Inclusive and Diverse Stock Photography Sites

Inclusive and Diverse Stock Photography Sites

A simple way to make a difference and take a stand for equality is through respectful and accurate representation online. If you choose to use pictures of people on your website or blog posts, using pictures that accurately represent the world and our diverse clients can be a small tangible action. Although there are many photos available for free from various general stock photography sites (see this post for a list of free sites and for why you shouldn’t use google images to find photos), these photos can sometimes be stigmatizing and full of stereotypes. May I present Exhibit A – 20 Pictures of Lesbians According to Stock Photography  Good inclusive stock photos can be really hard to find!  I did a search and below is a list of 15 stock photography sites that appear to be inclusive and/or authentically representative of different populations, most of which are normally forgotten or mis-represented in traditional stock photography sites. Some are free, some have a cost to use. If you know of any not listed, please forward them so they can be added.    Inclusive and Diverse Stock Photography Sites   Aboriginal Stock Images – A collection of photos, videos, and illustrations depicting Aboriginal life in Canada Native Stock Pictures – Comprehensive image collection on Native American First Nations Cultures GenderBlend from Getty Images – A collection featuring non-gender conforming individuals, transgendered individuals and individuals in non-traditional gender roles. LeanIn from Getty Images – A collection featuring individuals of all genders in non-traditional gender roles. CreateHER Stock – Authentic Stock images featuring Women of Color by Women of Color Color Stock...
Why you should never use Google images for your website or blog photos

Why you should never use Google images for your website or blog photos

Otherwise known as … my $6800 mistake.   I’m sharing this with you in hopes it will save you a lot of stress … and money! This mistake was a simple one to make, and I hope to help you avoid making the same. Back in 2010, a colleague and I began to set up a website to advertise some online psycho-educational groups we wanted to start offering. It was a DIY effort, but we still wanted it to look interesting and professional. We chose a nature theme and decided to use photography to represent the various programs. We mostly used photos taken on our travels to make the site look colourful. However, there were a few programs where we couldn’t find the right picture in our own collections, so we did what many people do when looking for visual images.   We went to Google Images and typed in nature.   Right away we found a cute little picture of a dewy spiderweb that fit our theme perfectly. A quick copy paste later, it was up on our website. We didn’t think twice it. After all the image was only a 1 x 1-inch photo on our homepage. As time went by, my colleague and I both got quite busy, and we realized we didn’t have time to launch our programs. So although the website was up, we put the actual project on hold.   Fast-forward four months into the future.   I’m sitting in my office, and an envelope slides under my door. I open it and inside it were three pieces of paper. The first being...
Why you need an email signature (and what to put in yours)

Why you need an email signature (and what to put in yours)

Email signatures have become an expected part of a professional email.  It is a simple addition that creates a professional image and sets you apart from personal emails.   Why you need an email signature   1) It promotes your practice with every email   Having a clear email signature provides a quick and easy way to contact you, and lets clients know a bit about you and your background. This gives instant credibility and tells them how to get in touch – which is exactly what you want them to do!   2) It looks professional   Not having an email signature can make people question if you are legitimate, as signatures are now expected in the online world. It is the online equivalent of a business card.  Without one, people wonder if you’re really a professional, or just saying you are.   3) It explains the limits to online confidentiality   Clients can then make their own choices around what they will and won’t share in their emails.  It protects them, and it protects you.   4) It makes you easy to refer to   Having a proper email signature makes it simple for others to forward your information to their friends and colleagues, which makes it easier to refer to you. Win-win for everyone. This is why even though it’s a bit redundant, I still recommend having your email in your signature.     If you’re wondering what to include in your email signature, here are some things to consider:   Basic Email Signature Checklist Name Education/Designations Job Title (ex. Clinical Counsellor, Occupational Therapist, etc.) Link...
Q & A: What to wear to the office?

Q & A: What to wear to the office?

Hear is a recent question I receive that I asked to share with the rest of you. “I am wondering if you would be able to post some pictures of how you dress up for your counselling sessions to give me/us some ideas of what to wear to reflect a professional self. I think that would be helpful to a lot of new counsellors.” A huge part of private practice is finding your own style, whether it’s in your work with clients, or your actual outfits. Here is my thought process around what to wear in sessions. Ultimately it comes down to you and your clients. Take what feels useful and leave the rest behind. Start with you Who you are in session needs to be reflective of your personal brand. If your personal brand is casual and approachable, the clothes you choose to wear in session should reflect that. You may choose to wear dressy jeans or casual dress pants, work-casual tops and cardigans. If your personal brand is more formal, your outfits may lean towards suits, blazers and dress shoes. Also, consider the type of work you do. Do you need to be able to move around? Do you use art supplies that could get on your clothes? Every person’s situation is different so make sure your clothes make sense for what you’ll be doing with clients. Next, who are your clients? As a general rule of thumb – Once you figure that out, dress to their level. As with everything to do with your private practice, it’s important to be in alignment with your clients. If...
Gratitude to those who fought for my freedom

Gratitude to those who fought for my freedom

One of the most vivid memories of my life was being 16 and standing on the coast of France. I was there for a school trip where we toured historical sites across England, France and Germany. There was one stop in France that will be burned in my brain forever. Although the name of the location escapes me, I will never forget that day or the story that took place there. Reconnaissance had stated this unassuming ridge overlooking the ocean was highly fortified, and it was believed an attack there could significantly weaken the German stronghold in the area. Canadian Forces were tasked with taking the ridge. In the end, it was an incredibly devastating battle with thousands dying in their quest to claim victory over this small piece of land. When the Canadians ultimately did succeed and reach the top, they discovered the German troops had received word of the impending attack, destroyed what was there and simply moved somewhere else. The Canadian troops fought and died, and there was nothing there. Upon hearing the story, I remember feeling unspeakable sadness. Sadness because in a space that was so beautiful now, there had been so much death. Sadness because on the spot I was standing so many died for nothing. Sadness because many of those who died were only a few years older than I was at the time. Sadness they never got to experience their lives so that I had the opportunity to live freely. Sadness because only due to a choice made by my great-great-great grandfather to move from Germany to Canada, I saw this as a loss...
How to come up with six months worth of blog post ideas in less than 30 minutes

How to come up with six months worth of blog post ideas in less than 30 minutes

So first off, I’ll admit this post is a little bit self-serving. You may have noticed things have been a bit quiet on the blog for a while. Life got busy. Between my private practice, Private Practice Bootcamp, and teaching this semester, I decided to go on a writing hiatus for the sake of work-life balance. However, the downside of taking a break is getting started again once you’ve lost momentum. Hence the self-serving part of this post. By writing this, it’s forcing me to get going again, while also sharing my process for streamlining content creation. When you have a lot on the go (which I bet you do too), administrative systems become your friends. They get you on your way and back to doing the work you really love faster! I am often asked how to come up with ideas for blogging, so this post is going to be all about coming up with content ideas for your blog. This system will help you determine topics for the next six months in less than 30 minutes. So let’s get started! First off, I want you to decide how many times in a month do you want to post to your blog? There is no right answer to this question. It really just depends on you. Do you enjoy writing? Do you have time? Is that the way you want to engage with your clients? This might mean you blog once a week, every other week, once a month, one every three months, etc. Again consider your life and your practice, and then come up with a schedule...
Pro Tips from a Photographer for professional looking DIY head shots

Pro Tips from a Photographer for professional looking DIY head shots

  Your headshot a powerful marketing tool that is often the first thing a client sees. Once you have decided on the look and feel of your headshot now it’s time to prep for the occasion.   I reached out to professional photographer Suzanne Rushton for some tips on how to put your best face forward.  Here are her recommendations for getting the perfect headshot.   1)   Clothing Don’t wear any crazy patterns or designs.  These tend to distract from the main attraction, your face. Simple clothing tends to photograph better.  Round-necks, v-necks or collared shirts shoot well.  Anything that is too complex or finicky usually shifts, needs adjusting and can ruin a shot. Dress as you would when you are at work.  Try to present yourself in the same professional manner as you would when seeing clients. If you’re the casual type, then go casual, but still wear flattering styles and fabrics. Try to wear colours that enhance your skin tone. Choose something you feel comfortable in. If you feel awkward in your clothes, it will show in the photos.   2)   Makeup As a general rule, more makeup is better.  However consider what you would normally wear when making this decision.  If you don’t wear much makeup, you may want to apply a bit of light blush and mascara so your natural features show up better in the photos.  If you usually wear makeup, you may want to wear a bit more pronounced eye makeup.  Put on a bit more than you would in your daily life and your photos will end up looking like you do in-person. It is recommended...
How to Rise Above the Competition in Private Practice

How to Rise Above the Competition in Private Practice

  The simple answer… You don’t have competition to rise above. A bold claim but let me explain.   In business people tend to focus on the competition and scarcity. “There aren’t enough clients for everyone!” “The market is getting flooded with too many therapists.” I look at it this way – there are always going to be people transitioning to another stage in their life, waking up to who they are, or gathering the courage to make big changes. There are plenty of clients for everyone, and every client/therapist match is a special fit. Worrying about what everyone else is doing neglects the key factor to success in your business…You! There isn’t another therapist just like you. Even if you have the same education and the same specialties and target the same clients in the same location – you are not in completion with other therapists. Just like you will never be friends with everyone of a certain group, you will not be the perfect fit with everyone who falls into your ideal client category. Your lived experiences, your values, your quirks – that is what will set you apart and make you resonate with your potential clients. That is what your clients are drawn towards.   Remember – the biggest predictor of results in therapy is the quality of the relationship between therapist and client.   You need to be clear about who you are and what you stand for, and clear about who you help and how you do it. Simple to say, but it takes soul searching to do. Once you figure out who you...
How to get your picture to show up beside blog comments

How to get your picture to show up beside blog comments

Have you ever been reading a blog and seen a comment with someone’s smiling face beside it and thought,   “How the heck did they get their picture in there? They must be an internet wizard!”   At least I know I did. It turns out that picture is an online avatar called a Gravatar, and it’s a very simple thing to set up.   How to setup a Gravatar   Step 1: Go to https://en.gravatar.com/ Step 2: Sign up for an account (It’s free) Step 3: Fill out your gravatar profile and upload a picture. Make sure to include your website URL. Step 4: That’s it! Comment away   Who should setup a Gravatar?   If you don’t have a blog or have comments turned off on your blog, or never see yourself commenting on other people’s blogs or in forums, don’t worry about setting this up. There won’t be any use for this in your business.   However, if you use blogging or commenting as a way to engage publicly and build your credibility, or focus on online services in your work, this is an important thing to have.   Benefits of setting up your own Gravatar   It allows people to see your face when you comment so your words feel more personal It helps keep your branding consistent and professional It links to your website so if people like what you say and want to find out more about you and your services; it’s easy to drive traffic to your website.   So there you have it. It’s not magic. It’s just Gravatar.   Happy Commenting!...
Why you need a Business Community (and how to build one)

Why you need a Business Community (and how to build one)

Running your own business can sometimes be lonely.   And when your business involves you connecting with people in some of the hardest (and also most amazing) parts of their lives, without being able to share your work with others, it can sometimes be even lonelier.   The way this isolation is dealt with this clinically is reaching out for supervision and consultation, either individually or in groups. It allows you to unpack and process the clinical issues coming up so you can be clear and present for your clients. You get to be in the company of others that understand your clinical struggles and decisions, and gain wisdom and community through their support.   But what about support and community for you in your business?   A lot of people in private practice don’t have a place where they can step out of the role of clinician and step into the role of small business owner.     The place you ask for marketing suggestions when the phone isn’t ringing, or a group to celebrate with when it is.   The place you can break down and admit that you have no idea why your email isn’t working, and you wish we could just go back to using carrier pigeons instead of trying to figure out what’s wrong with it.   The place to compare notes on what invoicing system is working best for others, and where to buy a good printer.   A place to admit that sometimes you just wish you could get a pay cheque and vacation days, and not have to worry if next...