Then I met Kylie Ryan. I took a leap of faith and did her Goddess Body Quest course and everything changed. Slowly at first. Then more noticeably. Within 6 months I started to feel healthier; I didn’t need the safety of hiding behind my weight anymore and my confidence increased. I started to live and laugh again. I’d spent so long pretending to be something for someone else’s happiness that I had forgotten who I was. I felt alive for the first time in years!
I joined Kylie at the What Women Want Expo in Penrith to share my story and inspire other ladies in need of a drastic lifestyle change. It was here where I first met The Photo Studio. I was asked to take place in a 5 minute ‘mini fashion shoot’. At first I hesitated… It had been years since I saw a photograph of myself that I actually liked and the thought of posing in front of a crowd horrified me. But eventually I was persuaded.
Selina and Kylie at the Want Women Want Expo in Penrith back in March 2014
It was the most nerve-racking 5 minutes of my life. After the photo shoot I sat down with the retoucher and my heart was pounding. The first images appeared on screen and my throat seized. Suddenly I burst into tears. The retoucher tried to comfort me before he realized that these were tears of joy. After all these years, I finally saw a true image of myself – of the person who I needed to be. I had redesigned my life and here was the proof.
A few weeks later I was invited into the studio for a proper photo shoot and my new journey with The Photo Studio began. If they could do such an amazing job in 5 minutes, I wondered what they could they do in a whole day? I knew that it was time to unleash my Modern Day Goddess! Only I still had no idea how truly amazing this journey was going to be.
I flew to Sydney for the shoot and arrived at the studio with my suitcase. Despite me shaking with nerves the team was amazing; offering genuine support and encouragement. I could tell that they love what they do and straight away I sensed that they try to make everybodies experience special.
The first hour of shooting I felt ridiculous. I had never “posed” before and I kept apologising for being so stiff. Yet my hair & make-up artist Pernilla and photographer James B never faulted in their reassurance, patience and kindness. James would change the music to create the atmosphere as he continued to calmy direct me, keeping me talking and moving and even laughing. He seemed to know what I wanted out of the shoot and by the second hour it was like dance; seamless… fluid… free!
I was blown away by the creativity of the team and the options and choices they created with what I had brought in. “You can have anything you want in the shoot” James said, and while I was having my second hair & make-up look done I noticed in the mirror’s corner a gorgeous lush red velvet couch. I want that!
At one point James showed me a photo on the back of the camera and my heart filled with joy. The old me was gone. I looked happy and free. I knew that if there was ever a time to shine, this was it. I elected for a more riskae last look and James made me feel like I was the only person in the room. Just him and me. The camera was no longer there.
At the viewing I was lost for words. All I could find were tears of joy and amazement. Thanks to the dedication and professionalism of The Photo Studio I finally saw myself as beautiful both inside and out. A friend later said to me that the photographer captured my essence completely in every shot, and looking at the photos, he did – in all 110!
The tough part was deciding on the final cut, and the ones I chose speak a thousands words of my journey thus far… My wish for you is to embrace & unleash your inner goddess and shine at your shoot – every woman should gift this to herself – so enjoy this day because it is all about you!