I had a great conversation on the phone the other day, with John, a photographer and one of my subscribers.
We were planning a photo shoot.
Because if you’ve known me for a while, you’ll know I have an absolute horror of having my photograph taken – to the point where I’m actually shaking and ready to burst into tears. I mean, I’m okay in informal, snapping snapshots kind of situations…
But tell me I’m having my photograph taken and I grit my teeth, put my mask on, and inevitably in the photograph I look like some demented 1950s housewife who’s dived head-first into a bottle of amphetamines.
Why does this happen?
Because of the huge disconnect many of us have between the way we look in our heads, what we see in the mirror, and how other people see us – which we only realise when we see a photograph of ourselves.
Oftentimes, when I go out, I’ll give myself a critical looking-at in the mirror and think, “Yeah! I look all right.”
Then, later, a photograph from the evening will surface and my reaction will be, “WTAF?” Followed by court injunctions to destroy all the evidence.
Does that sound familiar at all? I can only speak for myself, and extrapolate to women – but I suspect it’s something that afflicts women more than men, because we’re judged so heavily on how we look. Men are judged on how they look, too, of course; but it’s sutbly different. Hey, if men experience this too, let me know.
Anyway – I decided to do something about it. Because a few years ago I had some photographs taken for my business and hated them. Not the photographer’s fault; he did what he was asked to do, and what he was asked to do was “business photos”. Because for some crazy reason I figured I had to be “businesslike”.
Well, I’ve been thinking a lot about the direction my business is going over the past few weeks. I’ve been considering my future plans. Who I am. What I want my legacy to be. And wrapped up in all that is an increasing loathing for internet marketing and the “me too”, “crushing it”, “6-figure income” bollocks.
So I’m starting with me.
And my perception of myself, and how I want to be perceived by you, first name.
I’m not taking my mask off completely; not in public. Because we all of us wear masks for a reason – nobody wants to see the Tentacles of Crazy extruding from our brains. Some things should be kept for private.
But I do think we could all be a little more real. A little more approachable.
Which is why John is coming to Herefordshire in October and we’re going to have an absolute blast taking a set of photographs that show the world who I am. Because what I am is silly. A writer. A circus performer and acrobat. And a wielder of chainsaws.
John said, when we spoke on the phone, “When I think of you, I think of chainsaws.”
And that, my friend, made me smile.
Vicky Fraser is a copywriter, author, and entrepreneur. She really did run away with the circus… but when she’s not swinging from a trapeze, she’s showing other copywriters and small business owners how to work with better clients, make more money, and stop missing bathtimes, first words, and dinners with angry partners. In fact, she wrote the book on it. Get your copy here.
PS As soon as we’d said “hello”, John also started chuckling and confessed: “I’m a bit starstruck you know! I feel like I’m talking to a celebrity! I’m so used to hearing you on the podcast.” Which is completely hilarious, very flattering, and utterly delightful.
I’m far from a celebrity, but one thing I do know: I’m great at bringing people together, and I’m great at helping people see what they can do to grow their businesses. In fact, I wrote a book on it. You can buy it, here.