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Writing + Photography

Memoirs and musings of Darius Bashar. Toronto portrait photographer and writer, in pursuit of all things real, raw and intimate. 

Posts in Keeping It Real Thursdays
Over 20 Years of Acne {Keeping It Real Thursdays}

It’s hard to see my acne scars on social media, but in real life you can spot them fairly quickly. You may not know this about me, but for over 20 years I had really bad cystic acne. The type that was constant, painful and almost always left a scar. 

I went to dozens of doctors. Tried every treatment under the sun: antibiotics, expensive facial products, cleanses, detoxes, diets. You name it, I tried it. 

At best, treatment would work for a week or two and then things would often get worse. 

I eventually gave up. I failed so many times at “fixing” the acne that it hurt too much to continue to hope that it would go away one day. 

So I settled into the belief that I would have to live with acne for the rest of my life. 

I would never admit it, but I was deeply insecure about my skin and my scars. 

Hoodies, hats, soft lighting, and hiding out in the shadows was my way of coping. 

A part of me wanted so badly to play in the sun. 

To share. To laugh. To show up fully and to contribute

So much inside me was sick and tired of being muted. 

And over time I heard this whisper, growing and echoing from deep within: 

“There is more than this. There is more of you. Let it go. Let it all go D.” 

And slowly I began to take down my walls and let the world see me and my heart. 

It was scary. It still is, but like any muscle you work out regularly, it got easier. 

I have come to love my scars. 

Because each one gave me access to deeper empathy. 

Each one helped me love and accept others. 

Each one, a reminder of my resilience. 

We all have scars. 

Some are skin deep, but most are much deeper than that. 

These “messy” parts can hold us back from fully showing up in our lives. 


Our mess can become our masterpiece. 

You choose.

98% of Everyone I Photograph HATES The First Photo I Show Them

It's okay. I hated my first photo too. All I could see were my imperfections. It felt as if the rest of me was erased and only the parts that I felt most insecure about were left in the photo.

There are a couple of reasons 98% of everyone I photograph feels this way too. I get into a few in this video.

The good news is I have a process that is made to lovingly work through this incredibly common phenomenon.

I call it HEARTshots, which are the opposite of HEADshots.

My theory is nobody really trusts headshots in 2019. They are too stiff and often contrived. Nobody wants to get into your head. Half the time you don't want to be in your own head. Mostly people just want to feel your heart. That's how they decide if they can trust you and if they want to work with you.

My HEARTshots process is designed for people who are ready to step more fully into their purpose and power. This can sometimes be scary, but it can also be a boatload of fun.

Seriously, people are always so shocked at how much we play and laugh during our sessions. This is the only way I know how to take photos. The more genuine joy we co-create together, the better the photos.

So, if you are ready to take a big leap forward and continue down this path of sharing your purpose and power with the world, hit me up! This is my jam. There is nothing I love more than fanning the fires of HEART-centred leaders, just like you.

I have an awesome promo for this month. Have a look and see if you feel called to connect. ->