It’s true – women in the public eye have to be photographed every now and then. Aren’t we glad they were?
Enjoy these quotes from and images of just a few of my own favorite female inspirations. I hope they will give a push to even the most reluctant among us to get out there and be photographed! (Learn more about my portrait and personal branding photography sessions.)
Some of these women were photographed often, while with others, I sense they felt it was more of a necessary evil (hello writers, Mary Oliver and Madeleine L’Engle.)
Marianne Williamson, spiritual teacher, author and lecturer (Born: July 8, 1952)
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?
This powerful quote has inspired me on many occasions. I’m extremely grateful to Marianne Williamson for saying it! When I meet people whom I want to photograph who are reluctant for whatever reason, this is the quote I most want to share with them.
We are all worthy of being gorgeous, talented, and fabulous! (And I know you already are.)
Audrey Hepburn (May 4, 1929 – January 20, 1993
The beauty of a woman must be seen from in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides.
Audrey Hepburn was not just another fashion icon and pretty actress, but a beautiful soul. She made few movies in the last decades of her life, and died at age 63. She dedicated much of her time to her work for UNICEF particularly in Africa. I wish she was around to see how obsessed so many women are with her these days!
Mary Oliver, poet (Born: September 10, 1935)
I want to think again of dangerous and noble things.
I want to be light and frolicsome.
I want to be improbable beautiful and afraid of nothing,
as though I had wings.
I once heard someone say, “Everyone needs a little Mary Oliver on their bedside table.” And I couldn’t agree more. This also is probably my favorite photograph of the bunch. I wasn’t familiar with what Oliver looked like and was glad to find this stunning portrait, taken by Mariana Cook, the last protégée of Ansel Adams.
Madeleine L’Engle (November 29, 1918 – September 6, 2007)
The great thing about getting older is that you don’t lose all the other ages you’ve been.
To me this is the quintessential quote about embracing getting older. It takes societal defaults on aging – all black balloons and “Ugh, I’m turning thirty-nine again” or “I was afraid I’d burn the house down with all those birthday candles,” and perfectly turns it on its head.
Carol Burnett (Born: April 26, 1933)
Only I can change my life. No one can do it for me.
Carol Burnett is the funny lady who inspired all who followed. She was funny before women were funny. She was a sharp businesswoman before women were businesswomen. Her variety show which aired from 1967 – 1978, and again for several episodes in 1991, would have never happened if she hadn’t had the guts to take control of her own life.
Maya Angelou ( April 4, 1928 – May 28, 2014)
My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.
Angelou lived life to the fullest. Her life was marked by always trying something new, being courageous, and speaking up. Most of her works as a poet and writer are at least semi-autobiographical, but if you want a quick rundown on some lessons we can learn from her, read this. And isn’t this photo of her fabulous?
Oprah Winfrey (Born: January 29, 1954)
The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.
I was so excited to see that Oprah’s profile photo on Twitter was this stunning photograph below. It’s hard to say anything about Oprah without sounding trite, so I’ll just leave it at her quote and image and by saying, I love love love her glasses.
Eleanor Roosevelt (October 11, 1884 – November 7, 1962)
With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.
Roosevelt was longest serving First Lady in history, having held the post from 1933 to 1945. Today she is best remembered as having filled in for her husband, President Franklin Roosevelt, on many occasions after he suffered from paralysis. At the time she was best known at her outspokenness, particularly on racial issues. She wrote a weekly newspaper column, hosted a radio show, and held regular press conferences.
Margot Fonteyn (May 18, 1919 – February 21, 1991)
Jumping for joy’ is a very basic human reaction, and a child skipping down the street is simply an untrained dancer.
Margot Fonteyn was an English ballerina who spent her entire career with the Royal Ballet. As a person named Margo and a dancer for many years, I have always been in awe of her. She wrote an autobiography that reveals not just her exciting life, but her imagination and remarkable unpretentiousness.
Meryl Streep (Born: June 22, 1949)
Don’t waste so much time thinking about how much you weigh. There is no more mind-numbing, boring, idiotic, self-destructive diversion from the fun of living.
As I was finishing up this post I remembered it was Oscar weekend, so I wanted to include something from Meryl Streep. She’s a straight talker, yet always polished and like a good mother, always has just the right thing to say. Also, The Post is her 21st Oscar nomination! She continues to break her own record!
Based on the fact that almost everyone says they want to wait until they lose weight to have their photograph taken, this quote from Streep was a no-brainer!
Now! Who are the women in your life who you think should be photographed?
Hopefully these women have inspired you to understand that that woman may just be you!