i believe in the power of the portrait
When women see their real, beautiful self staring back at them in their final portraits, a mindset shift takes place. They start to look at themselves in a whole new way. They start to say nice things to themselves when they look in the mirror.
When we speak kinder to ourselves, we start speaking kinder to others: to our children, our spouses, our colleagues. We put out a kinder and more positive energy into the world.
We go after our dreams.
see below for full transcription of video
I am an artist and a nurturer, fiercely motivated by using my talents to make women feel confident, empowered and whole. Today, I am proudly confident, empowered and whole (and so much more), but I didn’t always feel that way. Allow me to share a little about my journey to become the Karianne I am today.
Growing up with an abusive role model left me filled with fear. I countered this in my teen years by attempting to be perfect – I strived for perfect grades, was an excellent athlete, and an extracurricular overachiever. While I excelled in these areas, something was missing. In the bustle of trying to do everything and trying to do it perfectly, I never took the time to understand who I was. Fast forward to my young adult years, I continued down this path of perfection while also doing all of the things I thought I was supposed to do. This included earning a business degree (MBA) and getting married. I also set my sights on earning a doctorate in higher education leadership. On paper, I was a high achiever who knew what I wanted in life. But in reality, I was lost. My whole body repealed the idea of a doctoral degree as soon as I started down that path. And after I sought the help of a counselor, it didn’t take much time to determine I was in a marriage that didn’t serve me.
This was the start of an awakened journey for me, one that erased the need for perfection and pursuing dreams that weren’t ever mine to begin with. My newfound journey led me to consider becoming a social worker. After getting accepted into one of the top universities for social work and submitting my resignation as Assistant Dean at a local University, I again found myself in a familiar place – a path didn’t feel right. When I was close to packing up and moving to another state for this degree, I met my current husband. Trusting my instinct wholeheartedly, I decided not to chase a social work degree and instead stayed in Arizona to start my new family.
When you go on a spiritual journey, you connect back to the things that brought you joy as a child. For me, this was photography. I was always the child with a camera in hand. It was time for me to pick it up again. I started photographing everyone I knew - family, friends, kids and anyone else - who would let me practice. I discovered not only a rekindled love, but an innate talent to capture a person’s true inner beauty.
My hobby morphed into a career the moment I met my mentor, renowned photographer Sue Bryce, after attending one of her workshops. Putting the principles she taught me into place, I began to build confidence in myself and in my work. She selected me to participate in a educational video series for curvy woman, which helped me better appreciate my own curves and understand what it was like to be on the other side of the camera.
In 2018, I left my full-time corporate job to completely focus on my career as a portrait photographer. As a photographer for women, I want my clients to see themselves as the most beautiful person in the room. That isn’t easy for most, so I make our time together feel like a day of pampering and self love. Then, when we’re together, I take my time and wait for their comfort and confidence to blossom. It always comes, and I’m there to capture it with my camera.
Personally, I’m a wife, new mommy to a baby boy, stepmother, and doggy mama.
Karianne named business owner of the year
Munstedt, brand photographer for women business owners, won the award for “Business Owner of the Year” from the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), Phoenix Chapter, at the Desert Diamonds Awards Gala on June 12, 2019.
The Business Owner of the Year Award is presented to the member who has overcome obstacles to build a successful and prosperous enterprise. This member demonstrates innovation in her or his industry, gives back to the community, and creates jobs while contributing to the growth and mission of NAWBO through active participation. NAWBO National Representative Molly Gimmel was on hand to present the prestigious award to Munstedt, owner of Karianne Munstedt Portrait. Gimmel is the national organization’s Immediate Past Chair.
Through her portrait business and as an inspirational speaker, Munstedt helps women see their beauty and increase their confidence—both in photos and in life—so they can proudly stand out as the face of their business. Through her Facebook Live video series, Munstedt opens up about her own past obstacles and negative self-image. Her vulnerability and warmth helps to inspire others to overcome their individual challenges.
Transcript for video: I want you to do something for me. I want you to go to a mirror. It can either be a little hand mirror or maybe a bathroom mirror. What are the words that you say to yourself when you are looking in the mirror? I want you to think about that right now. When you are seeing your reflection in the mirror that you're looking in, are you saying “Hello, beautiful. Hello, sexy. Your eyes are gorgeous.” Uplifting words. Or are you saying “I'm fat. My nose is too big. My teeth are too yellow. My hair looks horrible.” What are you saying to yourself in the mirror?
I know that most of us, when we look in mirrors, we're not saying the first things I mentioned. We're saying the second thing. It's been ingrained in us that we walk by a mirror and the words that we say are things of negativity. When I was saying those first words like, “hello gorgeous and I love you, your eyes are beautiful,” it made me feel so good. As I was saying those other things, like “you're ugly and you're fat,” I just felt so horrible saying those things to myself.
I know you've probably heard this quote before: your beliefs become your thoughts, your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, your actions become your habits, your habits become your values and your values become your destiny.” I hadn't heard the last three parts of that before. So our beliefs become our destiny. If we believe ourselves to be fat, ugly, and not worthy, not good enough, that is going to become our destiny. Think about that for a second. Things that you're saying become where you end up in your life. It's completely true. Try saying the nicer things to yourself and think about what your destiny is going to be after you have filled your beliefs, your thoughts, your words, your actions with those words of positivity. Think about where you can go in your life.
I used to be someone who said all sorts of negative things to myself. I am not a thin person; I am overweight. I am actually going to call myself a fat person because fat is just a descriptor. It does not say who I am. It is a descriptor of the weight I am right now. I also have a love hate relationship with my belly. It's my biggest part. It's been my problem area for my whole life. Recently my coach said, “what if you said loving things to those parts of your body that you dislike?”
What if you told your belly that you loved it? What if you told your arms that you loved it? What if you told your whole body that you loved it? So I said to myself, “Body, I love you. Belly, I love you. Hair, I love you. Thighs, I love you too.” Try it. And even if you don't necessarily love them, accept them. When we accept our bodies and see our true beauty, the farther we go in our lives. Our beliefs become thoughts, become words, become actions, become habit, become values, become our destiny.