Using a Styled Shoot to Cultivate Self Confidence | Motel Shoot with Toni by Jordan Hefler

Using a Styled Shoot to Cultivate Self Confidence | Motel Shoot with Toni | Jordan Hefler

You may have seen some images I've been taking of my GORGEOUS friend and hairstylist, Toni Terry over the past few months. She approached me about doing a retro style shoot at a motel, and obviously I jumped on the opportunity. Toni really just gets it- which makes working with her so fun and creatively stimulating.

Using a Styled Shoot to Cultivate Self Confidence | Jordan Hefler

The majority of the idea for the shoot came from Toni:

"I remember I messaged you about this shoot after I had been talking with a client and started following a curvy Instagrammer Helen Anderson. She was so gorgeous and didn’t care if she wasn’t the skinniest girl around. It kind of inspired me and the next couple photos I took of myself I edited them (thanks to your courses I knew what i was doing) and started really playing with the photos I was taking of myself and posting. I felt really good about myself and was like I want to give people something stylized, like all these editorial shoots I drool over, to look at but with a new face. I wanted people to see an imperfect body, in a photo. My imperfect body can still be sexy, serious, or beautiful even. I also wanted to have photos of me, that I felt good about. Something that made me feel beautiful and cool, because we're usually harder on ourselves than others. Self confidence to me is your best weapon, and to me the most beautiful people are confident in their skin!" -Toni Kay Terry

Using a Styled Shoot to Cultivate Self Confidence | Motel Shoot with Toni | Jordan Hefler

Toni's mindset was in such a great place with this shoot, and it was a very exciting and freeing one to do (even though I would not recommend hanging around Motel 6 for any other reason because it got real sketch real quick lol.) We basically booked a room (and didn't sleep there) but just showed up in the morning before a late checkout and shot. The room had orange walls which immediately inspired me. I also built a little mirror pyramid to shoot through that gave a kaleidoscope effect- more details on that process in this blog post here.

Using a Styled Shoot to Cultivate Self Confidence | Motel Shoot with Toni | Jordan Hefler
Using a Styled Shoot to Cultivate Self Confidence | Motel Shoot with Toni | Jordan Hefler

Toni's idea and motivation for this shoot got me thinking- why don't more people book photos for themselves? A lot of times people book me for portraits because they are graduating, they just had a baby, they are engaged, they're having a birthday party, they just started a business, etc... but hardly EVER do I get an inquiry from someone who is just straight up feelin themselves.

Using a Styled Shoot to Cultivate Self Confidence | Motel Shoot with Toni | Jordan Hefler

So many of us are ashamed to post selfies, or to book a photographer for any reason at all. That's why I loved where Toni was coming from with this shoot, because she simply was feeling great and wanted to document this time in her life in a fun way. You know what she was doing? SHE WAS DOING WHAT SHE WANTED (hey that sounds familiar!)

I urge any of you who might be feeling self conscious or who struggles with body positivity to take a leap of faith and book a fun, styled shoot to help cultivate that confidence.

 Pro tip: use a  cross screen lens filter  to get this starburst effect whenever you're shooting something shiny or with harsh light! Make sure you get the right mm size for your lens!

Pro tip: use a cross screen lens filter to get this starburst effect whenever you're shooting something shiny or with harsh light! Make sure you get the right mm size for your lens!

I am super happy with the way these images came out and appreciate Toni's bravery and confidence, which really made this shoot happen in the first place.

All images are edited with presets from my My Chromatic Presets pack, available to download here!

Using a Styled Shoot to Cultivate Self Confidence | Jordan Hefler

How to Make DIY Kaleidoscope Photos Under $10 by Jordan Hefler

How to Make DIY Kaleidoscope Photos Under $10 | Jordan Hefler

A few years ago I saw someone post about making a little contraption that gave you the ability to create kaleidoscope images in camera, so I went out and bought the supplies and then never did anything about it! I for the life of me cannot find this original post by that person (or remember who they were) so forgive me for not crediting where I saw it first.

Anyways moving on... this is by far one of the easiest things I've done and has given me such cool results.

How to Make DIY Kaleidoscope Photos | Jordan Hefler

Step 1: Get 3 equal sized mirrors

I got 2 packs of craft mirrors about 4" x 5" from Hobby Lobby about 2 years ago and I know I spent less than $10 on them. The packs came with 2 each, so I ended up having an extra mirror for this project.

How to Make DIY Kaleidoscope Photos | Jordan Hefler

Step 2: Tape them together in a pyramid

Literally get some package tape or duct tape and tape them together with the mirrors facing inwards. This doesn't have to look pretty- just as long as they're flush together and sturdy enough for you to hold!

How to Make DIY Kaleidoscope Photos | Jordan Hefler

Step 3: Hold the pyramid up against your camera lens or phone lens

You should be able to fit a camera lens through the middle of it or at least right up to the pyramid to where you can start to see the kaleidoscope effect. Play with this, as you will be able to move it around and experiment to get different looks and reflections (similar to shooting through a glass prism.) Be mindful of what is behind you when you're shooting because the mirrors may reflect that into the foreground of the shot.

 Example phone selfie, complete with no makeup!!!

Example phone selfie, complete with no makeup!!!

Step 4: SHOOT INCREDIBLE PHOTOS!

That's it! Here's some examples from a recent shoot I did with my friend Toni in a motel- she even took a few of me too. You can see the full blog post of those photos here.

How to Make DIY Kaleidoscope Photos | Jordan Hefler
How to Make DIY Kaleidoscope Photos | Jordan Hefler
How to Make DIY Kaleidoscope Photos | Jordan Hefler
How to Make DIY Kaleidoscope Photos | Jordan Hefler
DIY Kaleidoscope Photos under $10 | Jordan Hefler
How to Make DIY Kaleidoscope Photos | Jordan Hefler

What other DIY projects have you done that resulted in great photos? I'd love to know!

How to Make DIY Kaleidoscope Photos Under $10 | Jordan Hefler