I’ve spoken about my role at DATC before.

You can read about it here.

This past Saturday, I had the opportunity to speak with the group of students from Session 18.

I am one lucky duck.

I try to be as thankful as possible in order to be worthy of all the luckiness that comes my way.

Getting a chance to work with Dr. Karen Barwick, Program Director of Dental Assistant Training Centers, Inc., is one of those things I am thankful for – it’s a lucky thing, a bright light.

We’re 8+ years on this shared professional road, and I delight in every step forward.

When I give a presentation at DATC, it’s typically focused on leveraging the digital space for online reputation building and curation, and job acquisition; but this past Saturday, I dabbled a little bit in the warm-fuzzy space…


Because, before the presentation, I worked through a second round of headshots with the students.

Let me explain…

Headshots are always a thing of “agony.”

And not just with DATC students…if fact, it’s true of almost every single client that I’ve ever worked with. Over time, I wear people down, and it’s more resignation than agony. And I’ve even taken to calling myself “paparazzi,” so that everyone has a good idea of what my role is when the camera is in my hands.

Yes. Please remember. You pay me to get in your space and take photos to share on media platforms.

To be absolutely transparent, I’m starting to get tired of it. In general. And on Saturday, after I was done with takes and re-takes and encouraging these women through the experience…

Me: No. You do not look awful.

Them: But my hair. My face. My outfit. My smile. My teeth.

/side eye/

But, I realized I could do…or in this case, say…something about it. So, I might as well jump on the opportunity vs. fester internally.

Do you know what it’s like for a social media manager, a producer of digital content to fester internally?

Not pretty.

So, I gave a prologue to my presentation.

It went a little something like this…

You all are amazing individuals.

You’ve chosen to put yourselves on a path to change your lives. You’ve signed up for an intensive, 12-week program that requires you to study a lot and learn A LOT, to wake up early on Saturdays and be engaged in class and clinical environments the WHOLE DAY, to figure out time for clinical observations…

You get where I’m going with this, right?

You are changing your futures. Changing the futures of your families. You’re embracing prosperity for your lives.

So…why are you giving me such a hard time about headshots?

As self-aware individuals who are actively pursing growth and claiming the opportunity to “level-up,” shouldn’t we be self-accepting and carry with us a healthy, respectable amount of self-confidence.

I’m not saying walk around all sassy and cocky acting like a jerk because you think you’re the bomb[dot]com.

I’m saying, we all have light within and that light shines from our eyes and faces, in our attitudes and intention.

We need to own the light that lives within, the light that we share with others…the light that we’re building with self-development and evolution.

And with that…let’s talk about online reputation and job acquisition.

It might not have been my smoothest transition…this is true.

But I didn’t hear any complaints…from the students or the Program Director.