Do you often avoid or “hate” photos? Do you want to gain more body confidence? How can a compassionate and free photography shoot lead to life-changing results? In this podcast episode, Dr. Cristina Castagnini speaks about how to gain confidence and feel empowered with transformative photographer Mervyn-Reid Nelson.


Mervyn Reid-Nelson, founder of You At Yours, leads a transformative photography studio empowering individuals of all body types to embrace their natural beauty. By eschewing filters and Photoshop, the focus is on conquering fears and defying self-doubt through authentic photography. Mervyn's passion for capturing genuine moments creates an environment where individuals discover their unique beauty and strength. Inspired by the prevalence of self-deprecation and insecurities, Mervyn crafted an experience that unveils the true essence of his subjects. With over 600 transformative shoots, this journey often reveals an unseen version of themselves. The impact is undeniable and life-changing.

Visit You At Yours and connect on Instagram.

FREEBIE: 5 Steps to Unleash Your Inner Confidence


  • Bringing people to confidence 
  • How photoshoots can help people turn a corner 
  • Be mindful of the content you consume 
  • Respect that your body is going to change

Bringing people to confidence 

Something that Mervyn-Reid encourages people to think about is that photographs have changed in modern society into something that “should” look nice, because they will be viewed by others, instead of treating them as memories, which is what they are. 
People will sooner delete a picture because they don’t like how they look instead of thinking, “That was the last time I was with that friend of mine”, you know? (Mervyn-Reid Nelson)
Photographs are powerful holders for memories, but when their weight is placed on just having them look nice to be viewed by others, you lose out on the memory of that moment. Everything becomes skewed to favor how someone else sees that picture instead of what that picture means for you, at that point in time or in your life.  And when it comes to confidence, Meryn-Reid explains that the photos are not the source of confidence, but the reflection of it. 
I say to anyone thinking of booking a consultation call is that confidence doesn’t come from your pictures, the pictures are a side effect; they are capturing your confidence. The confidence is genuine, that is happening in that space, in that room. (Mervyn-Reid Nelson) 

How photoshoots can help people turn a corner 

Photoshoots that are genuine and based on the person at the center of the room can be life-changing for them because these photoshoots allow them to be seen, heard, and focused on with attention and love. 
I think [people] want to be seen and heard and given the chance to have their life experience validated … Cognitively, we all know that other people are going through things, we also emotionally can’t get past this sense of isolation and thinking that we suffer [alone], so when people come into that space, it’s their space, I say that to them … “This is yours, I’m just the facilitator.”  (Mervyn-Reid Nelson) 
Photoshoots like these, by centering the client, allow them to safely explore parts of themselves that they hadn’t felt comfortable doing before.  Things like lingerie can be worn and explored in these shoots too, because people feel supported and empowered to explore their beauty in ways in which they hadn’t felt like they were able to before. 
Most people think that lingerie and being in this form of a sensual or sexual person is exclusive to those people who walk the catwalk … And that’s not true! Sexy can be whatever you make it to be, or whatever you want it to be ... It’s down to you to define, and I help these people define it for themselves. (Mervyn-Reid Nelson)

Be mindful of the content you consume 

Many people avoid posting pictures because they judge themselves against the biggest stars of social media; influencers and famous people.  What Mervyn-Reid is encouraging you to do is to unfollow them. Unfollow people who make you feel bad about yourself, and cut it out until you can look at them without comparing yourself to them.  Social media can be a terrible place - however, you do have the ability to choose. You can stop, unfollow, block, and change up your algorithm so that you don’t feel stressed every time you open your account. 
If you’re aware of anything or anyone, especially on social media, that you are consuming, especially content and it makes you feel somewhat inferior? … Those are the profiles and programs you need to remove yourself from, and take some responsibility … No one forced you to follow Kim Kardashian, you know? Just have a bit of awareness of how you’re feeling in these moments, and then take action. (Mervyn-Reid Nelson) 

Respect that your body is going to change

One of the things in the modern beauty industry and on social media is this craze for youth and the body that people often have when they are younger.  You can free yourself from so much anxiety and stress by simply understanding that your body is going to change throughout your life - and to be okay with it. 
Confidence is being able to accept and respect that your body is going to change, and if you can … strap yourself into that rollercoaster and know that, factually, today you may feel great … but tomorrow you may not, and that you’ll come back around to feel great again at some point, if you can step into that then everything else is a bonus. (Mervyn-Reid Nelson)
Have an awareness of yourself that not everything needs to be 10 out of 10 every day because your body will change and you will feel different throughout the day, the week, or the month.



I am a licensed Psychologist and Certified Eating Disorder Specialist. While I may have over 20 years of clinical experience, what I also have is the experience of having been a patient who had an eating disorder as well. One thing that I never had during all of my treatment was someone who could look me in the eye and honestly say to me "Hey, I've been there. I understand". Going through treatment for an eating disorder is one of the hardest and scariest things to do. I remember being asked to do things that scared me. Things I now know ultimately helped me to get better. But, at the time, I had serious doubts and fears about it. If even one of my providers had been able to tell me "I know it's scary, but I had to go through that part too. Here's what will probably happen...." then perhaps I would not have gone in and out of treatment so many times. My own experience ultimately led me to specialize in treating eating disorders. I wanted to be the therapist I never had; the one who "got it". I will be giving you my perspective and information as an expert and clinician who has been treating patients for over 2 decades. But don't just take my word for it...keep listening to hear the truly informative insights and knowledge guest experts have to share. I am so happy you are here!


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