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A Poem of Self Compassion

May 31, 2022

Many years ago my therapist gave me an audio CD of David Whyte’s, Poetry of Self Compassion, on which he reads poetry and gives his insights.

I rarely listen to anything when I am driving, except my own thoughts, as my car is one of my very favorite places to be alone, think, create, brainstorm and just enjoy the scenery without outside influence. But when I do tire of my own thoughts, I listen to one thing, this CD. It’s a compilation of poems written by several poets. Many of the poems really resonate with me. This CD is the gift that keeps on giving. Each time I listen to these poems read by David with his wonderful, calming voice, I take away something new, depending on what is happening in my life.

This one by Fleur Adcock titled, “Weathering,” seems to really hit home with me at this stage in my life.

Down Back
Weathering

Literally thin-skinned, I suppose, my face
catches the wind off the snow-line and flushes
with a flush that will never wholly settle. Well:
that was a metropolitan vanity,
wanting to look young for ever, to pass.

I was never a pre-Raphaelite beauty
nor anything but pretty enough to satisfy
men who need to be seen with passable women.
But now that I am in love with a place
which doesn’t care how I look, or if I’m happy,

happy is how I look, and that’s all.
My hair will grow grey in any case,
my nails chip and flake, my waist thicken,
and the years work all their usual changes.
If my face is to be weather-beaten as well

that’s little enough lost, a fair bargain
for a year among the lakes and fells, when simply
to look out of my window at the high pass
makes me indifferent to mirrors and to what
my soul may wear over its new complexion.

–Fleur Adcock

Hands

May 28, 2022
Hands. You want to create connection, include beautiful hands.

More Hands….

Studio sessions in Northern and Southern Maine are still available this summer. Whether you need a new beautiful headshot or you’d like to explore one of my other creative sessions.

http://www.nanettefayegordon.com

An Empowered Portrait session in France, and I wasn’t even there

April 14, 2022

Today was a day to remember.

The experience with Louise started like most Empowered Portrait sessions do…we have a Zoom consultation where we talk about who we are and where we are in our lives, we talk about what its like to be an “older” woman in our society, and then I give writing prompts to fast track the “getting to know you” part and also, to have the woman really start to explore how she got here, and what makes her the woman she is today.  She works on her writing and then sends it along to me, and then the fun begins.  We start to translate her strongest qualities and characteristics into imagery…what does strong look like?  What does free-spirited feel like?  What color is that?  What might you wear?  What props might you have in the imagery to really tell the story of who you are, sitting here today in front of me.  It’s fascinating to watch the process. All I do is open the door, ask the questions and invite in whatever will come. The questions are ready to be asked, and the answers are bubbling to be told.

Today though, as a first, we held the portrait session which comes near the end of the experience, without being in the same room, or the same state or country.  Louise is in France and I am in Maine. It definitely took a little extra planning, patience and effort but I think we pulled it off, swimmingly. And I say that tongue in cheek as Louise and I have the love of the sea in common.

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Read more…

The Empowered Portrait

November 24, 2021

“Nanette captured me and my entire complicated and ‘brutiful’ self. She highlighted and celebrated my scars and reflected my innate beauty back to me. I highly recommend this experience, especially as a midlife woman finally wanting to be seen, heard, and known.” 

~ Pasha Marlowe, Therapeutic Comedy Coach

After photographing women for many years, I feel strongly about wanting to celebrate amazing women over the age of 50! I feel that we, as older women, need to be “Seen” for the wise, beautiful, interesting and creative women that we are! Women in our society often become less visible and less revered as we age. Let’s work together to begin to turn that around!


With this project, I am hoping to photograph upward of 50 women over the age of 50, to shine the light on who they are, what makes them the woman they are today, what lights them on fire, and to show their beauty and uniqueness! I am asking each woman who participates to sit in front of me and my camera with an open heart and open mind, and together we will create an Empowered Portrait. This project seems to have kindled a fire of interest in exploring, and expressing, the meaning of who we are as women in this stage of our lives. I am very happy and humbled with it’s success so far. If sitting for an Empowered Portrait speaks to you as a women over 50, and you’d like to join the women who have experienced this journey of exploration, please leave a comment with your email address or email me at: nanette@nanettefayegordon.com.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

-Nanette

http://www.nanettefayegordon.com

Exciting film festival news!

April 26, 2021

Exposed wth film banner

We are very excited to announce that our short 13-minute film, “Exposed to the Light,” has been selected into Believe Psychology Film Festival 2021. Films accepted into the festival will be shown May 20-22!

Ashley Watts, Reg Groff, our film maker, and I are very proud of this film! Here is the link to the film’s trailer. If after watching it, you would like to join us for the next online film showing on Monday, May 24 at 7pm, please send me your email address at: nanette@nanettefayegordon.com or drop your email in the comment section below!

Film Trailer: https://youtu.be/bxb64zUxrx4

Since the photography session with Ashley which is the basis for this film, I have done several more “Soul sessions” with women. These sessions explore and celebrate a woman’s story, and life. Sometimes they also acknowledge the difficult parts, as with Ashley’s session. If you’d like know more about these sessions, or would like to book one, please email me. I’d be honored to have you share your story with me.

www.nanettefayegordon.com

One Brave Soul (Gordon Women Project)

April 17, 2021

The confidence to piece it back together

   “Smile for there is hope in the deepest of heartache and the saddest moments. Keep moving and find your place where happiness exists. Be strong, be fearless, be beautiful and believe that anything is possible when you have the right people there to support you.” –Misty Copeland

View from the chapel

Chapel by the sea

When asked how you might portray how you are feeling, or what you have felt, through the use of images, it is not an easy task. Gosh, often times we don’t even know how we feel to put it into words, let alone photographs.  With each woman I photograph for the Gordon Women Project, I start by asking them to try and explain to me how we might express, and/or represent who they are as a woman through images.  We start there and then we do lots of brainstorming. They tell me the emotion, and I ask, “what might that look like?”

Glass is fragile, once it’s broken it can be pieced back together, but it never looks the same.

tracing the lines

piecing back together

fitting in the last piece..the same but different

After much thought, Heather had some excellent and interestingly, very specific ideas for her session. She explained how going through what she had in the past few years, there were times she felt “shattered into many pieces” but now she was getting close to putting the “last piece back together,” the same but different. That there had been times recently that she felt “frayed or unraveled”, like pieces of herself had been “pulled away” and some left along the way. Heather also had in mind two near-to-her-heart places for us to photograph her in. Spots that held very strong meaning for her from childhood and throughout the years.

fraying

leaving pieces behind

Frayed but confident

Dahlias ~ symbolize elegance, inner strength, creativity, change and dignity. Known to represent one who stand strong in his/her sacred values. She chose red. The color of life.

I am so grateful for Heather’s willingness and bravery to share with me, be vulnerable, tell me her story and share her emotions.   I hadn’t known Heather long before the day we photographed last summer as she is fairly new to our family of women, and it was our first time being together one-on-one, without my brother, her partner.  And above is a quote that Heather chose that she feels represents her thoughts, her life and her story.  This past week, I received a text from her:

 

“I’m strong and ready to show and share. Both gallery of images represent different things. The fractured heart, putting the pieces back together, strength, and happiness.”  – Heather 

sunset at her favorite childhood beach

Happiness

Confidence and beauty

Happiness

 

Nothing could have made me happier to hear.  xo

For more information about Soul Sessions or regular Portrait Sessions, please feel free to message me at nanette@nanettefayegordon.com

http://www.nanettefayegordon.com

 

 

Gordon Women Project

April 10, 2021

I am so happy to be back working on my Gordon Women Project, which I introduced here last summer!  Its a heart-based passion project that I started last year, photographing all 18 women over the age of 21 in my family.  My goal? To spend wonderful time with each woman individually, brainstorming what makes each of them the woman they are today, talking about what lights them up, and photographing them.  I have asked each woman to also write a short, or longer, piece about themselves as a woman. I have plans on how this project, and all of us Gordon family women, will come together!

IMG_4574 BWFollow your dreams. They know the way.”

― Kobi Yamada

Tackling a lifelong fear during COVID

March 22, 2021

March 2020, beginning of lockdown.

I popped over to see Mary soon after we all headed home to quarantine last year due to COVID19.  Mary works for a large law firm downtown and had been working from home for a couple of weeks by the time I saw her.  I pulled into her driveway and met her around in the backyard.  She stayed up on her deck, and I stayed down on the ground.  We chatted for quite awhile while practicing social distancing the best we knew how.  I’ve known Mary for many years. We were apartment mates during college with several others girls.  For many years I have known her, and for many years I’ve known she was afraid of dogs.  So fearful of dogs.  So guess what she did during the COVID19 lockdown, while she was working from home? Yup! With lots of kind and understanding help from her new friend, Sarah, and Sarah’s therapy dogs, Piper and Nellie.  Mary has accomplished something extraordinary!

Mary and Sarah and her therapy dogs.

Loving on the dogs

New friends

Providing comfort

Everyone’s happy

Question 1: How has your life changed since last year at this time?

Mary: “For some, isolation has been exceedingly difficult. I have been fortunate to create a stronger relationship with one new friend – from driveway visits, to walks on opposite side of roads, to tethering on the opposite side of the pool –  just to chat.”

Question 2: What’s been one thing that has surprised you about this past year?

Mary: “I have been working hard on my overwhelming, irrational fear of dogs. A 55 year fear.  Since last year, I have “met “seven dogs, and I regularly spend time with two beautiful girls who love me.  No one who knows me would ever predict that! So surprised and PROUD!”

Mary, I am so proud of you!  Truly, you are an inspiration!  And I am so happy to have met your dear friend, Sarah and her pups.  All four of you are such gifts to each other!

And boy, I am thrilled to have had an opportunity to experience Sarah’s gorgeous home! Truly an unexpected treasure trove!

When Mary, Sarah, Piper and Nellie aren’t on long walks, Nellie and Piper can be found doing their special canine work with patients of Hospice of Southern Maine.

xo

http://www.nanettefayegordon.com

Cheers to new friends, women and pups!

One year later: amidst strangeness, some positive changes to the way she is doing business.

March 22, 2021

Almost exactly one year ago when the world seemed to shut down due to COVID19, I visited some families, some individuals and a few businesses to see how things were going.  One of those businesses is where I have worked part-time for many years, Rainbow Toys in Falmouth, Maine.  A few days before this photo was taken, Julie, the owner, had had to make the very difficult decision to lay-off staff, and to close the doors.  There were too many unknowns.  On this day, she was there by herself to fulfill curbside, no contact, phone orders but the door was locked and it all felt very strange and unsure.

Locked down at the beginning of COVIS.

Last week, I went back and visited Julie and her daughter, Emma, who runs the shop with her, and asked a couple of questions about what has changed since last year, business-wise.

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How has your business changed since last year at this time?
Julie:  “My business seems less hectic and a little simpler for a few reasons. Customers have
become less rushed as life has slowed down and they seem to be really empathizing with us as small, local business owners. There is more time for conversation and reflection throughout our day.”
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What’s been one thing that has surprised you since last year?
Julie: “We changed our hours up a lot during the last year and customers just flexed and rolled with us.  We felt a lot of appreciation for being part of the Falmouth community and that has brought us joy in the midst of strangeness!”
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Thank you to Julie and Emma for taking the time to speak with me!
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My Camera as a Conduit

March 16, 2021

 

Artist at work

Several years ago, I believe it was 2014, I was just starting out working with small businesses helping them set up social media platforms and shooting marketing images for them to use on websites, brochures, blogs, and social media.   I was fortunate to be referred to several clients in the Newburyport, MA area and therefore, I got to spend lots of time in that gorgeous part of New England, and had an opportunity to meet, and get to know, some wonderful people.

Artist at work

 

Rick Salmonson was one of these people.  I had spoken on the phone with him before the morning I met him at his sign shop, Bridge Road Sign Company.  I knew from talking with Rick that he thought he should be marketing on social media but he really had no experience with it at all, and truthfully not much interest.  He was “old school” in his sign business in the best possible ways.  I pulled into the driveway of the shop which was in his garage, and he lived above it.  He somewhat reluctantly invited me in.  I looked around and wondered how many other women had actually stepped foot in his shop.  He showed me around and pointed out one of the signs he was working on. I was blown away.  This man had been making handmade and hand painted signs for years and years.  He was an Artist!  This one looked huge on his work table, and he explained it was another one for The Newburyport Five Cents Savings Bank, which has many branches and I believe now is called the Newburyport Bank.  He had been making almost all of their beautiful signs for many years.  I was amazed at his craftsmanship, his dedication to creating signs with his hands, and his attention to details.  Recently, he told me, he had purchased a computer to help with digital sign making but most signs he was still creating the way he always had, and they were gorgeous!!

As planned after a tour of his shop, we jumped in his truck and spent the next several hours together with him driving me around the greater Newburyport area, showing me all the signs he had made, and my taking pictures of them for his new Facebook page we would create together. He introduced me to many of the business owners, and we covered a lot of ground that day.  As we rode, he shared much about his business, his family, and his life.  We were out in the country a little after noon, and he asked if he could treat me to lunch.  We stopped at a country store with a small dining area in the back.  Rick new the owner and we really enjoyed our lunch and more conversation.  That day stays with me.. and reminds me of the places I have had the opportunity to explore, and even more so, the people I have met as a result of having a camera in my hands.  My camera in many ways feels like a conduit to a life I love. A life where I can meet new people, get to know their stories, and hopefully help them market their small business in a way that makes them proud, and ultimately brings in more business.

I don’t think Rick expected that day to make a friend.  I think he thought he would tick off the box and do the FB marketing that he had been told he should do, and then be done with it.  I think that day ended up being much more, as days sometimes do.

To all the people who I have had the pleasure to get to know, and to learn intimately about your businesses, thank you!  I love doing this work! And to those of you who might be thinking you could use a little extra help to get your creative work, your service, or your brick and mortar out into this world, maybe I am your gal to help.  And maybe, well, most likely, we’ll end up being friends, and enjoying time sharing about our lives and passions in the process of working together.  And that makes it all worthwhile…

xo

Nanette

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