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  • Writer's pictureAlan Bell

Dove(TM) Real Beauty Sketches - Inspiring My Photography

Although it was 10 years ago that Dove US launched their Real Beauty Sketches campaign, I have only recently discovered the video. And truth be told, I am watching it repeatedly.

If you go to YouTube using the link above, you will see the three-minute version of the video introduced:

"In one of the most famous Dove films, Real Beauty Sketches explores the gap between how others perceive us and how we perceive ourselves. Each woman is the subject of two portraits drawn by FBI-trained forensic artist Gil Zamora: one based on her own description, and the other using a stranger’s observations. The results are surprising…"

Why does this resonate with me so much?

Because there are so many women (and men) who arrive at the Pixel Roses studio for headshots or personal branding photoshoots and feel down about their looks. Whether it's their hair, the size of their nose, their teeth, shadows or bags under their eyes, one eye bigger than the other (a trait that nearly all of us have), a few excess kilos, whatever... the list goes on and on.

The point is, we all have our internal view of how we look, and who we see in the mirror every day. Our visual sense of self, our beauty, our flaws and imperfections; sometimes both!

Yet, as illustrated perfectly in this video, how others see us is different. If you watch the video and you're anything like me, the emotional impact of when someone sees their sketches side by side is so powerful and inspirational.

In our studio, the "sketches" we create aren't with a pencil and paper, we create headshots and profile images with a camera in partnership with the person in front of us. Even with our makeup service, Mandy provides a natural look as much as possible. We don't want to hide who you are, we want to show you the beauty that others see. 

At our studio the objective of our professional headshot and luxury personal branding experiences is not just about creating great images, it's about creating an experience and a journey that elevates each persons self-worth with images that show confidence, authenticity and approachability.

As a process we like to take a few "before" images at the beginning of the photoshoot and this starting point becomes our comparison for what comes next - it's the equivalent to the initial sketch above. Then we continue to build rapport, engaging and having fun with each client; coaching and coaxing expressions and poses that start to bring to the surface who they really are, their personality and inner beauty, their natural smile and laughter... how others see and perceive them, as well as how they want to be perceived.

Toleen B. Before and After Example Images

Yes, we'll consider any comments about your features, your good side even how you part your hair and where it falls. However, our job is to coach you through all that until we start to achieve "WOW-Factor" images - images that will make your jaw drop. We love hearing a client say "That's amazing. I can't believe that's really me!" Once a client is in this wow zone there's usually no stopping them and that's when a shoot really rocks! The results are the "after" images. Images, like the forensic sketches that show how others (including us) see you. And we guarantee it'll improve your vision of how you see yourself.

Reaching such moments with clients is precious and why we do what we do. Seeing the impact on their self-esteem. Hearing words such as I look beautiful or I look gorgeous from clients is amazing, and it gives us genuine pleasure to know that we've helped them on the path to increased self-esteem.

As photographers, we have so much responsibility and it's so fulfilling to help our clients feel fantastic about themselves.

As quoted by one of the participants in the Dove video:

"We spend a lot of time as women analysing and trying to fix the things that aren't quite right, and we should spend more time appreciating things that we do like."

Let us show you what others see that you don't, and you'll learn to appreciate yourself more."

Connect with us at Pixel Roses to explore how our camera lens can reveal the beauty and professionalism others see in you. Feel free to reach out, share your thoughts on this concept, or simply say hello!

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