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On Saturday I had the wonderful Anneka in for some Headshots. These can be done in a mini session (which is only £30 btw 😉 and you can either have Caitlin or I take them) I digress.......

Anneka got in contact with me to ask if I'd speak at the support group she runs for Facial Palsy Sufferers.

Facial Palsy. Something I had very little knowledge of. Her story was touching and fascinating in equal measures, as were the stories of those who attend her group.

I wasn't really sure how I could help at her group but I'm always keen to help where/when I can.

This particular cause has stayed on my mind ever since our first meeting. The short back story to my history is that I worked in the dental industry where creating smiles was part of my job. A job that I loved.

Back then I used to hear 'I hate smiling' 10 times a week, now I probably hear it 15 times a week with clients who come through my own door and those of you who have met me know that there's not much else that makes me happy than when I capture a raw, unfiltered, unposed, natural smile (a true emotion, in motion) however.... Anneka's information, story and education has thrown a spanner into my world. Of course I'm aware that not everyone has the ability to use the muscles that produce a smile but here sat a woman, a beautiful woman who presented as someone who had no underlying issues. Someone that I'd have had no problem trying to entice to smile, or trick her into smiling but the realisation that this was actually a difficult physical (and mental) task had changed my own behaviour with my clients.

There's a whole series of questions I ask before your boudoir shoot. Things like

  • Any part of you that you want to hide?

  • Any issues that I should know of that would prevent you from some of the poses. back, knees and arms are ok?

  • What do we love about ourselves? What are we showing off?

  • Any significant triggers I should be aware of?

I have now started to ask.....

  • Can you smile with ease? Blink your eyes ok?

Some Facial Palsy sufferers also have difficulty with blinking, another thing I'd just never given any thought.

Education on any topic is a wonderful thing, it's also important to use it and become more aware of how you can help, even when it looks like someone might not need help.

If you think you'd benefit from Anneka's group then please get in contact and I can pass you her details, the next group is this Saturday in Perth.

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