Expand Your Influence

Finding YOUR way

It took a family photo session that started out stressful then took a turn for the better to remind me of the importance of

finding your way.

Taking family photos every year is a tradition and while the event itself can be harrowing, the outcome is worth it.

The truth is, my boys aren’t particularly photogenic…meaning they don’t really smile on command. 

Their “cheese” smile looks like they’re angry or constipated.

But smiling on command is of the utmost importance for traditional family photos, of course.

It’s funny that my favorite family photo most years is a candid shot and not a “posed portrait.”

In this one from 2014, we’re actually laughing at a joke my husband made. Our joy is genuine, not forced. 

Finding your way. You don't have to do it how other people do it, or how you've always done it! From tabithadumas.com

So why do I keep trying to capture a posed portrait?! I must be a glutton for punishment. 

This past weekend, we set out with my dad, our photographer, for our family photos at a local nature park.

This is how we started. The little one is TRYING to smile. The older one is trying to hold his shoulders back and suck in, like Dad suggested. In a word? AWKWARD.

Finding your way. You don't have to do it how other people do it, or how you've always done it! From tabithadumas.com

Now, Drew is a trooper and of course I am amazing in front of the camera (years of practice). But the boys….?? The “irritated older brother and mischievous younger brother” is authentic, yes…but I’m not sure Grandma would want this on her wall. My headband, by the way, is Vintage Rose Wraps and I’m a distributor. Contact me for how to order!

Finding your way. You don't have to do it how other people do it, or how you've always done it! From tabithadumas.com

So what turned it around? Our little man saying, “I want to do my own pose.” He ONWED it.
Finding your way. You don't have to do it how other people do it, or how you've always done it! From tabithadumas.com
I believe this pose has something to do with Pokemon. You’d have to ask him.

Then Big Shot wanted to try HIS own pose…and came up with this all by himself!! Wha…?!

So what turned it around? Our little man saying, "I want to do my own pose." He ONWED it.
Mr. Suave.

We ran with it.

“Just do your poses!” we’d tell them.

Photographic magic.

Not forced, not awkward…just perfectly “them.”

Even Drew struck a pose.

So what turned it around? Our little man saying, "I want to do my own pose." He ONWED it.
Our family photo for 2015!

I love this picture so much.

It tells our story and captures our family, even though it’s not “Hallmark perfect.”

So what does this have to do with finding your way?

You don’t have to do what everyone else is doing. You don’t have to do things the way you’ve always done them. You have to find YOUR WAY.

What kind of holiday party do YOU want to throw? What social media platforms do YOU enjoy using? Do you like meeting one on one with clients or offering webinars? Do you need more alone time in 2016 or more time networking and collaborating?

All the experts will tell you how THEY do things. Even I will tell you! They might also tell you that theirs is the best way. And maybe their way IS the most effective or the simplest…but that doesn’t mean it’s best for YOU.

I’m preaching to myself here but we need to get back to what works for US and what honors OUR values and gets us closer to OUR goals…even if it isn’t what everyone else is doing.

I was the only female over the age of 10 wearing tulle when my mom and I attended The Nutcracker ballet recently. And I think I was the only non-ballerina in a tiara. But it was my birthday and it made me happy. Plus I wanted to send a message to the little girls there that growing up doesn’t have to mean that you become BORING.

Finding your way. You don't have to do it how other people do it, or how you've always done it! From tabithadumas.com

I did it my way.

And my hope for you in 2016 is that you’ll find YOUR way.

What our family photo shoot taught me about finding your way. From tabithadumas.com

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About Tabitha Dumas

Seeing women showing UP to their life authentically and confidently--THAT is what excites me. I am a strategist, bringer of the fun, trail blazer and agent of encouragement offering creative and effective strategies to help women elevate their image and expand their influence. I'm also a magazine junkie, dedicated wife, fun-loving mama, bargain shopper and story teller trying to use my powers for good in this crazy world. I love my life!
View all posts by Tabitha Dumas →

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