Pretty Fabulous at 40

I’m not a model.

I don’t even play one on Facebook. Normally, when the camera comes out, I tend to stiffen up and turn to stone. Despite my guilty pleasure of watching more seasons of America’s Next Top Model than I care to admit, I never seem to know how to stand, what to do with my hands or how to find the best angle for my face. And, I always forget to suck my stomach in until after I’ve already heard that fateful click. So, when the opportunity arose to experience a glAMOUR shoot with Micaela Malmi, I was both petrified and exhilarated. For weeks leading up to the shoot, I tried to counter my growing anxiety with visualization, picturing myself having fun and killing it, and literally giving myself mental “I can do this” pep talks.

I needn’t have worried. From the moment I stepped into the Lemongrass Salon & SPA, I was a model in the making. Makeup artist extraordinaire Sarah did unbelievable job of keeping my make up in line with who I really am – a woman whose idea of makeup is mascara and lip balm – while also making me camera ready. The colors she choose for me were so spot on, I couldn’t help but purchase the lipstick, which I have since found is perfect for both every day and dress up use.

Primped, primed and ready to go, I made my way over to Micaela’s gorgeous ocean view studio in Cardiff with a suitcase full of my favorite outfits. Soft, natural light was flooding in through arched windows, bouncing beautifully off the hard wood floors and expertly placed backdrops, illuminating the beautiful Amanda, whose shoot was already in progress. I was greeted with champagne, strawberries, and Pharell Williams tunes, and was instantly at ease.

Soon it was my turn. First up, Micaela wrapped me in chiffon and had me posing on a couch. Not what I had expected, but trusting her vision 100 percent, I relaxed into the moment and pretended I was looking at my husband, rather than the camera. Micaela gave me the perfect cues on how to work my body and my face without ever making me feel self-conscious. As Amanda and I alternated turns throughout the day, our looks varied from fun and flirty to sexy and sophisticated. I found out that modelling is hard work – I had more sore muscles after that photo shoot than after any of my yoga practices – but we had such a blast that I left feeling elated, alive and empowered in my own self.

When the photos arrived, I confess that my first viewing was with my hands partially covering my eyes and I’m sure that I was beet red. But as I looked at them again and again, I slowly felt my insecurities melting away, as I saw that Micaela had captured so many different sides of who I am. Now, I am blessed to have an amazing set of photos that I can use for professional profile pictures, for more casual social media posts, for future gifts from my husband (so glad I mustered the courage for that set of boudoir shots!) and just to remind myself that I was, indeed, pretty fabulous at 40.

Nikki Dean

NikkiDeanYoga

Yoga Teacher~Mother~Manifestor

glAMOUR_web__108 glAMOUR_web__107

Nikki_dance

Follow your Dreams

For centuries women have gathered in circles to share stories, wisdom and encouragement. Tia Walker, author, coach, speaker and business consultant wanted to bring that sense of community to a printed format. Walker teamed up with multitalented Ani Yufe, interior designer and executive director for Inspirique, to create more connectedness instead of competition, among ambitious professional female entrepreneurs.

Insperique is a new magazine that shares stories of inspiring and powerful business women in the San Diego area. The goal with the magazine is to create infinite possibilities for the community trough authenticity and real-life success stories . What a fabulous concept!

Ani called me up and asked if I was interested in contributing, and how can one say no to such an incredible opportunity? What an honor!

To be featured in Inspirique has truly showed me that I am on the right path and that I should keep following my dreams. I feel so incredibly fortunate to make a living doing what I absolutely LOVE to do- to empower women trough my photography!

I attended the soft launch party at the Marina Cortez this weekend. Such a beautiful evening with kind and interesting women who shared stories and genuinely connected.

I believe Tia and Ani have succeeded perfectly with Inspirique’s mission and wish the all the best on their new endeavor~

A special thank you to Laena Ray with the Liquid Lens Photography, who captured my portrait

INSPIRIQUE_140808_002_web

 

 

Inspirique_2 Inspirique_3

 

A Reflective Re|SOUL|ution: Why Pride is Misleading

We hear the word “pride” and automatically retreat into our subtle shells.  No one wants to be considered vain in our society.  But a short visit to Webster’s Dictionary shows that vanity is defined as:  an excessive pride in one’s appearance, qualities, abilities, and achievements. Note the keyword here is excessive

A healthy dose of each PRIDE quality listed is actually necessary to embody a fulfilled sense of self – as a woman, and as anybody.

Compare it to “rain” versus “flood”.  One is healthy nourishment; the other is detrimental excess.  The same goes with the amount of PRIDE we possess.  Without a healthy dose of rain or PRIDE, our zest for life is sure to wilt. 

A thought to think on: How do we react when we see babies admire their reflection?  We think it is cute!  We even encourage them to keep doing it; complimenting them on how “pretty” or “handsome” they are.  When does this display of self-admiration take such a harsh paradoxical turn?  When women are in a shared bathroom now, we hardly even glance at the mirror – OR if we are looking at the mirror, the second we hear a stall open or another woman approach, we are heads down and out of there.  Somewhere along the line, it became socially unacceptable to be “caught” admiring your appearance.  We even call any piece of furniture containing a mirror, a “vanity”.  My my, the irony of it all.

What we’ve seen more than ever in this day and age is the need for healthy female role models.  And part of that healthy algorithm is a healthy dose of PRIDE in one’s self. 

How do you embody and portray your PRIDE?

When was the last time you strutted your stuff confidentially? When did you last pay yourself a genuine compliment? And when was the last time you looked in the mirror and admired yourself?

Those are questions every woman should ask herself.  And it is my mission to capture the PRIDE within each of you.  Before even stepping in front of a lens, I want you to answer those very questions. 

It’s time to shift our stigma on PRIDE. 

PRIDE is rain to the soul.  It is appreciation for your very creation.  It’s a celebration of originality, life, YOU! 

How will you share your PRIDE today? 

 Image