to prioritize what’s important, like really important in life. I’m an open book, as you know if you’ve read any of my blogs!
That authenticity is something I bring to everything I do. Love it, hate it, I’m totally honest. It is the guiding factor not just in my life but in how we build the studio. It’s incorporated into our values which dictates the team, the environment, the imagery, the backgrounds, and the experience.
Going Against the Grain
But to be fair, being a natural portrait studio (discover what that means here), kinda goes against the grain. In this world of AI and HEAVY retouching to be known as natural is a DECISION. And it was intentional. Don’t get me wrong, we totally retouch. You will always hear me say, we give everyone the best night sleep, like ever. But what we don’t do is shave 10 years off, so you aren’t recognizable. This is totally intentional, because accepting kids (and ourselves) exactly as we are is what builds confidence. And that’s my mission in life. To build kids’ self-confidence.
The Impact of Self Confidence
We are also incredibly passionate about preserving and building kids’ self-confidence at Ivory Tree. Delivering natural portraits also means kids get to see the best of themselves unaltered and we believe that builds confidence rather than destroying it.
I strongly believe the greatest gift my parents gave me is my self-confidence. It’s enabled me to believe in myself allowing me to climb the ladder in corporate America, leave an amazing job to become an entrepreneur, marry an amazing man who knows I’m the greatest thing to walk the earth, and become the mother I want to be. It’s enabled me to have boundaries without guilt, the confidence to speak my mind, even when it’s not a popular opinion, and the ability to dream big.
If I can give my ladies one thing in this world, it would be self-confidence. I believe it is the underlying characteristic for a happy life.
They Are Always Listening, Build Their Confidence
I had the privilege of not only winning the women of influence award but to also speak on the panel. Check out my thoughts on building kids’ self-confidence and the importance of our role as women for the next generation. It’s our role to be kind to ourselves, especially when they are listening (and they always are), it’s how we build their confidence.
In a world full of filters, AI, major air brushing every thing you say about your body your kids hear and internalize. We talk a lot about being natural, we have a studio rule that we, of course, retouch. But we NEVER, like ever (ok my ladies are clearly #swifties) touch anything permanent. We would never want to make a kid conscious. The second you make their eyes bluer, you are telling them they aren’t good enough as they are. That they need to be better. I know that’s not the intended message, but it is what they feel. You’ll see me age (gracefully, I hope) in my headshots. Because I am who I am!
OK, it’s not all about me
Yup, I might have won an award but I think it’s because I listen to all of you. Charity work is so important to us, what organizations would you like to see us support? Email us here: Hiya@ivorytreeportraits.com
All the Amazing Winners
There are so many amazing women of influence in our community doing amazing things! Please take a moment to check out how they are changing this world!