Shaelyn Christiansen – Stylist

Owning You

Owning You

“There is no such thing as failure.  Failure is just life trying to move us in a different direction.” -Oprah Winfrey


I met Shaelyn a little over a year ago through my networking group, 4BR.  When I first joined I naturally sought out the people who would relate to my industry.  One of the first events I attended,  I was introduced to Shaelyn, a business owner with her own studio, Shaelyn’s Suite.  I was drawn to her outgoing demeanor.  She is genuine and easy to have a conversation with. Over the course of a year, Shaelyn and I have met for coffee, exchanged thoughts and conversations at out networking events, and along the way realizing that we knew some similar people.


It was about a year ago that this idea came to me.  The idea was still fresh, and had not yet matured.  One day in a parking lot after attending one of our networking events  I told Shaelyn of my idea about photographing portraits of women, and how I would love to collaborate with her on my idea.  My idea was to highlight the women you see everyday, and find out their story.


In that parking lot I put it out there, and shared my idea with another person.  In that parking lot, I told someone else who I didn’t really know that well, THIS IS WHAT I AM GOING TO DO.

Wow!  When you put it out there to the world that you are going to do something, you do have the risk of failing.  It is rather interesting that Shaelyn chose the quote she did.

Owning Your Beauty

So we begin the journey.  We chatted on the phone a couple of times.  I told Shaelyn that I was looking for an entrepreneur, she felt exuded excitement and empowerment.  We needed just one woman that would encapsulate success, creativity, and adversity.  She sent Susannah Campora, founder and leader of Real Life Book Club.  Shaelyn is working with Susannah and will be heading one of the book club chapters. I will share more about what Susannah does in future post.

Back to Shaelyn. After doing the shoot with Susannah, I realized that Shaelyn needed a session, so she could feel the experience of being a model.  This session is more than a head shot, this session is meant for you to own your outer beauty.   This is not the beauty that media says, this is the beauty you live with everyday, and you need to see it in yourself and own it.

I had no idea Shaelyn had any reservations about having her photo taken.  I look at her and I see a beautiful confidant woman.  I do not see anything lacking.  But, like many of us, Shaelyn has her own reservations, fears, and very real self esteem struggles.  She came in for her session.  I was so excited to get her in front of that lens.  Inside she was nervous.

When I asked Shaelyn what her reservations were, she said

“Quite a few actually.  Who’s watching? What am I wearing? Who will see the photos?  Why do I always look so different from what I imagine?”


I admit, having your photo taken, is putting you as the center of attention.  That is the entire purpose. The point of having a session is to celebrate you and your acheivements. The outcome is a collection of images that highlight your potential and who you are.

It is so very interesting.  Shaelyn is a stylist. Shaelyn helps women feel renewed, bright, and excited about their outward appearance.  Here she is in front of the camera, hair done, make up applied, beautiful as ever, and REALLY NOT COMFORTABLE.

“Getting ready is the fun part, the part that I am good at.  It is the being comfortable yet vulnerable in front of the camera enough to portray my intention …. that trips me up.”


Getting ready is fun.  It is the stepping out and letting the world look at you that is the difficult part.  Is it difficult because you look so different than what you imagine?  What I find so interesting is that I saw none of that.  The thing is Shaelyn has something that I do not.  Every single woman that I shoot has something that I do not.  Every single woman that Shaelyn styles has something that she does not.

Instead of celebrating the things we have, we are comparing the things we are without.


I recently heard someone say putting yourself out there was kind of like surfing.  In the beginning, it is really scary and shaky, but you learn to ride the wave.  Having yourself put out on a pedestal, public speaking, all eyes on you, and being photographed is like surfing.  You learn to find the wave and ride it.  The more you have to pull yourself back up the easier it will become.  You have to build the muscles to fight the fear.


It is apparent that Shaelyn has worked out many obstacles.  She is living her dream and working toward bigger things.  She has her own studio, she is training to be a leader, and she totally realizes that there is always room for improvement and expansion. Her biggest goal is to become a philanthropist.

“Living, working, giving – simultaneously in a big way!”

So if you are looking to for someone genuine who will listen to what your reservations are and help you step out there, connect with her.  Maybe bring her a coffee, she cannot live without it,  and chat about what makes you nervous.


In the meantime, support her, and be fan of her facebook page Shaelyn’s Suite.Being_Authentic



Being_Your_Authentic_Self What are your thoughts on putting yourself out there?  If you would like to have a session with a women’s portrait photographer – denver, please give me a call.



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  • Abrianna Vialpando-CollinsFebruary 19, 2015 - 2:01 pm

    This is absolutely beautiful!!! I’ve gone to Shaelyn for maybe 2ish years now to have my hair done and she truly is remarkable inside and out.
    You have to be willing to put yourself out there at times, a “jump and grow your wings on the way down”, because it is only in our LACK of comfort that we grow. You have to be willing to face fears and failures to expand to greatness. Shaelyn is just that, and this is an amazing article with beautiful pictures!ReplyCancel