A Star Is Born | Denver Portrait Photographer

A Star Is Born

While being on vacation can have its perks, getting back into the swing of reality can be a challenge! Even more so when you are your own boss and responsible for pushing yourself!

After a long stretch of editing, answering emails and updating my business plan for 2019, I decided to take a break and spend some time dating my fiance! We are coming up on our third anniversary and we have tried to keep “date night” alive. As we both run businesses, we are often home and yet go for stretches without seeing each other during the day. We know that this can affect our relationship even more once we are parents, so we have created the good habit now of going on a date once a week.


Today we decided to see “A Star Is Born”. We hadn’t seen it until now because one, I was traveling and two, I felt I had to see the previous versions first. There are actually three versions of “A Star Is Born” prior to the new one, as well as the original “What Price Hollywood?”. I still need to see the very original, but I’ve now seen all FOUR versions of “A Star Is Born”! And wow…what a story, told four incredible ways!

There’s a whole different (and very important) blog that I might write addressing the addiction at the center of every film, but I think there’s another message that’s often overlooked. The female protagonist starts each film with an amazing gift to share with the world, but it hasn’t been shared on a wide spectrum, yet. The four actresses all portrayed varying degrees of self-esteem and confidence in their character’s ability to rise to stardom at the beginning of each film, and all were met with both resistance and an industry wanting to change and control their image.


But through every telling of the story, we see Esther/Vicki/Ally come out from hiding behind self-doubt and fear. Although the character absolutely faces the reality of loving somebody in a great deal of pain, she also has to face loving herself enough to let the world in and hear her voice. Each journey reminds me of a powerful quote that I first read long ago and have shared many times since:

There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open.
— Martha Graham

That quote is as true today as the day it was written for the first time. I so firmly believe that we all have a gift to share with the world and it is so important to continue walking towards the dreams that are calling you. I think that so many people give up and take their own true passion and potential to the grave and to me, that is heartbreaking.

There are times when running a business is overwhelming and intimidating. I absolutely never know where my next client is coming from and I always fear that once they show up, I will disappoint them. But I know that it’s not my business to have an opinion of my own art, as my perfectionist mind will never be happy or completely satisfied. Instead, I have to be an open channel between my client and the heirloom art that they are meant to hold in their hands and pass to their loved ones someday.

Please go see "A Star Is Born”. There are so many lessons in it. And so much beauty. Be inspired by it. And find the confidence in you to live your best life.

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you’ve imagined.
— Henry David Thoreau

A Star in Paris

Although my clients are not professional models, I oftentimes look at their finished images and feel like they missed their calling! But more than having a future career posing for fashion photographers in Milan, I want my clients to feel EMPOWERED and confident by the end of their experience. Having somebody believe in you…see your inner light and help share it with the world…is no small thing for a human being to receive.


We see the power of this in every incarnation of “A Star Is Born” and you can probably recall somebody who has changed your own destiny, simply by reminding you of your greatness. I hope to do that for every client that walks through my office door…and I hope that I have done that for Maggie, who is absolutely a star to me.


It’s been over a year since I made my public intention to photograph a client in Paris, and it’s terribly bittersweet to me that I’m nearly finished working on these images. But there are absolutely things that keep me going as I move forward. First, the joy in knowing that this experience will live on in my heart forever…and that the images of Maggie will, quite literally, outlive both of us.

And second, I never know who I will photograph next. It equally terrifies and exhilarates me. But like with everything else in life, you just have to keep moving forward and the perfect people will always show up at the perfect time. You just have to be ready to let each other in.

Whoever you are, I hope you are ready to be photographed by me…


…because I cannot wait to photograph you.


Link of the day

The gorgeous gown featured in this portrait session is perhaps the only one I cannot offer to Denver/U.S. clients. But it IS available for clients who book a Dream Session in Paris! To see more of what you can choose from, please visit Elyssa Couture’s website here and start planning!