Here at Beautiful You we love to share the stories of the women we photograph, and hear how they felt about their portrait experience. We’re so proud of the feedback that we get, and so pleased that even the most nervous of our clients always have such a great time with us.
We recently photographed Nicola Nolan, The Reinvention Coach, who was looking to update her headshots for her business. Read more about Nicola, her inspirational journey, and her very amusing feedback below …..
Tell us a bit about yourself ….
I am a proud Irish Australian woman. I was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland and return every year to see my many loved ones there. I left Ireland ten years ago to explore the world, and myself and my now husband Robbie stopped in Perth in 2008 and never left! I am a Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach with 15 years prior experience in Corporate HR and Executive Search Consulting. I am a driven individual with high expectations of myself and in the Corporate world my life was my work, and the environments were aggressive, target driven, high stress and fast paced. My way of life eventually took its toll and I got pretty sick. The next year was spent in and out of specialists offices looking for solutions and I was regularly popping pain medication just to get me through my days. Finally I decided out of sheer frustration that it was up to me alone to regain control of my health. I made some major adjustments to my life, spent a lot of time researching and decided to study to qualify as a Health Coach. Today I run my own Health and Career Coaching practice and every day get to work with strong, inspiring people whose stories I often recognise in my own. I am very privileged to have a ringside seat in their lives, supporting, empowering and encouraging them throughout their exciting journey.
What is your business and what do you do?
I call myself The Reinvention Coach and I work in the Wellness Industry. I believe in prevention rather than prescription. Achieving balance in our relationships, career and exercise is as important as the foods we eat. My clients have specific goals for their health, career and life and I support them to get the best job by having the best resume and interview skills in addition to supporting and empowering them towards optimal health and happiness through my Health Coaching programs.
Today a lot of us struggle to find a healthy balance between work and personal life. My clients regularly wake up feeling tired and continue to feel this throughout their day. They want more energy to fit exercise into their day. They struggle to prioritise their needs before others, often feeling isolated and craving more meaningful connections in their lives. It is very common for my clients to be confused about what “healthy” actually means and they are confused by the many conflicting messages they see every day of the week. They often make food choices that result in feelings of guilt and shame, and regularly feel overwhelmed with their competing stresses in life.
Through my program I support and educate my clients to make lasting changes – it’s not a one size fits all quick fix solution. Together we introduce new yet manageable habits, and most importantly these changes are enjoyable and move at a pace that results in a feeling of achievement. I believe the only way to experience permanent and lasting change is when it feels less like a punishment but is easily integrated into the existing framework of your life.
How did you begin?
I could not ignore the excitement I felt when I first discovered the course content at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition – their core values closely echoed my own and I enrolled because I wanted to make a difference in people’s lives. I spent years of precious time and hard earned money on prescription medication and conventional medical specialists who, although extremely educated and experienced, made me feel prodded and prescribed rather than heard or understood. I am happiest when I am listening, educating and empowering my clients so they can stop dreaming about their idea of a perfect life and start living it!! So I studied at night and worked by day, I loved it so much it actually gave me energy despite the big hours I was putting in! My Career Coaching Business was born organically through a 15 year career in Corporate HR and Recruitment. I have been on the other side of the table and now I get to share the inside track with my clients so they can nail their dream job!
What are your ultimate goals for your business?
Ultimately I want to own a Retreat in the Hills where people can quite literally run towards it when they are feeling overwhelmed by the competing demands of life. I am concerned about what I call an ‘epidemic of overwhelm’ in our society today. We just don’t stop, even when we shut the door to the world in our own homes at night – it’s literally never ending and so exhausting! I am using levity here, but it comes from a more serious concern about the rising levels of depression, anxiety and, in extreme and all too often cases, suicide. People need an avenue to just check out and run before they get to a point of utter desperation. I want the Retreat to be affordable though! I can’t afford 90% of the Retreats around WA or Bali so I am assuming there are others in the same boat as I. I don’t want people to look at the cost and feel like they won’t eat for a week because it’s so expensive to stay – if anything this would make you feel even more trapped and hopeless.
I am from Ireland so I would also like to open one there, but that’s a way off just yet. Crawl, walk, run they tell me!
What did you think of the experience of getting your photos taken?
I contacted Stef because of her ethos behind operating Beautiful You. I work with women every day who look in the mirror and see a completely different person to the one their loved ones see everyday. We lack confidence, often struggle with body acceptance and are the last to realise how wonderful we really are. I loved that Stef just wanted women to feel beautiful in their own skin – just as they are – and because I was incredibly terrified of being in front of a camera I made the decision she was the woman for the job!
Stef has a calm reassuring manner and she is quite intuitive. She matched me with a gorgeous hair and makeup artist who sat me down and reassured me I would look amazing, and I finally started to calm down for the first time that day. Once it came time to get dressed and take photos I was mildly self conscious, but there was no one else in the studio that day except for the three of us and I felt safe. I actually got quite comfortable quite quickly and started to laugh naturally rather than because I needed to for the camera! Our last set of shots are the ones I genuinely love the most. For starters I was in my jeans, which is my go to wardrobe, and Stef had me sit on a couch just inside the studio door. It started raining heavily and the wind picked up just as I sat down, my perfectly coiffed hair started to get wet but it was totally hilarious! Hands down, my favourite shots of the day I think because they epitomised real life! It’s not staged, it just happens to you sometimes despite your best efforts to make it look perfect!
I was literally high as a kite after the shoot. I closed the car door, drove out of earshot of the studio and just squealed utter glee for a couple of minutes! I felt like I could conquer the world after that morning in the studio. I felt beautiful and strong and valid. It was incredibly empowering.
Returning with my husband a couple of weeks later to choose my photographs was also a beautiful memory for me. I really deliberated about taking him as having the photographs taken was my journey, but I decided to ask him at the last minute and he agreed to come. We had quite a few beautiful photographs to choose from that day and each time Stef put a new photo on the big screen I noticed him shifting in the seat alongside me. He was blown away and wanted to buy every photograph! He still agonises about the ones we had to leave behind!
Where have you used your new headshots?
I have used them on all of my social media, my website, my email signature and intend to use them for future bios. I ordered a print especially for my Mum as she insisted I buy one of the dresses I was wearing that day, and Stef loved it too, so Mum now has a new print for her wall of fame back in the house in Dublin. I actually hand delivered it to her during a surprise visit one week later!
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