We had the good fortune of connecting with Christina Samuelson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Christina, we’d love to hear about a book that’s had an impact on you.
Love yourself like your life depends on it by Kamal Ravikant. This book had a tremendous impact on me. It might sound trivial or obvious but if you don’t love yourself, you don’t value yourself and that will show up in all areas of your life. Your world will reflect back what you send out. It’s a raw book, Kamal, a startup guy in Silicon Valley, tells the story of being in a really bad place and how loving himself transformed him. It has some very powerful practices and questions to ask yourself. This is such an important book this society we are conditioned to look outside of ourselves for value and love, when in fact it all starts with us being able to love and value ourselves. One of the questions to ask yourself: If I loved myself truly and deeply, what would I do? If I truly believed that I deserve the best, would I do this? That has been super powerful for me, it gives you a chance to dig a little deeper and not just go along because of old habits. And it’s true what he says, as you love yourself, life loves you back.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Looking back over my life, a red thread through my life has been transformation. Growing up in a small village in Sweden, the “Jantelag” was very strong, loosely translated as “you are not better than everyone else”, and while I agree we are all equals, this culture keeps everyone the same and there is no room for celebrating accomplishments etc and kept everyone small. You are not supposed to think that you are something. I used to dream moving to the U.S. as a kid, to me it symbolized freedom to be who you are and expansion, my soul wanted more than a small village in Sweden. I was good at math and when it became time to choose a profession, I chose to study chemical engineering and got a Masters degree in that. I knew I wanted to help people and working in the lab was one way. Working as a research engineer it was pretty clear that I was not happy and when we through my husbands job got a chance to relocate to the U.S. we jumped on the opportunity! Now I had chance to start over, to fins out what I really wanted to do. And the “Jantelag” does not exist in the U.S. After a couple of different roles in marketing where I also did photography it was obvious to me that I was as happiest with my camera in hand. So I started my portrait studio focusing on transformational portrait experience for women. I love to see camera shy beauties transform in front of my camera and own their uniqueness and power. Society puts so many impossible standards on women and I want them to break free from that and own their uniqueness and beauty. It’s OK to step up and shine bright, we don’t take away any light for anyone, there is enough for everyone. Imagine a world where every woman fully love, accept and honor herself in this moment. Imagine the ripple effect it would have on their children and society in whole. That is powerful. I believe we are all beautiful pieces of art. The portrait experience I have designed starts with “The beautiful mind” pillar. Here we rewrite old stories and beliefs that does not serves us anymore. We envision a future you, the woman you want to step into. Many women tell me that they rather have a root canal than having their portrait taken. But if you can own your photo moment, you can own life. When you see yourself differently, you show up differently. The second pillar, The Transformational Portrait session is all about being present in the moment, owning the new you, being comfortable in from of the camera. A hair and makeup artist will accentuate your beauty. You will come alive and your energy will shift. I will guide my client every step of the way. Th last pillar is The Reveal where you will see this new version of your self. Women’s brains are designed to pick things apart so I want you to take a moment and acknowledge and see the beauty in you. Here we set powerful intentions for this woman you are stepping into. I ask my clients, what is possible now? I found my soul work, what lights me up every day and I’m also embodying this transformational work, time and time again.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If you come in the winter, Skiing in Bridger Bowl or Big Sky would be high on the list. The Bozeman area has so much to offer all year round, there is so much to do if you love the outdoors. We have 360 degrees mountain views and are close to Yellowstone National Park as well. The downtown is also full of cute boutiques, cafes, bars and restaurants. There are 8 breweries here so I you love beer you will love it here! Summer activities includes white water rafting, hiking, mountain biking and much more.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I have lots of inspiring and amazing business women and portrait photographers in my network that inspire me every day! My mom taught me to be independent, aim higher and take responsibility. Sue Bryce opened my eyes to portrait photography, Jim Fortin to transformational inner work.
Christina Samuelson Portraits for the 8 Arnica Spring for my headshot