The Man Named Slim

Never give a woman

anything she can’t

wear in the evening.

Oscar Wilde

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Slim Aarons wasn’t born photographing beautiful people. He started as a combat photographer during World War II. After years of witnessing death and destruction first hand, he vowed to live on the sunny side of the street and determined that his mission would only be to photograph “attractive people in attractive places doing attractive things.” Sound like my kind of life!

His first stop was the farthest from reality he could imagine getting: Hollywood. Aaron’s pictures of high society introduced the world to all sorts of gorgeous locales, deliberately standing far from his subjects so his camera captured their surroundings. He thought of himself as a photojournalist and a storyteller so his subjects are usually seen in their milieus–their gardens, offices, living room, with their books and pets. Despite all the glamour, the opulence, however, Aaron remained detached, never wanting to be a member of the jetset.

His archive (including those on this page) is now owned by Getty Images so the public could enjoy how he documented society during his time, allowing the likes of us from the reality TV generation, the relief of revisiting my favorite stylish and gracious eras. Thank you for the inspiration and lots of good fun in the sun, Slim!

Click on “Leave a Comment” (top left) to share your favorite iconic inspiration.

xoxox

 

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 Credit: Hulton|Archive by Getty Images


Credit: Hulton|Archive by Getty Images

xoxox

Give the women you love the most unique gift

of elegant and timeless portraits

with  a Powerful Goddess portrait session Gift Certificate:

Buy Now Button with Credit Cards

Sharon Birke

Managing Member, DoubleSmart LLC

201 697 1947

Sharon@PowerfulGoddess.com

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Woman

Key To The Labyrinth

Getting lost is 

just another way of saying

“Going exploring!”

Justina Chen

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Excerpts from Sue Monk Kidd’s Dance of the Dissident Daughter:

When you’re in the middle of initiation, when your “old” womanhood is dying away, you may think you’ll be stuck in that dark place forever. You cannot see your way out. It is hard to keep moving, to put one foot in front of the other, because they are always landing on some new and unfamiliar ground, and half the time, that place is a swamp.

In a Greek myth, Ariadne gives Theseus a saving thread to drag into the labyrinth so he can find his way back out after he slays the Minotaur monster within. For a woman, the thread is the life cord that sustains you as you move through the spirals of life. Your Ariadne thread is the thread of your feminine Self.

We each have an inner destiny, one imprinted in the soul. Each of us also possesses a very goal directed energy that seeks to bring the seed of ourselves to fruition. It pulses inside use, trying to complete who we are uniquely meant to be. In science, this energy is called entelechy. This is the wise force that spins the Ariadne thread, wanting to take us toward our fulfillment as women. When you deny it or refuse to trust, refuse to pick up the thread, you feel lost, afraid, off center.

The way to find your thread again is to be still and remember who you are, to listen to your heart, your inner wisdom, as deeply as you can and then give yourself permission to follow it.

Click on “Leave a Comment” (top left) to share who your best permission giver is.

xoxox

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xoxox

Give the women you love the most unique gift

of elegant and timeless portraits

with  a Powerful Goddess portrait session Gift Certificate:

Buy Now Button with Credit Cards

© Sharon Birke

Managing Member, DoubleSmart LLC

201 697 1947

Sharon@PowerfulGoddess.com

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Woman

 

Best Headshot Tips

I always wanted to be somebody,

but now I realize

I should have been more specific.

Lily Tomlin

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While I enjoy creating artsy glamour portraits the most, I have fun working with those who need  headshots for their businesses and careers, too. Here’s what you need to make the most of what you’ve got for such a shoot:

Makeup  You want to be recognizable the way you present yourself at work but with tweaks in consideration of the lighting situation at your photo shoot. Choose good coverage oil-free liquid foundation that is evenly applied to match your neck and chest.  Apply setting powder more generously than you normally would and bring blotting paper and powder to touch up right before your shoot. Even if you want a natural look, go for heavier shades on the lips and especially on the eyes and eyebrows because (artificial) lighting tends to wash out features.  Use black mascara that does not clump or smear. If wearing false lashes, choose the kind that looks natural with uneven lengths. Wax eyebrows a day or two before and darken them for the photo shoot. It’s all about the eyes! And shall I say it? Avoid (fake) tans.

If makeup is not among your strong talents, invest in a professional artist that, ideally, you’ve tried and liked before.

Hair  Clean and styled your best.  A headshot photo shoot is NOT the occasion to experiment with a new cut or color. Retouch (roots) a day or two before and schedule a maintenance haircut or color a week prior. While matte is what you want for your face, shine is what you need for your hair. There’s a selection of hair shine sprays for women at your local  drugstore like Biosilk spray. For my own wash and wear hairstyle, I just rub my palms with less than a quarter size drop of oil and run them through my hair while damp.

Nails  Clean nails and if wearing polish, choose clear, french manicure or pale neutrals so they don’t distract from your beauty.

What to wear  Choose outfits in solid colors for a classic look. Regardless of your size, shape, and how you feel about your body, form fitting is the most flattering. Highlight your best features and cover what you’d rather not show. Avoid distracting patterns and too much cleavage. V necks and long sleeves are flattering in general. If you’re an artist who needs to be quirky, express yourself through  a single piece of bold jewelry. Skin tones in the olive, brown, to dark shades are better flattered by pale or bright shades of the colors you like. To be clear, dark outfits look better on pale skin. Picking from my client’s favorite wardrobe selections is one of my small pleasures.

Accessories  You want people to notice your face so keep jewelry simple and stick to one statement piece or none at all. Best to wear a piece that can be your “signature” to give your client/prospects something to distinguish you from your peers in your industry.

Take care of yourself in the week before your headshot:  Drink plenty of water, get enough sleep, avoid alcohol and smoking, and give your reflection in the mirror kind compliments daily.  All these habits help relax lines and wrinkles, undereye circles, and make you glow. Get extra sleep the night before your photo shoot so you’re energized and perky in the morning.

I like to keep lighting bright, soft, and even to fill shadows and smoothen wrinkles. Daylight by a window is most flattering for women and on gray rainy days or windowless rooms, continuous lights are kinder than flash. As I photograph, I ask for the woman’s “best side” and keep a conversation to draw out her personality. Have fun with yourself and enjoy the experience! Angling the head, posture, as well as getting a twinkle in her eyes all help in capturing a woman’s unique best.

Click on “Leave a Comment” (top left) to add your bright ideas to this list.

xoxox

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xoxox

Give the women you love the most unique gift

of elegant and timeless portraits

with  a Powerful Goddess portrait session Gift Certificate:

Buy Now Button with Credit Cards

© Sharon Birke

Managing Member, DoubleSmart LLC

201 697 1947

Sharon@PowerfulGoddess.com

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Woman

 

 

 

 

 

 

Like My Father Always Said

Be good

or

be careful.

Dominic, father of Michele

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My favorites from Erin McHugh’s Like My Father Always Said, a collection of memorable quotes and gruff advice, sweet wisdom, and half-baked instructions on how to fix your life:

What other people think of you is none of your business.

You can have as much freedom as you can pay for.

The early bird gets the worm, but the second rat gets the cheese.

Perfect is the enemy of good.

The moment you think you want to change someone you love, dump ’em. You don’t like them for the right reasons and they won’t change anyway.

Never marry for money. Just hang out with a lot of rich people and fall in love.

Learn at least one new thing everyday.

Don’t let your mouth write a check your ass can’t cash.

The squeaky wheel gets replaced.

Before you speak ask yourself: Is it kind? Is it true? Is it necessary?

The only bad mistake is one you stick by.

Click on “Leave a Comment” (top left) to share your favorite man’s memorable quip.

xoxox

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xoxox

Give the women you love the most unique gift

of elegant and timeless portraits

with  a Powerful Goddess portrait session Gift Certificate:

Buy Now Button with Credit Cards

© Sharon Birke

Managing Member, DoubleSmart LLC

201 697 1947

Sharon@PowerfulGoddess.com

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Woman

 

If You Lean In…

Women who seek

to be equal with men

lack ambition. 

Timothy Leary

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I dare you to keep a straight face after reading this title of Gina Barreca‘s compilation of musings on life, love, and work:

If You Lean In, Will Men Just Look Down Your Blouse?

She makes her point in this excerpt:

I asked a woman, “What did you think about Sheryl Sandberg‘s Lean In?”

“At my job, if I lean in, guys just look down my blouse.”

For many of us, reading about wildly high-profile women is a form of masochism. It’s like tearing off our cuticles. We turn pages and wonder, “Why can’t I be more like her?” Then we think what we could have done better.

If only we’d been more focused as teenagers. (That probably would have been possible.) And if only we’d done our senior thesis at Harvard with Larry Summers, who’d have coached us to get our MBA at Harvard and then hired us at twenty-nine to become chief of staff at the Treasury Department. (Maybe slightly less possible.) I’m just saying that not everybody has access to the same playing field as Sandberg and that point needs to be recognized.

Until every woman has access to employment at wages equal to her male colleagues, until women are not told, as Microsoft CEO Sarya Nadella announced at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, that women should “trust the system” and rely on “karma” to reward them financially without asking for raises (as if that’s worked really well up to now), and until every child has a stable secure home, everything else sidesteps the real issue of equity.

I am grateful to this Powerful Goddess for her inspiration to brave new beginnings and define her own success. Click on “Leave a Comment” (top left) to share who holds the key to yours.

xoxox

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xoxox

Give the women you love the most unique gift

of elegant and timeless portraits

with  a Powerful Goddess portrait session Gift Certificate:

Buy Now Button with Credit Cards

© Sharon Birke

Managing Member, DoubleSmart LLC

201 697 1947

Sharon@PowerfulGoddess.com

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Woman

The Perfect Mother

My mother’s menu

consisted of two choices:

Take it or leave it.

Buddy Hackett

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This Powerful Goddess has fond memories of growing up inheriting her mother’s good looks, sunshiny personality and a romantic vintage trousseau. May we all be so blessed! For those  whose gifts from their mothers did not initially appear this lovely, an excerpt from Byron Katie‘s A Thousand Names for Joy:

When my daughter attended her first of my workshops with a large group of therapists present, she was working on “the mother from hell”–which was how she had experienced me as she was growing up. She couldn’t bear to look at me as she was doing her Work; it was hard for her even to hear the sound of my voice. I was the root of her problem, she thought, and I was also her salvation; she had to ask the monster for help, which made her furious. At a certain moment she became very passionate and got right in my face saying I should have mothered her differently. I said, “That’s not my job. Mother yourself, Honey. You be the mother you always wanted.” Later she told me that that was the greatest gift I ever gave her. It turned out to be her freedom. I know the privilege of mothering myself. It’s hopeless to see it as anyone else’s job. Here’s what I’ve told all my children: “You have the perfect mother. I’m responsible for all your problems, and you’re responsible for the solutions.”

Click on “Leave a Comment” (top left) to share how you’ve been a good mother to yourself.  And have the happiest one yet!

xoxox

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xoxox

Give the women you love the most unique gift

of elegant and timeless portraits

with  a Powerful Goddess portrait session Gift Certificate:

Buy Now Button with Credit Cards

Sharon Birke

Managing Member, DoubleSmart LLC

201 697 1947

Sharon@PowerfulGoddess.com

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Woman

Best Coffee Blogs

I like coffee 

because it gives me the illusion

that I might be awake.

Lewis Black

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Rise and shine with this Powerful Goddess and the best blogs about everything related to your morning coffee:

The Coffeetographer is set up like a magazine with pretty photos, coffee stories and other features.

The Coffee Adventures, a woman’s foray into the world of coffee roasting and brewing.

Coffee Brew Guides, a blog by Garrett Oden, a home brewing enthusiast.

The Coffee Concierge, Benji, reviews of coffee and coffee makers, recipes, brewing guides and experiments.

Pure Coffee Blog a fanatic’s guide to coffee and tea products and establishments.

Dear Coffee I Love You recommends gift ideas for coffee lovers.

Click on “Leave a Comment” (top left) to add your favorite resource for your cup of joe.

xoxox

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xoxox

Give the women you love the most unique gift

of elegant and timeless portraits

with  a Powerful Goddess portrait session Gift Certificate:

Buy Now Button with Credit Cards

Sharon Birke

201 697 1947

Sharon@PowerfulGoddess.com

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Woman

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