A Sweet Body Image

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that over the last few months I have done some major dieting. Eating a diet that is predominately Vegan, Gluten Free and Refined Sugar Free, as well as taking the Trip-Plex combo from Plexus, has helped me to lose almost 30 pounds. While I am currently working on a major blog post about my diet and weight loss routine, complete with my favorite recipes, I wanted to take the time to talk about a positive body image. I “donut” know about you, but I firmly believe that this is the most important beginnings of any diet or weight loss routine.

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For a good part of my life I was super skinny. Wearing around a size zero and barely tipping the scale at 110 pounds left my 5’7″ frame looking very small. After high school, depending on what was happening in my life, my weight would fluctuate, but at any given time I was never bigger than a size 8. Honestly though, I wasn’t happy. Even at my skinniest I didn’t truly love myself and was constantly comparing myself to other people. After having Vivi, I didn’t immediately bounce back. Even though I was breast feeding, the weight was not falling off. Not only this, but I was eating more to keep up with the demands of breast feeding and that had me packing on pounds. I tried various diets and even started taking Plexus, but I was never really serious about what I was doing. I never committed 100%. Not only that, but I wasn’t really dieting for the right reasons. I cared more about a number on a scale or the size of my pants than I did about how I felt. I was too busy comparing myself to a model in a magazine to see that I was beautiful and who I was as a person was worthy of self-love. Perhaps the worst thing, though, was that I was in no way portraying an image to my daughter of what a positive body image looked like. Changes needed to be made.

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I think that a big reason that I was not 100% committed is because I was not happy with who I was or where I was in my life. Don’t get me wrong. I knew I had a lot to be grateful for… a supportive family, a sweet husband,  an energetic daughter. I was blessed. But, I wasn’t happy with myself. I didn’t understand what it meant to love yourself. I truly believe that in order for a diet to work, and for you to be committed to a diet, you have to be happy with yourself. You have to love who you are as a person on the inside to be willing to make the necessary changes on your outward appearance. That self-love helps you to realize that a weight loss journey is a journey to be healthy, not a journey to achieve an impossible image. After joining a local group called Savannah Influencers and meeting an amazing group of girl bosses, I finally learned how to love myself. In January of this year I tipped the scale at 180 pounds and had to buy a pair of size 12 jeans. I was the largest that I had ever been in my life and knew that something had to change.

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How I was eating and what I was putting into my body was not showing myself any form of love. I knew that something had to be done. I wanted who I was on the inside to reflect on the outside. Not only that, but I wanted to take care of my body. By nourishing it from the inside out I was showing self-love and that was the best thing that I could do for myself. My body is a temple, perfectly chosen for me by my Father in heaven. I should want it to be in the best shape possible. I began a very strict diet and Plexus routine to nourish my body from the inside. I honestly believe that the only reason that I have been so successful is because I truly do love the person that I am. I wanted to be healthy because I loved my body and with that, the weight loss came naturally. At 31 years old, I have never been prouder of who I am. I have worked hard to achieve everything that I have in my life and am so grateful for each and every opportunity. Because I achieved my positive inner body image early on in my journey, I am able to appreciate the loss of each and every pound even more.

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So many people have asked me for my weight loss routine but I feel like this step in the journey is so much more important than actually the losing of the weight. If you are really wanting to lose weight I truly believe that you need to be able to look inside yourself and be happy with who you are as a person. That doesn’t mean that you are happy with the weight, or that you even believe that weight loss isn’t necessary. It means that you truly do love yourself and love the life that you are living. It is about coming to a point in your life where you want better for yourself because you believe that you deserve better.  That is the number one reason that I think I have been so successful. Having reached a point that I truly did love myself, I was able to make my diet a normal part of my everyday routine and enjoy each and every part of the process. I wanted to be healthy and prolong this life that I now loved so much even more. I love meal planning! I love working out before bed! Most importantly though, I still love myself!

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While I am super happy with the results that I have achieved so far, I am not quite at the weight and size that I hope to achieve.  When I look in the mirror though, I am happy. I know that I am healthy and in the best shape of my life. I am portraying a healthy body image for my daughter and setting a positive example. I am showing her that it is not about the number on a scale, but about self-love and being healthy. I love myself and am so proud of how far that I have come. I will continue to keep pressing on until my desired results are achieved but, most importantly, I will continue to keep loving myself and who I am as a person. Nourishing my body from the inside out is the purest form of self-love. That love is the epitome of true beauty and reflects to the outside. It has helped me out so much on this journey and made me an even stronger person. I encourage each and every one of you to look inside yourself and start to love the person that you have become. That is the beginning of any journey and is a truly beautiful process.

Stay tuned because my weight loss routine is coming soon! Just make sure that you have completed this step in your journey before you begin! I love you all and think that each and every one of you is beautiful!

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Hat: Julia of Glitter and Juls. Check out her blog post on this fun DIY!

Bikini Top | High-Waisted Bottoms | Kimono | Handbag | Towel | Sunglasses

Earrings (Use code BEINGMRSFOWLER to save 15%)

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Questions about Plexus? Contact me at beingmrsfowler@gmail.com.

Photography: Mary Elaine of It’s Mary Elaine

Disclaimer: Affiliate links are used in this post and I may receive a small commission.

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Lunch Like a Local with Moss + Oak Savannah Eatery

Recently, I had the privilege of being invited to have lunch at the brand new restaurant Moss + Oak Savannah Eatery. Moss + Oak is the newest addition the newly renovated Hyatt Regency in Downtown Savannah, Georgia. The Hyatt was one of the first hotels to plant roots along the gorgeous Savannah River on Bay Street. It has been an institution in Savannah for as long as I can remember so I was excited to see that it was going through major renovations to keep up with the bustling economy.

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While all of the guest rooms were renovated a few years ago, the restaurant, entrance, and lobby renovations are the newest, and in my opinion, most exciting projects for the Hyatt. I was eager to see all of the changes and try the cuisine at the highly talked about Moss + Oak. If visiting, you can gain access to the restaurant from Bay Street or from River Street. We entered from the main entrance on Bay Street.

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Upon arriving, I was greeted by the friendliest host and wait staff. Everyone was eager to help me out and make sure that all of my needs were met. We quickly got a seat and were told about the specials. Accompanying me on my visit was my good friends Mary Elaine of Its Mary Elaine and Carrie of Magnolia Blossom Photography. We placed our drink and food orders and then went outside to check out patio. Our good friend Julia of Glitter and Juls was also enjoying the restaurant so she was able to join us outside to enjoy the view.

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The patio boasts gorgeous views of the Savannah River with comfy lounge seating and fire pits. While sitting outside we had the privilege to meet and chat with head chef, James Morin. He was so nice and incredibly humble. With a little prying, we were able to get him to open up about the work that he has done for the restaurant. Having been on board from the beginning, he had a hand in so many details of Moss + Oak and it is evident when you talk to him. If you are lucky enough to get the chance to talk to him, you can see his eyes light up when he talks about his food. It is clear that he is passionate about his work. He created a menu that brings together so many different flavors to create the perfect eating experience. The sight of the food mixed with the smell and taste truly satiates all of your senses. When you combine that with the atmosphere of the restaurant, you get a truly unique dining experience.

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We started our meal with the She Crab Soup and Fried Green Tomatoes.  Mary Elaine ordered the soup and she said it was super creamy with an amazing flavor. It is one of the most ordered things on the menu and she said it was easy to see why. We shared the Fried Green Tomatoes and I highly recommend that you order them when you visit. Hands down, these were the best Fried Green Tomatoes that I have ever eaten. So many amazing flavors in one dish. For our main course, Mary Elaine and Carrie both got the Burger with Sweet Potato Tots and I got Chicken and Waffles. My portion was very generous and was more than enough food. My meal featured flavors that I have never had in a Chicken and Waffles, making each bite even more enjoyable. I ate way more food than I care to admit because it was just that good. I literally could not stop eating. Mary Elaine and Carrie both enjoyed their burgers and tots and cleaned their plates!

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I highly recommend Moss + Oak if you are local to Savannah or if you are visiting the area. One of the great things that Moss + Oak is currently offering is their Lunch Like a Local campaign. If you visit anytime during the lunch hour until September 30th, 2017 and show a valid Georgia ID they will give you 20% off your entree! As long as your ID is from the state of Georgia you will be able to receive the discount on your visit. This is truly an amazing deal for an even more amazing restaurant. I encourage you to check them out and take advantage of this amazing deal. I can assure you that you will be back again and again to enjoy the exquisite cuisine. They really do have something for everyone!unnamed

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Photography Courtesy of Magnolia Blossom Photography.

Disclaimer: It was invited to eat at the restaurant, free of charge, in exchange for an honest opinion. All opinions are my own.

Red, White and Busy

As a teacher, I always have these great plans about everything that I am going to get done during the summer. I have a list of things I want to do around the house, DIYs I want to tackle, trips I want to take, people I want to visit… I mean the list could go on and on.

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One of the things that I always have good intentions on trying to be successful with is my blog. I have big plans of blogging multiple times during the week, building a stockpile of material for the busy school year and reaching out for potential collaborations. I usually start the summer with a bang, but then life happens.

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As a Mother of a very busy toddler, I am constantly on the go. Play dates, playing at the park, shopping or just chasing her around the house, it seems like we never stop. I swear she can make a mess faster than I can clean it up! With all of this crammed into just a few hours during the day, when I do finally get the chance to sit down and relax, I crash! In fact, I can’t even tell you the last time I opened my computer. To be honest with you, I am typing out this blog post on my phone!

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As I sit back, though, and contemplate our very busy lives, I really don’t have regret over a slight neglect to my blog. I am living my life and living it to the fullest. At the end of the day, making memories with my daughter is way more important that 300-500 words on a page. What I would regret is missing out on couch cuddles, sticky hugs and a that sweet little voice calling out “Mommy!”

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In the grand scheme of things, I have accomplished a lot this summer! I redecorated my living room, bathroom and bedroom, painted stripes on my bedroom wall, reach out for multiple collabs, went on one vacation and currently packing for the second and had lots of day dates with all of my besties! The best part? Summer is even quite over yet! I still have one more vacation, a few fun collabs, a cute DIY and more in the works before I even have to return to school! I feel accomplished!

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I constantly have to remind myself that it is ok to take a breather and that no one expects me to do it all. While it would be incredibly awesome to be a super hero, I am not Wonder Woman! I have to prioritize, I have to take breaks and, most importantly, I have to put my family first!

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This 4th of July, I hope you are doing just that, putting family first! Whether it is your biological family or the family you chose for yourself,  I hope you are having a safe and happy holiday! Relax! Have a drink! It’s ok to take a break from the busyness of life!

Similar Styles: Dress | Jacket | Heels | Earrings | Watch | Handbag | Sunglasses

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Photography Courtesy of Magnolia Blossom Photography

Disclaimer: Affiliate links are used in this post and I may receive a commission.

Southern Sugaring: Ripping the Taboo out from the Roots

Summer is finally here and that means that certain things should be thought about more often. The first thing that came to my mind was a bikini wax.

It may be a little taboo to talk about, but the truth is that a lot of women and men take part in this activity.

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I have to admit that I was completely new to the world of waxing. I have always wanted to get one done but have either been to scared, to modest or to embarrassed. After having a baby, though, I no longer worried about modesty or embarrassment so I knew it was time to rip off the bandage… or wax!

I recently saw that Southern Sugaring of Savannah, Georgia was looking for models to train a new sugarista. For donating your time, and your bikini line hair, you would receive a free bikini wax. I jumped at this opportunity. I figured what did I have to lose, besides a lot of unwanted hair. My sweet friend Jessica Mock is the owner and head sugarista at Southern Sugaring so I knew that I would be in good hands.

My actual bikini wax was done by Misha. She was very professional and knowledgable about the sugaring process. Since she was technically training, Jessica was their to assist if a problem or question should arise.

You make have noticed that I keep mentioning the word sugaring. That is because this process does not use your typical bikini wax. Sugaring is actually a mixture of sugar, lemon and hot water that has been used for centuries to rid the body of unwanted hair. Because all of the ingredients are natural, the sugar substance actually binds to the hair instead of the skin. This allows for a more gentle hair removal that is much easier on your skin. Since it adheres to the hair, it really gets the hair out from deep at the root, prolonging your smooth, hair free skin.

At this time, they currently offer sugaring services for bikini line, arms, legs, brows, face and arm pits. I had my brows done by Southern Sugaring at another event and, to this day, it is one of the best, longest lasting brow treatments that I have ever had done.

Southern Sugaring also sells a wide array of gorgeous swimsuits, sexy lingerie, fun t-shirts and perfect sunglasses. They really are a one-stop-shop to meet all of your must have girlie needs!

But let’s get back to why I visited in the first place, my bikini sugaring. Let’s be honest. I was beyond nervous at first. The thought of stripping off your skivvies is never easy, even when a service is being performed at a very professional establishment. I was sweating bullets and I knew that was not going to help my sugaring treatment. Misha and Jessica did an absolutely amazing job of calming my nerves. They remained professional throughout the entire treatment and really helped to take my mind off of what was happening below my Mason-Dixon line. (Don’t you just love all of the jokes!)


Seriously though, all joking aside, the procedure was really not that bad. I am not going to lie to you and tell you that it was super easy and completely pain free but, it was much less painful than what I was expecting and the pain was quick. Once the sugar had ripped out the hair the pain subsided quickly. Jessica told me that if you stay on the recommended 3-4 week sugaring schedule, the process will get easier and less painful each time. She said that it is almost like your body knows what is coming so the area being sugared will become numb to what is happening sooner.

I got my treatment done on June 10th and now, on June 20th, my hair is just now beginning to grow back! I have never been without hair that I didn’t have to keep in check for that long. Not only that, but my skin stayed smooth and free from bumps. As I continue to get sugared, my results will last even longer and my skin will stay even smoother. I was so pleased with the results and the experience that I booked my next appointment before I left. I am even considering sugaring my arm pits and brows on a regular occasion. Even though my service was free this time, I highly recommend this service and all of the staff at Southern Sugaring. They were all completely professional and as sweet as a tall glass of southern sweet tea. This will be a treatment that I will continue to receive and will not mind paying. I don’t know about you, but a hair free bikini line that lasts more than a day is definitely worth a few extra dollars each month.

If you are local to Savannah, or visiting anytime soon, I encourage you to call up the ladies at Southern Sugaring to take care of all your hair removal needs. Follow them on Facebook or Instagram to stay in the know and let them know that I sent you!

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Looking Great on a Budget

One of my favorite things to do is put together outfits on a budget. I used to love watching The Look for Less on the Style Network so I try to recreate this idea in my own outfits. It is such a fun way to revamp and restyle and really get a new look without breaking the bank.

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My first tip would be to simply find a good deal. This adorable floral blouse was the start of my outfit and was a steal at my local H&M. It has so many gorgeous colors so it will literally go with anything. I knew it was going to be a perfect piece to start with and build a fun outfit. Places like H&M, Forever 21, TJ Maxx and Marshalls have amazing prices year round! No sales necessary! They are a great place to shop for fun, trendy pieces. You will be easily be able to add the latest trends to your wardrobe for a fraction of the cost.

My next tip is to shop your own closet. For my bottoms, I pulled the rich green out of my blouse and went with these flattering skinnies. The best part about these pants? They were buried in my closet and still had the tags attached! I think they had been in their quite a few months and I forgot about them! I am notorious for buying items, hanging them up and forgetting about them. If you are like me and get the itch to go shopping quite often, just go look through your closet. If it has tags still, it is just like shopping!!

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 My third tip is to shop your local Goodwill. To pull my look together, and give it a more polished finish, I threw on this lightweight, khaki blazer from my local Goodwill. I recently wrote a blog post about shopping at Goodwill and my favorite thing to shop for is, hands down, blazers. You can get a great piece for about a tenth of the cost! I encourage you to read that post when you have them time. Once you have read my tips, set aside some time to go explore and see what you can find. Remember to try everything on because you don’t know how it will fit! With just a little luck, you will be able to update your wardrobe without breaking the bank!

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My final tip is to maximize your budget with accessories. You would be surprised just how much a different necklace can change your outfit. While the necklace that I chose for this outfit is a little more expensive, I could have easily added a statement necklace from Forever 21, a layer of vintage pearls from Grandmother’s jewelry box or a delicate chain from Stella & Dot to completely change my look. Accessories are usually less expensive than clothing items so you can have a large selection to really give more options to your closet. One of my favorite places to shop for accessories is small, online boutiques. I have found so many fun, unique pieces for a fraction of the price, and I love knowing that money is going to support a family instead of a big business. Some of my favorite online boutiques are Purple Peridot, Le Boutique Shop, Knitted Belle Boutique, Julia Marie and Harper & Jewels. Be sure to check out the Let’s Stay Connected page of my blog because I have coupon codes for many of the boutiques that I listed!

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I hope these tips will help you update your wardrobe without breaking the bank. If you have any tips of your own, let me know in the comments below. I always love to hear from you! I wish you all the best of luck on your budget shopping adventures. I know you will all find fabulous pieces for your wardrobe!

Similar Styles: Blouse | Skinnies | Blazer | Booties | Handbag | Sunglasses | Necklace

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Photography Courtesy of Magnolia Blossom Photography

Disclaimer: Affiliate links are used in this post and I may receive a small commission.

A Partnership that Matters: Making a Difference with Goodwill Southeast Georgia

I recently had the great honor of teaming up with Goodwill Southeast Georgia for Goodwill Industries Week. This is an annual event that encourages people to shop at their local Goodwill and brings awareness to all of the great work that Goodwill does for our local communities. One of the biggest ways that that are able to fund their programs is through donations from people like me and you. Those donations, mainly clothes, are sorted and then sold and various Goodwill retail locations. The profits are used to fund programs like the Senior Community Service Employment Program, Pathways out of Poverty Program and GCF Learn Free, among many others.

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To help bring more awareness to Goodwill, I was asked to style the gorgeous Renee LaSalle from WSAV’s show The Bridge. Every day during Goodwill Industries Week, Renee wore a different outfit with pieces that were found at our local Goodwill. Tops, skirts, dresses, jewelry, belts and even a fabulous pair of shoes all made the cut, and did not break the bank! I was also asked to appear on The Bridge with Renee to help kick off Goodwill Week and talk about all of the fun that we had putting together her outfits. Here are the amazing outfits that I helped her put together:

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Goodwill Finds: Dress, Belt and Shoes

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Goodwill Finds: Blouse and Skirt

Wednesday

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Goodwill Finds: Blouse, Tank and Skirt

Thursday

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Goodwill Finds: Dress and Belt

Friday

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Goodwill Finds: Blouse, Skirt, Necklace and Bracelets

It was such an amazing experience and I loved how each of the outfits turned out! Renee looked fabulous and was such a sweetheart!

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I also helped out by arranging a Kendra Gives Back Party to benefit Goodwill Southeast Georgia. I love any excuse to team up with Kendra Scott and this event was no exception.

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It was so nice to meet everyone that I have gotten to know through Goodwill and to raise money for such a good cause. Plus, adding new Kendra Scott pretties to me closet is always a bonus!

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I hope that you enjoyed all of the outfits that I helped to put together and that it inspires you to go searching for something for yourself. When you shop at Goodwill you are helping to change someone’s life and your money is going to help our community in so many ways! And if that’s not enough, the prices are Goodwill are unbeatable!  You can update your entire wardrobe without breaking the bank!

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10 Simple Steps to Looking Photogenic: A Guest Post from CaitsCozyCorner

At some point in your life, you are going to have your picture taken. For some people, that is on a daily basis. Now, I don’t know about you, but I am constantly retaking pictures trying to find the best lighting and get the best angle. We all want to look our best and camera ready. Well I have teamed up with Cait of CaitsCozyCorner to bring you a guest blog post on how to always look photogenic in your photos. Enjoy!

Having your photo taken can sometimes seem a little frightening, especially when it seems that you never look quite as good in portraits as you do in reality. This is a problem faced by many people, but is quite easy to overcome. Being photogenic is a skill which you learn, not which you’re born with. That’s why I’m here to help you. We’ve came up with some of the best tips to instantly start looking better in photos.

Nowadays, there are a lot of advises you can come across over the internet, but many people don’t practice them quite correctly. You know that  hand-on-hip pose celebrities do to make their hand look slimmer right? I’ve seen a lot of girls trying to do the same thing but it doesn’t come as natural for them –  they make more like a chicken-arms-pose. Well, to avoid these little mistakes, take a look at these tips for being more photogenic.

1. Lighting Is The Key

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Standing directly under a light casts weird shadows on your face, so stand facing a natural light source, such as a window, which is more flattering to your features. You can also position yourself  in a spot where soft light hits your face from the side. I love posing near big windows for a lot of natural light that fills the photo and accents the features I want highlighted.

2. Angles

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A lower angle visually stretches your figure, making you look taller and leaner, but when seated a photo shot from just above you is way more flattering. I tend to love when photographers get those great flattering shots from above and usually find that it’s one of my best photos taken.

3. Sparkly Eyes

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To make your eyes sparkle, look at a light source such as a lamp which will create a flattering gleam in your pupils. Plus, it helps minimize the dreaded red eye! I also tend to add a bit of sparkle eyeshadow or a light white near the tear drop of my eye to highlight that particular spot. My eyes always tend to light up with that small trick!

4. Find Your Best Pose By Looking At Your Photos

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Go ahead and look through some of your old photos of yourself. Which ones do you love? Why? Look for a pattern that you notice. Perhaps it’s the high angle or the way you tilt your head. Next time you have your photo taken, make an effort to imitate your best poses and remember why you loved those photos of yourself.

5. Get Rid Of Flyaways

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Photos usually highlight flyaways, giving you a gawky, messy look. Dry oil or a good pomade will help, but make sure you use it lightly. If you are afraid to use too much, spray on your hands and then lightly try to control fizz! Sometimes, if I don’t have any with me on hand, I’ll use a bit of lotion to help smooth those annoying little hairs!

6. Tilt Your Head

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Facing the camera straight on can rarely be flattering, so instead turn your head slightly to one side or the other. This way you give your features a greater depth and highlight your cheekbones. Try to do the same with your body, but also cross one of your legs or just bend it to break up the shape. For me, I found my best photos are when I tilt my head slightly to the left. Play around with with tilting your head in the mirror and see which way you like best.

7. Use The Body-shrinking Technique

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Lean into the camera and stick your head out forward and tilting your chin down just a little bit. This will make your head will look bigger, giving you the optical illusion of a smaller body. I never knew this trick until a photographer shared it with me, took my photo and shared the results! It’s true and I try to work this angle when shooting some looks for blogs.

8. Know Your Good Side

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As I stated above with head tilting, try to find out which side of your face looks better on camera. This differs from person to person, but studies say that most people’s more photogenic side is the left ( which is actually mine too! ).

9. Smile

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Putting your tongue behind your teeth when smiling is an old trick but it does work. It helps you avoid a too-wide grin and look goofy. But remember to always ‘smile with your eyes’, to look more natural. To do this, squint slightly to create small pillows beneath your eyes, giving them a half-moon shape.

10. Group Photos

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When taking group photos never stand the closest to the camera – it makes you look disproportionately larger. You should instead place yourself on an even plane with the other people in the photo.

Now that you’ve got some great ideas for your best looks, it’s time to find a great photographer who can capture the best version of you! If you’re in the Atlanta area, you must go see Donald Chambers who has over thirty years of professional photographic experience. He studied at California’s Art Center College of Design and assisted with acclaimed studios before moving to Atlanta to start his commercial studio in 1984 .Donald prospered in that studio, focusing on a wide range of subject matters with clients such as Coca-Cola, Budweiser, Georgia Pacific and Alton Brown.

After three decades, Donald has come back to his first love: photographic portraiture. He has a passion for working with people and capturing unique and authentic moments. He equally enjoys working with individuals, families, babies and couples. He is renowned for his masterful lighting in classical black and white along with vibrant use of colors. Donald shoots for as long as the subjects have energy and can provide quick reviews to ensure his clients see images that are suitable for framing! You’ll love everything he shoots!

Be sure to check out Cait’s blog and show her some love! I hope you enjoyed her guest post! I know that I will definitely be using some of these steps the next time I have my picture taken!

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All photos retrieved from photographer Donald Chambers website.