Philosophy + Method
Creativity is a muscle that gets stronger with practice.
In my classes, you will take bold action, develop an instinct for what works, discover new ways to capture what you have to offer, and learn to trust in your own vision and intuition.
The skills you develop will stay with you forever.
Learn By Doing. Start before you're "ready."
That’s what I do and what I teach.
Starting is often the hardest part.
In a world where ideas are a dime a dozen, execution is what really matters.
In my courses, you don’t just passively learn how to take better photos, build your brand, and sell -- you actually do those things.
In our time together, you will experience a win (sometimes a big one!). You’ll have a better understanding of what works and what to change next time. And you’ll have the confidence and momentum that come from experience.
Creative Expression and Photography are forms of Self Care.
Creative projects can be a way to connect with yourself and develop a sacred relationship with yourself.
This process doesn't need to be “work.” When you approach creative projects as avenues for exploration and play, the process nourishes you and lights you up.
Uplifting community accelerates growth.
You do not have to launch a new idea alone.
You should feel fully supported, encouraged, nurtured every step of the way.
Your own private coach, and curated, high level community can profoundly change how you learn,
what you achieve, and how fast you reach your goals.
This is the fast track to create photos that are inspired, energized, and powerful.
The Proven Power of Creativity
Leverage the science of creativity to come alive in your personal and professional projects.
Creativity Decreases Stress, Enabling You to See New Possibilities
By activating the creative brain, you’ll also deactivate stress cycles that lead to burnout and disengagement. If you want to get unstuck, create!
Here’s some of the science behind creativity:
- Creative projects can decrease stress hormones that, over time, build up in the brain and kill neurons.
- Entering a flow state -- one in which we easefully feel and perform at our best -- correlates with the release of feel-good neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin.
Creative Group Process
Working in a group format is more generative than always working alone. This also applies to introverts.
We’re social creatures, which means we are hard-wired to live, work, and create in groups. In early human history, being a part of a tribe guaranteed survival and protection. We might not need social interaction for survival anymore, but research shows that feeling connected is still our strongest intuitive impulse. It also predicts health and happiness more than any other factor that’s been studied, ever.
Creating in groups enhances learning, motivation, and generativity.
By creating as a part of group process, you can:
Boost personal creativity through exposure to diversity7
Meet your goals faster than while going it alone8
Receive supportive feedback that fuels motivation, encouragement, and growth9
When we feel a part of something bigger than ourselves, what we create is bigger than what we alone could have imagined. The whole is more than the sum of its parts.
Going through a transformative process together creates a special kind of bond. Sociologists have named this “collective effervescence.”10
Collective effervescence refers to the sense of connection and meaning that comes from collective events and experiences11
It’s a combination of feeling connected to others, sharing a common purpose, and a sensation of sacredness11
Research shows that feeling emotional communion with others in a group mediates self-esteem and collective identity12
Sharing creative work in a group can feel vulnerable. But when you get nurturing feedback about your work -- as opposed to critical judgement -- research shows the stress response in brain is absent.13
We get further when we create in a nurturing, diverse group.
Bottom Line: The creative process blasts stress and fuels self-expression to revitalize you in every aspect of your life. We’re social creatures, so when you do this work in a group, the shared momentum ensures that you reach your goals faster (while having more fun).
SELF EXPRESSION THROUGH PORTRAITURE
See and Be Seen
How do you see yourself? Your work? Your world?
Your life improves when you feel heard, seen, and understood.1 Being seen means expressing your authentic self and releasing it into the world to shine.
Self-expression promotes wellbeing by:
Confirming your identity of who you are and/or who you want to be2
Affirming the deep subconscious human longing to truly exist3
Strengthening social connections through feeling valued, respected, and validated4
Journaling is a common way to capture your story. Writing allows space for reflection, catharsis, expression and insight.5 You see yourself clearly, wholly.
In photography, you do this through unique visual storytelling: taking self portraits, portraits of others, or simply capturing your work and world through your own lens.6
Aligning your vision for your work with the images you capture not only energizes you creatively, but ignites renewed excitement around your whole business. Capturing fresh new perspectives and expressing them visually facilitates both seeing and being seen.
All my images are self-portraits, even when I'm not in them.7
One powerful way to see and be seen is through self portraiture.
This sort of expression goes deeper than the concept of a hastily-snapped selfie. It’s a portal into seeing your own essence and sharing it with the world.
It both asks the question, Who am I? and makes the statement, This is who I am.
Shifting your approach to how you take photos of yourself shifts the outcome:
A self-portrait used to capture your essential identity or promote activism enhances life satisfaction through affirmation, connection, and empowerment8
Even selfies can promote the agency to say “this is who I am,” and that sense of empowerment has proven especially beneficial for marginalized groups; selfies can reify group belonging, which is linked to higher self-esteem8
Most people (68%) of people share on social media to give others a better sense of who they are and what they care about9
Social media emphasizes looking outward. Self portraiture facilitates looking inward. This is why self portraiture practice is at the confluence of meditation, creativity, and self-care.
Bottom Line: Photographing portraits of your work and world fosters personal empowerment and growth; self portraiture takes this a step further by turning the lens back on yourself.
VISUAL CONTENT MARKETING
Why we need images: how we process images and information
Media used to be passive. Not anymore.
You have the power to be a creator, to shape the digital world. And compelling images are a core part of that power.1
Show up in the way you see yourself, your work, your creative essence. When you show up authentically, you are fostering your own wellbeing and harnessing the power of building an authentic digital world.2 Images and stories -- compelling but not necessarily polished -- are powerful.
We process information from images more quickly than from text. And of all images, our brains are most drawn to faces.
Our brains are wired to process images in ways that cut across time and culture3
The human brain can process images that it sees in just 13 milliseconds4
Even in infancy, faces grab and hold our attention more than other visual stimuli5
The human brain is built to quickly notice and process visual content.
Why Images Are Important Today: Statistics on Engagement
Learning how to create memorable images is valuable because images build engagement, connection, and conversation:
On the average web page, users read only about 20% of the content6
More than 50% of tweet impressions come from tweets containing images, video, or other media7
Campaigns and emails with images have 40% higher click through rate than campaigns without images.8
Articles with relevant images get 94% more views, on average, compared to articles without images.9
Photos with faces are 38% more likely to receive likes and 32% more likely to receive comments, even after controlling for social network reach and activity10
Using images -- especially images of faces -- attracts attention and generates engagement.
Going deeper: how Images can be used to build community and connection
You’re a part of something bigger: your photos have the power to do more if you think beyond traditionally shallow concepts of selfies or viewing photography for your business as another chore.
Motivation matters. Your intention for sharing your visual content impacts how it is received. Sharing your images is an invitation to be seen, as well as to be in connection.
What will mediate these relationships? What kind of community do you want to build?
In the #scientistswhoselfie campaign, researchers found that scientists who included their faces in portraits of their work were viewed as warmer but no less competent, which in turn improved impressions of the field of science as a whole. Previous perceptions of science were flooded with negative stereotypes, but adding a personal touch offered audiences a new way of seeing and connecting with the field.11
Taking a different perspective and sharing it builds connection and community; this is especially true for underrepresented and marginalized groups.12
In this mini-course, you’ve learned how tapping into your creativity bashes stress and fuels self-expression; why undergoing this process in a group is better than going it alone; how portraiture is an empowering practice of expressing your authenticity and sharing your vision.
Now you know that sharing your vision strategically can be a force for good through building relationships and community.
Bottom line: Images are memorable and effective, because they help people process, understand, and retain information more quickly. They build community and connection in a way that can be used for good.
The 4-week course includes the following:
Private creative coaching
Private Facebook community
An extensive library of videos and guides on photography and branding
My unique method for soulful photography, which combines aspects of art therapy, creative self-expression, branding, and marketing.
With the Alpha Female+ grant,
together we can spark a fire, helping even more women and girls to use their creative energies to light up the world.
I am a business strategist and branding photographer for some of the most coveted brands in the world.
I'm here to help you build your dream and create life-changing wins.
My mission is to illuminate the inner light in every person.
I help clients feel seen first within themselves, then in their images. My photography website is melisinestudio.com.
My soulful photography method combines photography with coaching, mindfulness, and marketing strategy to create a photoshoot experience that empowers every individual and company.
Together we will beautifully capture not only your image, but also your authentic visual voice and essence.
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