All Bodies Are Beautiful with Teri Hofford

February 25, 2022 Artist Spotlight

Clubhouse Conversation: Teri Hoffard

What are the differences between Body Positivity, Self-Love, and Body Liberation? And why is it so important you understand this for your marketing?

In the latest episode of The Portrait System Podcast: Clubhouse Edition, Kevin Conde and Ashleigh Taylor chat with Winnipeg-based photographer, body-image activist, and mindset educator Teri Hofford.

Kevin describes Teri as “a beaming light of positivity about self-acceptance in [The Portrait System] community,” and Ashleigh is very curious to learn how to channel that feeling of self-acceptance into portrait photography marketing. Among the many fascinating topics that are discussed, Teri breaks down some terms you might consider using in your marketing: Body Positivity, Self-Love, and Body Liberation. If you want to learn more about what these terms are and how they can impact your marketing, you won’t want to miss listening to this podcast, but in a nutshell, here is what they mean and where they come from:

  • Body Positivity was a movement created by fat people of color. It is essentially the birth of fat activism — a creation of space for large bodies to be seen and acknowledged and loved. These days, the term has been co-opted as a marketing strategy by all kinds of companies who don’t have understanding or appreciation for where it comes from and what its purpose is.
  • Self-Love is a broader term and can be applied to people of all sizes. It really talks about quite simply loving the self and taking care of the self out of that sense of love. It can even be applied to someone getting botox injections or plastic surgery if it is done as a gift to the self and out of love.
  • Body Liberation, or Body Neutrality is about developing compassion for the self in a way that recognizes that sometimes we may feel good about ourselves and sometimes we may feel bad about ourselves. It encourages us to be curious about those feelings in a neutral way that doesn’t judge and to go ahead and live our lives and pursue our passions and our fashions without limiting ourselves based on those feelings.

So, why is it important for us to understand these terms and know whether or not we should apply them in our marketing? If we desire to be more inclusive, we must be careful not to alienate the very people we wish to serve. If you use the language of Body Positivity in your marketing, but your marketing doesn’t include images of fat bodies, then you should consider either adding images of fat bodies into your marketing, or using another term, like Self-Love or Body Liberation in your marketing. Teri really stresses that you shouldn’t feel that there is a right way or a wrong way to brand your business or choose which clients you serve. There are all kinds of people, and we all are beautiful and deserve to be loved and photographed. It’s just important that you are honest about who you want to serve and are congruent with your marketing words and your marketing images.

Be sure to listen to the whole podcast to hear even more mind-opening lessons from Teri, like why it is important for us to be curious about ourselves, how we can become more inclusive, and how we can consider recognizing the mistakes in our past as areas of opportunity.

And, there were also some really awesome and thoughtful audience questions!

To hear even more from Teri, check out:

You also might like to check out some of these things that were mentioned in this conversation:

In this blog, you’ll find some of Teri’s self-love-infused portraits of beautiful people and their beautiful bodies, links to her websites, and answers to some bonus questions.

Join us live every Friday for Clubhouse conversations and get answers to your questions! Just search “The Portrait System” in the Clubhouse App and follow us there.

Get to Know Teri Hofford

Q: When did you first come across Sue Bryce Education, and how has it affected your career?

A: I remember seeing Sue on CreativeLive back in 2014, or so. At the time, I was focused more on boudoir, but I still liked watching her live shoots and seeing her play. It let me know that the playing I was doing in my studio would be part of my success!

Q: When first starting out, many photographers hit roadblocks on their journey to start their business, whether they feel their equipment isn’t good enough or need a studio to start a business. What roadblocks did you encounter, and how did you get over them?

A: Oh lord, so many. I am the type of person who jumps off the cliff and grows the wings on the way down, so I hit many a roadblock. Mine were more about learning how to manage my mind when it came to money (receiving and saving), being confident in my strengths, outsourcing the stuff I despised, learning to say “No” when everything in my being wanted to say “Yes” just to be liked, learning how to differentiate between business decisions and ego decisions, and understanding that STUFF is not what gets clients in the door, it’s connection.

Q: How do you feel about your current work/life balance?

A: I burnt out in 2018 because I had none. I’ve always wound my value around my productivity, so it’s no surprise that I worked around the clock, and it was still never good enough. After going back to school for positive psychology, I was able to work through that mindset and understand that I cannot always be in a period of action, and the period of inaction is imperative to sustainability and creativity. I now take digital detoxes once a month for 2-4 days where I nap, read, write, and meditate. This helps me sustain the business in the other times!

Q: What (beyond money) has owning a business given you?

A: Freedom, challenge, the outlet to fulfill my purpose of shifting mindsets around bodies and beliefs. I enjoy the creativity that I get to use and that it’s different every day. While sometimes I wish that I could collect a steady paycheck or have decent working hours, I know the trade off isn’t worth it for me.

Q: What is your favorite advice that you’ve been given along your journey that has helped you the most?

A: “Hope is not a business strategy,”  John C. Maxwell. Know your CODB (Cost of Doing Business). It will allow you to have more confidence in your pricing when you know what it costs for you to just show up for a session. It also allows you to confront a lot of your fears/beliefs around money and what you are making it mean vs. what it can actually do for you.

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Teri Hofford

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Click Here to Read the Podcast Transcript

FULL TRANSCRIPT: Please note this transcript was generated by AI and may contain errors.

00:00:01:04 – 00:00:26:11

This is the Portrait System podcast, a show that helps portrait photographers and people hoping to become one. Navigate the world of photography, business, money and so much more. We totally keep it real. We share stories about the incredible ups and the very difficult downs when running a photography business. I’m your host, Nikki Closser, and the point of this podcast is for you to learn actionable steps that you can take to grow your own business and also to feel inspired and empowered by the stories you hear.

00:00:27:06 – 00:01:06:27

Hey everyone. It’s Ashleigh Taylor, and I’m excited to introduce you to this week’s Clubhouse edition of the podcast. This week, Kevin and I spoke with Teri Hofford. Teri is not just a photographer, but also a body image and mindset educator and speaker from Winnipeg, Canada. During our chat, we talked about how to have a more inclusive portrait business, how to make sure your marketing and portfolio is in alignment with your mission and your why or your business, and how photographers can challenge their own beliefs around their own body image to better serve their clients.

00:01:07:06 – 00:01:18:24

It was a really great episode, and I know I learned so much from being a part of this conversation, and we cannot wait for you to listen and learn from it as well. So let’s get started.

00:01:19:24 – 00:01:49:17

Welcome everyone to The Portrait System Podcast Clubhouse Edition. My name is Kevin Conde and I’m here with my co-host Ashleigh Taylor. If you are not familiar with The Portrait System, we are a portrait photography podcast that is powered by Sue Bryce. Nikki Closser hosts our Monday episodes, and Ashleigh and I co-host our Clubhouse edition, which is live here on the Clubhouse app every Friday at Noon Pacific. Episodes are released on Thursdays. You can tune in on your favorite podcast app by searching for The Portrait System. Ashleigh, how are you today?

00:01:49:28 – 00:01:57:27

I’m great, Kevin. I’m excited to be here, as always, and I’m so excited to introduce our guest today. Teri Hofford. Welcome, Teri.

00:01:58:05 – 00:02:04:12

Thank you. I’m excited to talk to you guys again. I haven’t talked to you since the Portrait Masters in October, really, aside from August.

00:02:04:27 – 00:02:05:29

I know, I know

00:02:07:17 – 00:02:20:12

once again, actually no super excited to be able to sit down and chat with you. You are a beaming light of positivity and self-acceptance in our community, and to get the inner did you get the opportunity to interview, is we just going to pass it up? So.

00:02:21:01 – 00:02:23:00

Oh, thanks. I appreciate that.

00:02:23:16 – 00:02:51:21

So in today’s society, we are starting to see a shift from the idea that only thin is beautiful to more of an inclusive marketing, albeit not fast enough. We wanted to have you on to talk about the way you run your business to be so inclusive, as well as our role as photographers in what we can do to change what society and our clients might perceive as, quote unquote beautiful.

00:02:54:07 – 00:03:00:09

Let’s start from the beginning of your process and talk about how you market to clients. What?

00:03:01:24 – 00:03:03:22

Oh, sorry, I’m like ready to jump in.

00:03:06:11 – 00:03:11:22

What was your marketing like prior to moving towards body positivity, and how would you describe it now?

00:03:12:11 – 00:03:28:04

So the interesting thing is is before I was doing boudoir photography, I was a wedding and family photographer, which I technically trained me and I was not super great at either of those. I was OK, but like, yeah, it wasn’t wasn’t a passion.

00:03:29:19 – 00:04:03:03

And as soon as I did a project that I wanted to showcase that all bodies are worthy of being photographed like it was just for my own personal project. That’s what inspired me to actually start boudoir. So right from the very beginning of my career, I’ve been pushing for inclusivity. The whole reason I started at that time, like glamour portraits, hadn’t really become a thing yet. So they’re really the only way to get an individual woman in front of a camera was going to be either through a headshot session, which it was not in line with my work or to get them naked.

00:04:03:05 – 00:04:20:06

And so I was like, jump into the deep end and let’s get people naked and help them see their bodies that way. So right from the very get go, it was for me it was all about disrupting the industry. I always say when things piss me off, I set out to fix them. So that’s kind of what happened there.

00:04:21:24 – 00:04:22:15

And so,

00:04:22:25 – 00:04:39:03

oh yeah, I was just going to say so like with that, did you get a lot of pushback at the beginning? I know you ran a project and you had like tons of response for it, but did you also get like pushback from people like, I’m not quite ready to be naked in front of the camera?

00:04:39:25 – 00:05:10:08

Yeah, for that project, not so much. So it was kind of like I gave people the option you could wear as much or as little as you want. Most people did opt to either be in their underwear or completely naked for it, which was actually surprising for me. But when I started actually like advertising for boudoir or things like that, then I got the same amount of questions that everyone gets like are not even questions, just statements of people being like, Oh, I would love to do this, but I can’t because X, Y and Z like I need to lose weight or da da da da.

00:05:10:21 – 00:05:42:00

And I’m very one of my talents is basically recognizing trends. And so I was like after hearing this same comment from people in different sized bodies or whatever, I was like, OK, this can’t be about the body. There’s something more at play here, like it has to be a mindset shift that has to happen. So that’s when I started studying psychology behind body image, which really helped me be able to understand what was going on in the minds of people putting these barriers in front of themselves.

00:05:42:05 – 00:06:24:24

Body image is just one of them. The other thing is, I don’t have enough money to do this right of value thing. Everything comes back to whether or not they value themselves. So I use the information I learned from that to be able to have those conversations with people through my social media or my blog posts or whatever to slowly chip away at those mindsets that they had for themselves so that eventually they would be like, You know what? Yeah, that is a dumb excuse that I’m throwing out there. I can come in and do a photoshoot. Why not? But it was like it took consistency on my part to be blogging, continuously, learning, continuously shooting continuously for free or paid to show like.

00:06:25:00 – 00:06:56:29

The other thing is just to show representation for people that exist and bodies like mine. We don’t know that it’s possible because our bodies haven’t been seen at that point. And so, yeah, so I literally was just like the consistency within which I worked, I think was a big part of that and talking about my why, why this was so important to me from the get go. Like, get every opportunity, not just like with clients, but when I host, I host events where it’s like, Let’s just talk about body image.

00:06:57:01 – 00:07:12:13

Let’s just talk about things that are you’re struggling with and like, how can I help empower you to change your mindset around these other things? And I really just wanted to build a community around this idea of uplifting and empowering ourselves. Is that making? I don’t know. Yeah, no.

00:07:12:15 – 00:07:47:03

I love it. I love it. One question I have for you in all that is, do you ever look back on kind of the earlier days of your communications, marketing, messaging or even photos and cringe? Like, do you ever feel like I was on the path that I’m on? And I know so much more now because I think one of the things, at least for me and self-growth is like, the more you learn, it’s obviously a good thing we grow. But then we can recognize maybe some of our errors in the past and feel

00:07:47:05 – 00:07:49:08

I call them areas of opportunity.

00:07:49:10 – 00:07:50:19

Okay, great. I love that.

00:07:51:12 – 00:08:22:00

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And like for me, I think a big part of my personality is I’ve always been quite self aware, so I’m very in tune with things no longer align with me. It doesn’t mean I’ll change anything. It just means I’m uncomfortable doing so. I’ll probably try to force it because I feel like, well, everyone else is doing it this way, so I should be doing it this way. Or like I fall into the same traps that everyone else does that way where we get imposter syndrome or whatever.

00:08:22:02 – 00:08:53:15

And it’s scary to do something different than what the status quo is doing. Well, over the years, I’ve learned every time that I’ve taken a chance on myself, starting from quitting weddings literally overnight to starting a boudoir business. Every time I’ve taken a chance on my intuition, it has paid off for me like incredibly well. And with within that, every time I’ve done it for the betterment of other people, not myself, it has definitely paid off.

00:08:53:17 – 00:09:29:14

So when when I got stuck in the same traps as everyone else, like all, I need to be focusing on the money, and I had a terrible money mindset up until like two years ago. And so my ego was very much running the show a lot of the time, and it did get me away from why I started doing the work I was doing to begin with. So I have a lot of hard talks with myself throughout to say, like, why are you still editing this way? Is this still in line with why you do this work? Why do you pose this way? Is this in line with why you did this work? Because even when I first started, I didn’t know like what boudoir was.

00:09:29:16 – 00:10:06:17

I just knew what I wanted to do. So like everyone else, we go to the internet to look for education. And so I learned all the top selling boudoir poses or whatever, which was fun to get going. But there was something about it that just didn’t really like pretty photos weren’t resonating with me. I knew I needed something deeper with my relationships with my clients. And so it wasn’t until I actually was working with sex workers. I was like, Oh, we can we can like really like, explore different ways of doing things.

00:10:06:19 – 00:10:46:06

It’s not just about being pretty or like women can actually show up in their power in these photos and like reclaim their sexuality and reclaim their bodies. And that was a really fun experience to explore what that looks like. But again, like everyone else, I fell into it. Everyone else was doing, and I very quickly turned it into an almost an automated system. It worked. I was successful. I was making big money. However, I hated what I was creating because again, I had gotten so far away from what I was doing, like everything just felt when I looked at the photos.

00:10:46:08 – 00:11:22:11

There were beautiful photos, but I was pushing my clients into instead of a body image box. It was a gender box. Like, I knew how to post women and I knew how to pose men, but I didn’t know how to pose the human. Yes, Yeah, and it was doing a project for and this is why I say projects are so important, this is where you learn everything about yourself. But I did a project to photograph trans folks in my community for like Pride Month or whatever, and I ended up getting, If you’re coming to my WPPI talk, I talk about this story, so you’re going to hear it again.

00:11:22:16 – 00:11:52:19

But anyways, um, but I ended up getting like five nonbinary humans participating in this project, and I I was like, Holy shit, like, I don’t actually know what to do with these people because they don’t necessarily subscribe to women and they don’t necessarily support to men. And every day is kind of different. So I realized I had to expand what I was doing with my clients to say. But it’s not just non-binary individuals.

00:11:53:18 – 00:12:29:26

The women don’t feel empowered by being in sexy positions. I am one of those people and it took me five years to realize this. Every time I see photos of myself, I’d be like, they’re pretty. But again, I felt a disconnect because that’s not how I wanted to see myself. But when I see myself in strong, powerful, almost masculine poses, I’m like, Yeah, stuff like, yeah, I feel so strong and powerful and empowered in that moment. And I realized that I was doing the same thing that prior to me starting boudoir is that I just kind of put my clients into a box.

00:12:29:28 – 00:12:36:24

I assumed what made them empowered as opposed to asking them what made them feel empowered. Does that make sense?

00:12:37:04 – 00:13:19:06

Yes. And this is to me like what lit me up when I heard your interview with Nikki on the podcast. For those of you who haven’t heard that, you should go back and listen. And also, you know, I’ve been following you on Instagram for a while, even before you came into the Sue Bryce community orbit. And I’ve always been so drawn to your messaging. And even for myself, like really, in this past year, I’ve been trying to look at my own marketing and communication and question it like it’s so geared toward women because I’ve always been under the assumption of women are the people who will buy my services not to.

00:13:19:08 – 00:13:50:28

I should market to you. But I also like I really value and believe that people should be able to express their identities across the spectrum, whatever that is to them. And it doesn’t feel aligned to me to essentially have marketing that excludes trans non-binary. People, you know, like why would other people not want to be photographed? So it’s been a journey for myself this year.

00:13:51:00 – 00:14:17:26

I like being more looking at the words I’m using and like, Well, that’s not inclusive, but that also it’s it’s hard, you know, because you’re used to doing it a certain way and you’re used to expressing yourself in your marketing a certain way. And then you’re afraid, maybe to turn off the clients that you have. But it’s also not in alignment and because it’s not really your question.

00:14:17:28 – 00:14:18:13


00:14:19:20 – 00:14:50:04

that’s the thing that I think. I think one thing that I always have to preface when I talk about this stuff is I’m not saying every business, every photographer has to run an inclusive business or that you have to cater to other people other than women, like you can do what you want, just be. Be sure that it is in alignment with what you’re saying. Does that make sense? Like, I think that’s the thing. Like, lots of people jump on. For example, the body positivity wagon or whatever.

00:14:50:10 – 00:15:28:12

But then there are also like body shaming people with memes on their Facebook accounts. And like, there’s a lot of it’s easy to say those things, but it’s harder to do that work that’s necessary. And again, I don’t think people have to run their business a specific way. Like, I think it’s really important that we have people at all stages catering to all different people for all different reasons. But just like getting clear with yourself about why you’re doing the work, this is why knowing why you’re doing the work is so important so you can always go back when you do get distracted by the internet to be like.

00:15:28:18 – 00:15:44:06

Because that’s what happens, right? It happens to me. It still happens to me when I’m like, Oh, I need that or I need to pose like this, or I need to edit like that. I’m like, Wait, wait, wait, is this helping me do the job that I wanted to do with this work? Does that make sense?

00:15:44:21 – 00:15:47:18

Yeah, yeah. I mean, I love it.

00:15:49:21 – 00:16:17:04

Do you feel that photographers that aren’t buying going into the the body positivity movement where they’re like, OK, I do pose like this to make a client potentially look thinner do or retouching them to remove their quote unquote flaws? Do you think they’re going against the movement to, you know, just that’s their way of business? You know,

00:16:17:19 – 00:16:51:17

that’s the thing is, again, I think this is the way people sometimes misinterpret when I talk about why I do the things that I do. One is not, like my way of doing things is not better than any other way. It’s just different. And it is in alignment with why I do this. For those people that want to liquefy and want to do, you know, skin smooth, like whatever the thing is, whatever they want to do, as long as I think as long as they’re aware that like this is in line with the experience I want to provide my client, then there’s definitely no harm in it.

00:16:51:19 – 00:17:24:03

Because let me tell you that not everyone is ready for a Teri Hofford photoshoot. Like, I’m going to put you through the emotional wringer with your body image, and not everyone is ready for that. So there needs to be people. And this is when I first started for like boudoir. I use the skin smooth all the time because I said, You know what? At this point, for me, the priority is to just get as many bodies in front of the camera as possible. If the promise of a little skin smoothing is going to help me do that, then I’m willing to do that.

00:17:24:14 – 00:18:01:18

And then around in 2020, I was like, OK, now there’s gonna be boudoir photographers in my community that are like showcasing a variety of bodies and they’re photoshopping. That means now I can go a step deeper for my work, which is to remove Photoshop because that’s no longer in alignment with the message that I want to put out there. Does that make sense like your priorities are going to shift as you as you grow your business and get clearer on why you’re doing the work that you’re doing? I think which allows you to step away too from that like kind of my way is the right way or there was a wrong way.

00:18:01:20 – 00:18:03:19

Whatever like people do do what you want.

00:18:05:06 – 00:18:25:14

Maybe you can do whatever you want, just like don’t the biggest thing. The biggest hangup I have with that is don’t co-opt the movement like the body positivity movement that was meant for fat bodies and not put in the necessary work to support that movement. Like, you can’t just take the words and not do the work that that does drive me a little nuts.

00:18:25:23 – 00:18:53:29

Yeah, because can you can you talk more about that? Because I mean, that like to me strikes that like sentiment that I could actually be pretty harmful to say that you’re safe and like promoting all these things, but then people come into your space and you. Haven’t done the work, so maybe you actually say the wrong thing or you’re, you know, yeah, like fat shaming in a way that you may not even realize it like, could you talk more a bit about that?

00:18:54:11 – 00:19:29:03

Yeah, absolutely. I think the biggest the biggest one that’s really easily noticeable is if everyone just looks at their Instagram account with their own personal Instagram account and their website. And honestly, ask yourself, what is the diversity of bodies on this on these pages? Because the thing is, if you have any sort of like we’re an inclusive boudoir studio or you are saying like body, you know, good works for everybody or photography for everybody. And yet you’re only displaying one type of body, even if you’re shot like shooting other parties.

00:19:29:11 – 00:20:01:13

Ask yourself why you’re not showing them and just be honest with yourself. Like, that’s the thing is, lots of times when I talk about this, people tend to feel a little bit of shame or guilt or whatever their bad or listen, you cannot make any sort of change or progress if you sit in a pit of sadness. So you need to just acknowledge where you’re at and then decide if you want to change things. If you don’t want to be a body positive photographer, just don’t say that you are like, you’re not a bad person.

00:20:02:15 – 00:20:32:27

So this is the other thing that happens, I think, which is not helpful. The word positive gets people because when we hear body positive, we assume if we’re not body positive, we must be body negative. Does that make sense? Yeah, that happens. Which negative you hear and you’re like, Oh my God, I’m a terrible human. And it’s like, No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. That’s not at all. What they’re saying is just saying it’s not part of this movement, but we have this polarity thinking, which is like, Well, it’s not this and it must be this.

00:20:33:07 – 00:21:12:02

And that’s not really the case. Just don’t don’t say that you are those things. If you don’t want to do the work that comes with those things, it doesn’t make you a bad person. It doesn’t make you a bad photographer. Does it make you a bad boudoir photographer? Whatever. Like, you can do the work from wherever you are. Just be cautious of the wording that you’re using and making sure you have the actions to back up the words now. Oh sorry, I do just want to touch on one more thing if I want to talk about this. But the thing is the one question that I get a lot of is from photographers that are like, Well, I don’t like, I have a really hard time with my body image, which is why I got into this work.

00:21:12:04 – 00:21:45:28

But then I feel like an imposter. Listen, nobody has perfect body image. We all have terrible thoughts about ourselves because we’ve all spent 20 plus years hating ourselves. It’s just how we’re preconditioned. So to expect that one day you will just be free of that is impossible. Instead, as long as you’re actively trying to work through your body image issues, then you can be there for your clients. Does that make sense? I think people think they can’t if they’re like, Well, I don’t like my body, so I can’t do this work.

00:21:46:00 – 00:21:57:00

I feel bad that I’m doing this work. No, no. No. As long as you’re actively trying, even just by catching your thoughts or hearing your thoughts like your baby steps, you’re trying. That’s the most important thing.

00:21:58:14 – 00:22:06:04

Body positivity has obviously the polarity to it, and one is there. Is there quickly a different wordage that you think people should be using instead of that?

00:22:06:06 – 00:22:39:00

I think. Yeah, I think one like I did a life on this and it was like people’s minds were kind of like both blown. But but the thing is like if you if you think about the difference between we’ll talk self-love vs. body positivity, body positivity was an actual movement created by and for fat folks of color specifically, those are the ones that created the people that exist on the furthest margins. So it’s like essentially fat activism is what body positivity was created.

00:22:39:02 – 00:23:09:19

For now, that has been very much co-opted through social media, and it’s now everybody is like, No, we’re body positive. Like even diet companies are like, we’re super body positive, but still think about it, you know, like everyone’s going to jump on it. But but then we look at it. So here’s how I say you could talk about the self-love movement because self-love for every individual is going to look different. Self-love can include things like maybe going to get your lips done or botox.

00:23:09:21 – 00:23:41:11

Maybe that to you is a form of self-love, but that is not necessarily in line with body positivity. Does that make sense? Those are two very different things, but we really we really conflate them together, and I think it’s really important for us just that words have power. And so I encourage people if they’re like, Oh, I don’t, I’m not really into activism and I don’t want to really advocate for fat bodies, which is totally fine. If that’s your jam, I’m not going to I’m not going to. Condemning people like me exist, then maybe consider focusing more.

00:23:41:13 – 00:24:17:01

Are on the self love aspect of it or even body neutrality, but even body neutrality is like it’s just not about your body and all body neutrality. So body neutrality is this this is what I subscribe to more than body positivity because body positivity tells you that you have to love your body all the time, right? So when you look in the mirror and you have a negative thought which is preconditioned, you’re going to be like, Oh, I feel bad about my body, and then you’re going to be like, Oh, I feel bad that I had a bad thought about my body.

00:24:17:13 – 00:24:54:01

So it’s like a double whammy of shame with the body positivity part of it. Body neutrality or body liberation, on the other hand, is this idea that I recognize that I’m not really comfortable with my body right now, but I’m not going to let it get, and I’m not going to let the thoughts about my body get in the way for me living the life that I want to. So for me, for a good example would be if I wake up and I’m like, Oh, I don’t really like the way my body looks or feels today, it’s just uncomfortable, but I really wanted to wear like a crop top and jeans, for example.

00:24:54:03 – 00:25:27:05

I would still wear the crop top and jeans, even though my body didn’t feel super great. Does that make sense? I’m not going to stop me from doing the things that I want to do, or in the case of a boom or shoot or getting on stage or teaching a course like a lot of people are afraid to go live because of how they’re going to look. So true.  Are you going to like your thoughts about your body? Stop you from fulfilling your passion or speaking your story, or get in the way of you doing things and body liberation, says my girl

00:25:29:04 – 00:26:05:19

body liberation. Just like, listen, you can. You can just like your body and still live and still live a life that you want to live. Does that make sense? Yeah. So, yeah, so it makes the room. It makes room and almost gives a space for compassion, for the negative thoughts that are inevitable. We all have them for a thousand different reasons. And so it gives us space to have compassion to you. Like, Yeah, OK, I’ll just like, maybe not look in the mirror as much today, or I’ll take steps to make sure it doesn’t affect my mindset as much, but it’s not going to stop me from living my life.

00:26:06:08 – 00:26:30:24

Yeah. I love this idea of like neutrality too, because I think just in general, taking it out of bodies for a second. Like, there’s a lot of talk in business space about like positive mindset. Your mindset also always got to be positive. I will tell you that I have a default negative mindset about like, I’m like going to Eeyore by default. So it’s like, Oh, I don’t work out.

00:26:30:26 – 00:26:39:21

If you’ve ever done Clifton strengths, you probably have restorative in your top five. That means you’re not a problem solver, but you also see problems everywhere.

00:26:39:27 – 00:27:14:19

OK, and probably I haven’t done that. But but yeah, so sometimes it’s really for me, like it feels very toxic to hear like, well, if you, you know, if you are always stressed or you’re anxious or, you know, you’re never going to be successful in your business. And it’s like, Yes, I try to work on my, you know, catch my thoughts. Is this true? Get curious. But at the same time, like it. Sometimes I fall into the cycle of like, Oh, but I had about thought so I’m bad, you know what I mean? So I think the yeah like this can apply.

00:27:14:21 – 00:27:25:08

This idea of like neutrality feels like really mind opening in a way to just look at a lot of things that we’re told we have to be positive about.

00:27:25:24 – 00:27:56:29

And that’s the thing like body image is just another mindset issue. It’s not about your body. The fact that we have people that are a size zero hate their bodies of people that are a size 28 hate their bodies. It tells like you can’t. There’s no way they can be about the body like nobody. There’s not one person I know that got to like a size and they were like, This is it. There’s that. And then their body is going to change because bodies are biological organisms just adjusting to the life like they are going to change whether or not people want them to.

00:27:57:01 – 00:28:39:18

And so, yeah, so everything is just about what you’re making. Those changes mean, whether it be in terms of business mindset or whatever. It’s like, we need to. There’s this cool basically like a dichotomous way of thinking that two things can exist. At the same time, I can be successful and I can have anxiety like go hand in hand, usually right. But we’ve been taught like, well, if you have like, if you have anxiety, you’re not going to be successful, right? Or will say, Well, I mean, I guess I’m kind of succesful, like, that’s all, but I have anxiety so that but like negates the first thing that came before it instead of understanding will know both these can happen at the same time.

00:28:40:13 – 00:28:48:11

Yeah. Yeah, that’s super interesting because as Ashleigh says, you know her, her view is a little bit more

00:28:50:03 – 00:28:51:27

negative, I guess by yourself at times.

00:28:52:16 – 00:28:53:16

Yeah, Kevin knows.

00:28:55:24 – 00:29:14:28

Where it is, I’m I am the complete polar opposite of Ashley. To a fault, I guess at times and I guess jokingly where I am. Look, I’m a short fat dude. I get it, you know? But I still don’t ever hate on myself for being fat. You know

00:29:16:26 – 00:29:39:13

what I do? I do. For me, I’m like, You know what? I do want to lose weight. I do. Not just necessarily for a superficial aspect of it, but like, you know, I want to be able to move around. I don’t like going up steps and getting tired and things like that where I’m like, you know, I want to get rid of that aspect of my life. But you know,

00:29:39:26 – 00:29:57:10

still with that, I want to I want to encourage you to think of it a little differently. If you were able to walk up the stairs without getting out of breath, but your body did not change, would you be OK with it? Yeah, definitely. If your body shape didn’t change,

00:30:01:18 – 00:30:02:25

you’re on the hot seat now.

00:30:04:15 – 00:30:38:20

I mean. Because this is the thing, this is how you know that it is more about what what our beliefs about. Well, not even beliefs like there is a fact that that everybody’s experience oppression like we like. There’s a lot less privilege that you get existing in a fat body. So existing in a small body does come with certain privileges, for sure. But the question what happens is we we have conflated as well that health equals or weight loss equals health.

00:30:39:16 – 00:31:15:01

But the thing is, I bet you, Kevin, if you just started taking the stairs like every single day or didn’t take the elevator or whatever it was, and maybe your body’s not going to change in its shape, but your cardiovascular health will just simply by doing that act. And so when people are like, well, I lose, I want to lose weight to get healthy, OK, start doing the things that you think you need to do to get healthy but be OK if your body doesn’t change. And then you start to realize like, oh, maybe it’s not actually about health, maybe it is about how I look and then you can do the work around that if you want to.

00:31:15:03 – 00:31:46:26

And again, there’s nothing wrong, like it’s a completely natural, normal human thing to want to live in a smaller body. There’s privileges that come with that. I like everyone experiences it, so it’s really important to have compassion for yourself. When you do have those thoughts, it doesn’t make you a bad person for wanting to do that. But when we start to think. This again, when we’re like, well, I want to be healthy, so I need to lose weight that just contributes to the stereotype that being fat, it means you’re unhealthy, which isn’t true at all.

00:31:47:26 – 00:31:51:11

Right. You totally agree. I’m sorry,

00:31:54:02 – 00:31:56:16

I have a brain, you get me on a podcast, I couldn’t go.

00:31:57:12 – 00:32:30:07

Don’t worry. The whole conversation of of, you know, as a fat dude, I’m all like, I like to hear, especially I’m so interested in hearing what you have to say in regards to, you know, being a fat person in society and how, you know, we are perceived or, you know, the the benefits that someone in a quote-unquote smaller body, you know, thinner body gets the privileges that they are afforded in our society. So I’m, you know, I’m super interested in hearing all this.

00:32:30:15 – 00:33:09:06

Yeah. So a big part of it. So it’s interesting because my assistant that I usually travel with is my friend Jill, who is basically the complete opposite me in terms of body like she. Well, we’re both tall, but she’s taller than I am, and she’s super slim. She’s got long, blonde hair, beautiful blue eyes, very Eurocentric beauty standards like she used to be a professional model. And so when we travel together, her and I actually watch to see the treatment between both of us because we’ll go into the same store at separate times and we’ll want each of us will watch how the other one is treated and report back then.

00:33:09:08 – 00:33:43:24

And it’s very interesting to see the treatment she gets. And she’s like, Oh my God, I thought I just got that because I was nice and I was like, No, it’s because I was nice. But people treat bodies differently based on their size, their color and everything. And this is why I talk about what I’m going to be talking about at WPPI. But that’s our inherent biases against certain bodies. When you’ve been taught, like if you think about every cartoon you watch as a kid, the fat bodies were either the villains or the jokes or the punch line or the sidekick, right? For the most part.

00:33:44:01 – 00:34:23:18

I think yeah, and the thin bodies were what they hero. They got, they got the romance, they got whatever. And so our brains believe this to be true. And which is why us as photographers now are so important because we can help people tell the actual story. If if we keep only up until 10 years ago, the only way you’d see a fat body was as a before photo for somebody is quote unquote progress or on a billboard where they’re like, cut this part of your body off and live your best life or like something negative until social media came along.

00:34:23:20 – 00:34:57:06

And then people with bodies like mine or even bigger than mine or darker skin than mine or with disabilities or whatever started to be able to say like, Look at we are here and we are living full, vibrant lives like we are not just headless baddies on the news. We are contributing to the obesity epidemic. We are legit humans that experience love and have sex and go shopping for cute clothes, and we want these things. And it has helped to start shifting this idea that these bodies are just that.

00:34:57:08 – 00:35:29:06

But there’s so much work that needs to be done because that representation contributes to the way that we treat different sized bodies. This is why fat bodies usually will get denied for health insurance are a lot higher. You’ll get less proper medical treatment. You will get paid less. A lot of the time and then it feeds into our own beliefs about ourselves. I remember talking to my husband being like, There’s no high-level successful people in fat bodies, and I was like crying. I was like, I can’t do it because nobody looks like me.

00:35:29:08 – 00:35:51:29

And he this were years of me, like telling him has paid off because he just looked at me. He was like, Really? Teri, like, isn’t, isn’t it you who always says, Well, that’s that means there’s room for you there. And that’s why you should become an educator or a high level successful person to show other people with bodies like yours that they can do it, too. And I was like, son of a bitch. He’s like,

00:35:53:22 – 00:36:01:02

Let me through it. Like, all of these things feed into these beliefs, not just how other people treat us, but also how we treat ourselves.

00:36:01:21 – 00:36:07:29

I love everything you said there. But there’s a part of me that’s it makes me like.

00:36:09:16 – 00:36:29:22

I get wanting to be accepting of yourself. But there is that part of me that was like, Yeah, you know, but yeah, I wouldn’t mind being a thinner to be included into that herd to get those privileges. Is that is that weak minded of me? Is that is there anything wrong with that?

00:36:29:24 – 00:36:36:08

I mean, I don’t want to say, no, I don’t. I don’t. I’ve never called somebody like weak-minded. Again. Like, how old are you? Can I ask?

00:36:37:01 – 00:36:37:26

Thirty five.

00:36:38:08 – 00:37:13:18

OK, so yeah, you’re around the same age as me. OK, so you’ve had literally like until you started working on mindset stuff. So you’ve probably had at least thirty two years thinking one specific way about bodies. Until I came into your sphere and you’re like fuck, but just kidding. Something you think about it this way. If we think about it from a psychological, scientific perspective, when we see representations of certain bodies, we create neural pathways to make things easier for us to do. It’s why when we first start doing photography, we’re really shitty and fumbling and whatever because we don’t have these neural pathways carved.

00:37:13:25 – 00:37:49:22

But when we do it over and over and over and over again, it becomes easier. And like second nature, it’s the same thing with our beliefs and mindset. So if from the time that you were little, all you heard was that ooh, fat bodies are bad and thin bodies are great and awesome and you’ll get all these friends and you’ll have love and you do all this. That is a very strong neural connection that is created that you have to work probably an excess thirty two years to undo. But what I encourage people to do is not to feel bad about having those thoughts, but rather get curious about that thought.

00:37:50:00 – 00:38:25:15

So Kevin, when you experience that and you’re like, Oh, I just really want to fit in with everyone else or have a six pack or whatever getting curious and saying, who taught me that like who? Who told me that this tum is bad the way that it is? And is that even my thought to begin with, like, is that do I actually believe that? Or is this something that’s been running through my head for the last X amount of years? You know, and then you can consciously decide, do I want that? Like, Is this helping me be the person that I want to be the thought? Or can I change the thought to be more accepting of myself? You know.

00:38:25:24 – 00:38:57:08

Yeah. Yeah. Just get curious. You’re not about nobody’s a bad person. We’re all just preconditioned for everything, not just body image, but like race bias is a thing. That’s why race issues are the way that they are. People get defensive when people are like that, you shouldn’t. You shouldn’t make me feel bad about thinking this way, and it’s like, no, no, no, no, no, that defensiveness that comes up is totally natural. That is your brain literally being like, No, we have this really deep seated belief that has been carved over thirty two years.

00:38:58:00 – 00:39:02:22

It’s going to be frustrated that there might be something that’s different. Hmm

00:39:03:24 – 00:39:05:14

Why not keep that in mind moving forward?

00:39:06:04 – 00:39:08:07

Curiosity, Kevin. Curiosity.

00:39:08:10 – 00:39:14:18

We do have a few questions lined up. So Virginia, if you want to go ahead, we’ll go ahead and get you first.

00:39:15:16 – 00:39:35:23

All right. Yeah. I really love this because I speak on diversity in portfolio that that in order to have diversity in your portfolio, you have to have diversity your life. Who are your friends hanging out with? And I think that in photography, just what Teri does is changing mindsets

00:39:37:10 – 00:40:08:03

of that preconditioning. And so I think it’s important work for photographers to do that to see, you know, just like I’m a brown girl I grew up in, I didn’t see anything that represented me growing up and I lost out on opportunities. And I started out skinny, hated my body, ended up fat, and I love my body because it’s healthy. So it’s like that fight all the time. How do you keep from being angry sometimes become an unfair world? Yeah.

00:40:08:05 – 00:40:42:02

So that’s a really great question, because when you start learning about a different way of thinking, all of a sudden you see everybody that still thinks that old way and you’re like, Come over here, it’s so much better over here. I mean, it’s so frustrating to see people behaving, but that doesn’t help anyone. And I and I learned that the hard way is I was very preachy when I was in my body, like when I started my boudoir business, like you should love yourself and oh, how dare you think about diet like I’m a very you could see my hand motions right now.

00:40:42:04 – 00:41:12:12

Sorry, but I was very, very preachy and I would get really frustrated. And at some point I have to say preaching is not teaching. So now I look at how can I role model for the people that want to know that there’s a better way and how can I be the light that they can look for, like when when they’re like, I know there’s a different way to exist or a different way to think, but I just don’t know where to start. Then all of a sudden I can come into their feed and they’ll be like, This is it.

00:41:12:27 – 00:41:55:02

So instead of focusing on those that aren’t doing the same work as me or people that are even very contrary to what I believe in terms of bodies or whatever. I don’t try to convert people, and I don’t try to convince people. Instead, I educate and I do that from my platform instead of commenting on other people’s platforms, which is something I recommend. And instead, and I do everything value driven. So before I’d be like, how can you think that way? Like super aggressive, what my values are empathy, compassion, curiosity and education? So now I say, how can I respond to this person through any of these values? And is it worth my time? That’s the other question.

00:41:55:10 – 00:41:56:19

No. Is usually the answer

00:41:58:16 – 00:42:33:00

that? Just as long as I help you. Yeah, it just the struggle. But I like the idea of looking through value, looking through, and I do try to do that with my clients. So anyone I disagree with, but is just seeing that perspective really to focus on who you’re helping, like the ones that need you like the the other brown girls out there, as you put it, like that need to see somebody like you succeeding and, you know, running a successful business and living a life of joy and pleasure.

00:42:33:02 – 00:42:46:02

And all of these things like be that light for them, and that’s what it was. What’s the quote, be the change you want to see in the world? It literally is that instead of trying to convince other people to change. Start with yourself, I think.

00:42:47:14 – 00:42:48:15

Amen. Thank you.

00:42:48:28 – 00:42:49:13

Thank you.

00:42:49:21 – 00:43:10:24

And then we also have MJ with a question. Bring it. I’m trying to find the best way to put it into words, but it really has to do with sorry, like how you how you approach mindset when you’re speaking to people about

00:43:12:12 – 00:43:15:08

because. Let me go

00:43:15:10 – 00:43:19:01

about it this way. I was listening to something. I think a podcast you were on

00:43:19:03 – 00:43:21:03

earlier or something. I stopped you for a

00:43:21:05 – 00:43:22:22

little bit on all the social media.

00:43:23:07 – 00:43:23:22


00:43:26:04 – 00:43:29:12

like I remember hearing about you when you were younger and your mom talking

00:43:29:14 – 00:43:30:04

with you about

00:43:31:23 – 00:43:33:29

changing so that you would, you would

00:43:34:01 – 00:43:36:03

feel like you had a choice about changing or

00:43:36:16 – 00:43:37:21

you would fit in and be

00:43:37:23 – 00:43:41:04

liked by these people. Or was the other

00:43:41:06 – 00:43:45:16

option or just be myself? Yeah. Or just to be yourself.

00:43:47:01 – 00:44:00:16

One of the things that I and that’s something that I’ve been trying to teach my kids and I know not everyone in this. This group has kids. However, having five kids kind of makes my life, my

00:44:00:18 – 00:44:01:15

brain, a mom brain.

00:44:02:17 – 00:44:04:04

I’ve been trying to teach them

00:44:06:12 – 00:44:50:18

about how they treat themselves and taking care of themselves. It causes other people to treat them well, and I’m not the best example. I don’t get up and do my hair and makeup. I just I do the the mom thing where I get out of bed with my hair on top of my head and go about the day. But I know that if I need to go somewhere and be able to help somebody else or be a photographer that I try to put myself together first, and that’s something I’ve been trying to teach them because I do notice like unfortunately, not everybody just, you know, straight up will accept everybody for who they are, no matter what they look like.

00:44:50:20 – 00:45:00:02

But my kids at school will be treated better by other kids if they take good care of themselves. And unfortunately too, because I do have five kids there. But there’s so many

00:45:00:04 – 00:45:01:28

teachers, the teachers also

00:45:03:09 – 00:45:09:12

and I and I try to explain this to them. It’s not their fault. It’s but kids are treated better if they

00:45:09:25 – 00:45:11:06

take good care of themselves.

00:45:11:14 – 00:45:20:16

If they comb their hair and and they look like they they care about themselves. And I feel like there is a tie in, but I also

00:45:21:02 – 00:45:27:26

don’t want to teach them to be superficial. Does that does that make sense? I I I’m trying to translate

00:45:28:01 – 00:45:29:06

that into

00:45:31:06 – 00:45:33:22

how also how we’re treated and why we’re

00:45:34:10 – 00:46:10:11

treated differently for looking differently by not looking. I don’t know how this goes. Yes, then, yeah, yeah, so I think a big part of that has to do like this is like the one thing my mom was really good at was not telling me what to do, but rather just letting me know the options. And even now, as an adult, same kind of thing, letting me weigh the pros and cons of both situations. Right? Like, if you want this thing you like, it’s like if you want to work at this job, you might have to wear a uniform.

00:46:10:13 – 00:47:06:27

If you want to be a wedding photographer that has these specific clients, you may have to wear a suit if you like. But if you’re OK to not have those clients, then you can wear whatever you want. Or if you’re OK to attract clients like you, then you can be who you are or in the case of children. And I do. This is my sister’s kids because I don’t have my own, but I use hers as my little proteges is. I will sit with them and say and just ask questions. The best thing you can do with kids is just ask questions and say, Oh, why do you want to wear that? Or like, what is it about this that you like or why do you think you need to shave your legs? Or why do you think you need to wear this and then let them go away with the question and start critically thinking? Because even if they come back and they say, Well, I just really want to fit in, they came up with that on their own instead of you telling them.

00:47:06:29 – 00:47:29:21

So now they know in order to fit in, I might have to do this thing at which point you can step in and say, OK, if you want, like, are those friends you really want to have, you know, if they’re not going to accept you for who you are? Or would you prefer to have friends that are going to accept you for who you are? It just opens up to the conversation a bit more if you just ask questions. Does that make sense?

00:47:30:12 – 00:47:43:14

Yes, totally. And then what do you like? How do you apply that then when you’re talking about body image and people taking care of themselves, do you see a lot of people that come into you that that

00:47:45:02 – 00:47:56:23

are of one mindset or the other? Were they they were like, I love my body, I want to experience this? Or at what point did they come in and have that photoshoot with Teri? Like what?

00:47:57:18 – 00:48:31:23

Why are they usually up? Yeah, I actually prefer the clients that don’t like themselves, because that means that means I get to apply more of the stuff that I know and make more of a change with them. So but I have clients at all different stages that come in. And one of the things that we’ll talk about is, again, breaking down what does taking care of yourself look like? Because when we think that taking care of ourselves looks like weight loss, then there was an issue there because I take care of myself like this goes back to the health conversation again.

00:48:31:25 – 00:49:03:14

I, you know, I walk every day. I drink water, like not that I have to justify my existence. But the thing is is we have to start unpacking like what we’re making. Those words mean to us that there is no one way to look put together or there’s no one way to do this and like, reflect with that within ourselves first. So then we can have those conversations with our clients. But just just like I suggested doing with kids, I ask clients questions. I don’t tell them how to think. I just get curious about their thoughts.

00:49:04:08 – 00:49:37:13

Like when they say something like, Oh, I don’t really like the way I look in this photo. Oh, what? What specifically about the photo? Are you having a hard time with? I just I hate looking at my stomach. Have you always disliked your stomach? Who taught you? When was the first time you started disliking your stomach? You know, what are some experiences that you’re holding? What are you making that stomach mean? And I just I don’t have the answers for them. I want them to come up with the answers themselves because even if they don’t buy the photo or whatever, they are going to go home and they’re going to think about those questions.

00:49:37:29 – 00:49:40:05

And my work is done. Does that make sense?

00:49:40:21 – 00:49:54:08

I love that. I love that, Teri. I wanted to have Carrie get in her question as well because we are in the last, you know, nine minutes, 10 minutes. So I want to open it up to Carrie now. Welcome, Carrie.

00:49:54:24 – 00:50:16:14

Hi, everybody. Thanks, you guys hear me? OK? Yes. OK, so I’m someone who is new to the photography community, at least in the body positivity sense. And I’ve also struggled with self-love for years. But I kind of want to do boudoir and empowerment photography. So I’m wondering what would some like first steps be towards

00:50:17:01 – 00:50:18:04

partially loving my

00:50:18:06 – 00:50:51:07

body and partially being a someone who can be looked at to in that community? Yeah, that’s a that’s a really great question. So number one, I would say, just start by confronting like maybe your own body image biases to get those bodies in the door. So doing model calls, I pay for model calls just an fyi for people. I pay $200 for people to come in. If I’m going to use them in my portfolio. Showing will get you more clients and show that you are inclusive, body positive and safe for bodies like that.

00:50:51:14 – 00:50:56:01

Saying that you do. Doesn’t mean it, to be honest. I’m sorry to all the photographers out there.

00:50:57:17 – 00:51:30:03

Yeah, I’m kind of honest about that one, but it’s true like you have to show it because clients won’t believe it otherwise. So that would be the like. As far as the business aspect goes for yourself with the self-love thing, I would recommend starting to follow accounts of people that have bodies or, you know, that are celebrating the parts of themselves that you struggle to celebrate. You could start with my account. I celebrate everything about myself, but that helps to break down those representations in our mind.

00:51:30:05 – 00:52:16:12

Like if you can see my body is beautiful, you can see yours is beautiful. It’s always a choice. And we forget that we have a choice in our thoughts about ourselves. And yet we can choose to see it because trust me, there are people out there that choose to see my body is not beautiful and they’re not afraid to tell me about it. But that tells me that it’s a choice, which means you can also choose for yourself. So becoming self-aware of what am I saying to myself is that thought helping me be the person I want to be? Is that helping me be known as a body positive person, or what is a thought I could have when I hear this thought to myself? How would I coach a client through this? Does that make sense kind of like asking treat treating yourself like you would treat a client? Essentially.

00:52:16:26 – 00:52:25:18

Yeah, that’s awesome. Thank you so much, Teri. Oh, you’re welcome. If you have other questions or like, you know, you can follow me on Instagram as probably, you know, I talk about the shit all the time.

00:52:28:23 – 00:52:34:13

Thank you so much, Carrie. Thank you to everyone who asked questions is are all such amazing questions?

00:52:35:00 – 00:52:37:20

Thank you guys for having me. So I talk a lot.

00:52:38:08 – 00:52:39:01

We love it.

00:52:40:25 – 00:53:00:04

We we wanted you on because we wanted to hear all of this juicy good information and to challenge our thoughts and beliefs and be better photographers. And I I wish that I think your WPPI talk is on the day like everyone’s that I have to leave early is so I’m so bummed

00:53:00:06 – 00:53:01:18

out on the twenty seven.

00:53:02:07 – 00:53:05:06

Oh, your talk is on the twenty seven. I thought your talk is on the 2nd,

00:53:05:17 – 00:53:15:16

you know, so I have to talk it, right? Yeah, I’m part of the Boudoir Summit on the 27th in the morning. But then I the other thing I have is a photo walk that’s happening on the third.

00:53:17:06 – 00:53:19:03

Yeah, so that’s that’s what’s happening there.

00:53:19:11 – 00:53:27:01

OK, got it. Got it. Got it. But I think the thing that was wrong, so that, yeah, that’s what I was going to say. I was like, I know I tried, but it didn’t work out for me.

00:53:27:03 – 00:53:33:10

Yeah, I hope. I hope they’re going to record it, though. I I’ve got a good talk, so I want the record.

00:53:35:03 – 00:53:56:13

I know. I mean, I’m I’m not lying, Teri. I wanted to ask, how can people take the next step if they are aside from? I know you just kind of said this to carry about following you. But beyond that stop, like if people want to get better at all of this, at coaching, at loving themselves, like how how can people take the next step?

00:53:56:27 – 00:54:30:05

Yeah, I really think just like in investing in yourself in terms of education, whether it be in the form of books, podcast time to your self conscious self awareness, getting comfortable, the uncomfortable questions you have to ask yourself and being OK with whatever the answers, just understanding that the answers that come up are bad. They’re just information. So you know how to move forward and. Decide what you want to do with that information, but I think that’s the biggest thing is just start feeling whatever you want to learn, even if it’s business or whatever.

00:54:30:12 – 00:55:02:22

Just start educating yourself from a bunch of other people that lived that experience. So if you are something that exists in a larger body and you want to learn to love your larger body, start following accounts of larger people loving their bodies or reading books by people that talk about their experience. I actually recommend them for people in smaller bodies, too, because fatphobia affects us all. But yeah, just constant learning. I never stop learning, really. I read everything. I pay attention to trends as far as like what people are saying about themselves.

00:55:04:00 – 00:55:20:08

I use my clients is like a data pool to kind of be like, Oh, that’s interesting that like nine out of 10 people have the same experience, you know? Yeah. And just that’s the biggest thing. You just don’t stop learning, I think would be the biggest. Fantastic.

00:55:20:14 – 00:55:34:15

You know, I love everything that we’ve said. We have hit the one hour mark, though. So before we do let you go, I like people to know where they can find you. We’ve brought it up to follow you. Where can we see you at your…

00:55:35:09 – 00:56:00:26

Instagram is at Teri Hofford with one r, so TERI HOFFORD. My website is I also have a book you can if you want to start on a body image journey called The Geode Theory, Chipping Away at Body Image. I did start by Clemens specifically for this because I didn’t know it was on Android until this, so that was exciting.

00:56:02:17 – 00:56:13:23

Follow me here. Hopefully I will. The plan is to start doing rooms on specific to body image and mindset. So feel free to join me over there. And yeah, that would probably be the easiest.

00:56:14:12 – 00:56:49:25

Oh, that’s OK, everyone. Please be sure to go follow Teri and make sure to follow The Portrait System on Instagram and on Facebook as well. Also, be sure to check out our blog posts that are associated with the Clubhouse interviews at You can follow Ashleigh on Instagram at Ashleigh Taylor Portrait That is ASHLEIGH and you can find me there as PopLight_ photography. If you are a member of The Portrait System and you have more questions for Teri, Ashleigh or myself, go tag us in a post in The Portrait System Members Only Facebook Group.

00:56:50:09 – 00:57:04:24

And if you are not a member of The Portrait System and you are interested in learning more about how we can help your business succeed. Reach out to Ella on our support team by emailing Thank you again for joining us and hope you can join us next week.

00:57:05:14 – 00:57:41:01

Thanks again for listening today. And don’t forget, you can listen to either me or our special guests every Friday on Club House at 11:00 a.m. Pacific. Thank you so much for listening to the Portrait System Podcast. Your five-star reviews really help us to continue what we do. So, if you like listening, would you mind giving us a review wherever you listen? I also encourage you to head over to, where you can find all of the education you need to be a successful photographer. There are over 1,000 on-demand educational videos on things like posing, lighting, styling, retouching, shooting, marketing, sales, business, and self-value

There’s also the 90 Day Startup Challenge, plus so many downloads showing hundreds of different poses. We have to-do checklists for your business, lighting PDFs, I mean truly everything to help make you a better photographer and to make you more money. Once again, that’s