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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 tagged Keeping It Real Thursdays
My Acne Scars Are My Superpower

I’ve never shared this story with anyone.

Because I was too embarrassed to admit my truth. So I ignored it and looked away.

And looking away was surprisingly easy.

Our society is set up for us to continually look away and ignore our deepest inner truths.

But these inner truths often require courageous conversations; with ourselves and with others, in order to be set free.

These courageous conversations are not easy. They are also very uncomfortable. We essentially poke at our own emotional wounds and that shit hurts.

There is an upside though. In fact, it’s a really powerful one, especially if you believe life should be full of PURPOSE and IMPACT.

Have a look at this video and let me know if there is a courageous conversation you are ready to have. The world is ready for your truth.

Keep Going

Sometimes I get to my computer in the morning to write a new social media post and I don’t feel anything. Or more accurately, I feel anxious and unsure, because I have no clue what to write. 

In those moments, my commitment of sharing valuable and REAL content 5 times a week feels impossible.

A part of me has resistance to this kind of writing because this part of me remembers what it feels like to flow. Those joyous moments when the words just pour out of me. 

This part of me revolts. 

“I hate this. It feels forced. It feels fake. People will know. No one will like this.”

And of course, what that part of me is really concerned with is no one will like me

He wants me to take the day off. To rest. To do anything else, besides this uncomfortable task. 

Today was one of those days. 

I struggled. I was full of uncertainty, doubt and frustration. Then, I looked at my whiteboard that sits 2 feet away from my desk. There is a picture of my dream client on that board and a few sentences on how I want her to feel when she interacts with my content.

One of the sentences on my whiteboard states: “Darius is honest and REAL.” 

And so with that, I decided to share this REAL post on how it can be a struggle to share some days. A part of me wishes it was juicer and attention grabbing. A big breakthrough or deep wisdom. But it’s not. It’s just me sharing how challenging it can be to stay consistent. And sharing with you that there are days when I just want to stay in bed and keep to myself. 

But I know momentum is a wonderful thing. It takes time to get the train moving in the right direction. Especially if it was standing completely still. So when it is moving forward, even if at a slow pace, it is important to keep going. Even on the tough days when you feel uninspired and unfocused. 

Maybe I needed to release this energy and this post to help make space for something else. Maybe tomorrow will be just as difficult. 

Or maybe, just maybe that wonderful and effortless flow will find me and we will dance once again. 

Regardless, I am going to keep going. 

Do you have any tips for how you keep pushing through on days when your parts are not feeling it? I know I am not the only one that experience these days. 


For anyone who feels called to working together, now is the time to do so. Follow the link below for all the details on my amazing promo this month while it’s still up. -->

PS: Payment plans also available. :)

I want to feature YOU and your HEARTstory #KeepingItRealThursdays

What if your mess was your message?

What if your mess was your masterpiece?

What if sharing your wounds publicly could set you free?

If you believe keeping it real and being vulnerable is actually a strength, then I want to connect.

I want to hear your story.

I want to share it with my entire community.

I want us to inspire people to take a leap and stand in their own truth.

If you have a story that scares you, but also feels ready to be let go, I want to connect.

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. ->