Izzybug Photography » Indianapolis Photographer giving teens and tweens the courage to be themselves in a world that asks for so much more.

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I have always believed there is a decade in each and every one of us.  Each personality leans towards a different era of time.  Even if we are born, raised and live in a completely different time period.  Ava was certainly not born in the 50’s, has never even come close to living a single day in that decade…but her heart and soul scream that time period.  She came up with the idea of this session, made me a Pinterest board and we made it come true!  It was perfection from beginning to end…she was perfection!  I adored every single image we took.  It just proves to me that you can do one of two things in life…follow the trends, the today, the now…the things everyone else dictates…or follow your heart.  I am so glad Ava has chosen to follow her heart!


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  • Deborah Peterson (g-ma Pete) - I really like the pix of Ava.ReplyCancel

It is that time of year.  Schools are letting out for the summer.  Kids are gearing up for the pool, bikes, and summer sun!  Last weekend we did this amazing, yes I said amazing shoot with my teen models entitled “Girlz Rule”  Which is pretty appropriate around the estrogen filled studio!  So, in the spirit of celebrating the day my girls get out of school…I hope this little video makes you smile!  Oh and PS  this is the first time we have gotten ALL the girls in one place!!  YAY!!!


We spend so much time tearing each other down, comparing…telling each other that we are just not good enough.  We also spend way too much time listening to the world tell us the we are just not worth the effort to work, dream or reach our goals.  I am here to tell you, You ARE Worth it!!!  Won’t you join Izzybug in lifting each other up.  Seeing what makes people amazing…and taking the time to tell them! When you are on Social media, pick one friend to post on their wall, or message.  Post a pic on Instagram and tag them.  Tweet someone you know…It’s so simple.  Just write “YOU ARE…”and fill in the blank.  “YOU ARE  strong”  “YOU ARE the best friend ever”  “YOU ARE lovely”  whatever that person is to you, whatever their strengths are, tell them!!  Then #youare, and if you like tag Izzybug Photography or @courage_to_shine on instagram so we can watch the wave spread!!  We need to spread the truth people.  No matter what the world tells you, YOU ARE ENOUGH!!!

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“Self-confidence is the best outfit, rock it and own it”

Yoga pants…need I say more?  I love my sweats, t-shirts…and yes, my pajama pants.  Dry shampoo and bobby pins are my friend.  But, I’m gonna be honest, my yoga pants days are usually the ones I feel least motivated.  Those are the days I just want to blend in, and get through to bed time.  But, let’s fast forward to the days I get up, get a shower, curl my hair, and put on my favorite jeans…maybe my favorite shirt.  I slip on some earrings and the perfect necklace.  I am looking good, and I can’t wait to leave the house and conquer my day.  You know that feeling…  Your jeans aren’t so tight you feel bloated, your hair dried like it does in the salon, your skin looks surprisingly clear…ya you are rocking it!  Admit it, you will wear this outfit until it has to be washed.  You feel amazing.

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Then tomorrow comes.  Your hair won’t do anything.  Your eyes are swollen because you wore make up all day yesterday.  Your feet are swollen, your jeans are tight.  You have a breakout on your forehead like you are 13 again.  You find the biggest sweatshirt you can possibly wear, throw on some leggings and call it a day.  You are going to hide from the world in your tent of an outfit and hope you can just blend in.  Admit it…you know exactly what I am talking about.  We all do it.

Now, imagine you go into a dressing room and try on a new outfit.  The outfit that makes you spin and dance in front of the mirror.  The outfit that you swear you will never, ever take off.  It’s the outfit that makes you feel gorgeous.  You would buy it right?  No questions.  Now, imagine that outfit is free, and it’s not cloth and stitching, it’s heart and soul.  Imagine that outfit is you.  Yes, you.  Every inch, every part you.  Imagine the outfit that you rock can never get dirty, never wear out, get lost, stretch, get tight, or go out of style.  It’s easy to wear and you can rock it EVERY DAY!

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The answer is simple, choose to love yourself for exactly who you are.  Choose to see your strengths, instead of your perceived weaknesses.  Know that you are so much more than a silly muffin top, a grey hair, a wrinkle or a leaky bladder.  (Ya I went there)  Know that you are a wife who supports and encourages her husband, a mom that loves and nurtures her children, a sister that leads, a friend that consoles.  You are a business woman who creates, builds, and drives her employees.  You are so many things, you are amazing…and you should Rock YOU!

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Images, words, stories, people we meet…everything we encounter makes us who we are.  Good or bad they collect.  They imprint on our souls and make us who we are.  Some of our encounters reveal the things in our lives that light a fire, some people remind us of traits we love about ourselves.  We take their humor, or candor, or thoughtfulness and make it our own.  But, some people reflect the things we dislike about ourselves.  Maybe theirs is better, and we wish we were more like them.  Maybe, they have something we always wished we had, and so we think less of ourselves.  Whatever lies we accept from them…they stick too.  As we grow, and move through life, we collect these lies.  From small to great, they pile up on our hearts.  They begin to change our vision of ourselves, until our reflection is so skewed, we can no longer see how amazing we really are.

faceswebPIN ITIt is subtle.  Maybe they are blonde, and we are brunette…maybe they seem cool, strong, or like they are way more stylish then we are.  Sometimes it is subtle, sometimes it is cuts us to the core.  It seems strange to think that what we see in the mirror is not actually what other people see.  Like our reflection is our reflection and it can’t change…but it does.  Our minds teach us we are fatter, weirder, not cool enough, not athletic enough.  Our minds begin to accept the images the world tells us are normal.  And so we look in the mirror and we don’t see ourselves…we see the “not” version…not pretty, not stylish, not athletic, not thin.

mirrorbodywebPIN ITSocial media, magazines, videos, movies…our minds are invaded daily with images.  We are constantly shown what is “accepted” and what is “normal”  We can not stop the images from coming, we can not ignore print and social media all together.  Social norms will not change.  But, we can.  We can rewrite the way we see ourselves.  Think back to the last time you posted an image of yourself.  Ask yourself how many times you checked to see the number of likes or hearts you had.  Did you wonder why someone else had more than you?  Did you catch yourself feeling sad because no one noticed?  Did you feel the pang of self hate…question that you weren’t enough to be noticed?  This is the cycle social media puts us in…no matter what age you are.

magazineswebPIN IT socialmediawebPIN ITSo if we can’t change society, and we can’t stop social media, then what?  How do we break the cycle.   What if instead of checking for likes, you simply posted the picture because you genuinely wanted to share.  What if when no one liked your post your internal dialogue was all about reminding yourself that there are hundreds of reasons in the world why someone skimmed by your post, the last of which probably had to do with the way you look.  What if, you began to accept everything you hate about yourself as everything that makes you unique and amazing.  One by one, lie by lie tear up what society tells us, and make a new image.  One that tells you the truth about how much you are worth.

tearwebPIN ITAs I look at this image and write this post, I have tears in my eyes.  It took me so long to figure out all the lies I had been told, all the lies I had accepted.  It took me so long to realize that I had to put effort, thought, actual time into myself.  One by one I am tearing up what I used to believe about myself, and I am creating a new belief.  I desperately want you to do the same.  Journal, close your social media accounts, literally tear up images of the things that bring you down.  Let them go.  Give yourself the ability to be different, unique, one of a kind…special!  Do the work!  You are worth it.  Give society back all it’s “norms”, and begin to accept your own.

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Disclaimer: You may recognize issues of teen vogue, and an ad from Guess Jeans.  I am in no way blaming them specifically for the issues we face, I simply had them on hand.  Actually, if you want a magazine with a majority of positive body image articles, teen issues, and a message to reach your dreams, Teen Vogue is actually pretty darn amazing!