I was introduced to Eli Dagostino through mutual work contacts in the fashion business. Part of my work is working with modeling agents and photographers and the like. When I first met Eli I was immediately impressed with the credentials of such a young person.
He is a Scholastic award winning photographer with work appearing in mass produced books, large marketing campaigns, editorial pieces and art collections. His pictures have been published in Vanity Fair and Vogue Italia. These are accomplishments that most photographers spend decades working to achieve.
The thing that struck me so quickly was how such a young person could have done so much already in his career. That's when I discovered Eli is also a life coach specializing in confidence building strategies. His programs and seminars are so well conceived and executed that his coaching work is regularly published in The Huffington Post and the Elephant Journal.
The more I got to know Eli the more I realized he is part of a vanguard of young professional men who are changing the perception of what it means to be experienced, professional, and successful. Part of all of that is his relationship with the images he captures and of course his own relationship with male beauty.
I spend a lot of time talking about women, their relationships with beauty, and how they define it; it is easy to forget that men often have many of the same self confidence issues, body issues, and even beauty issues which I help women navigate everyday.
Eli spends a lot of time behind and in front of the camera and he has suffered from level four acne for many years. I worked with him to create a personalized camouflage make up technique so he can stand in front of clients and feel more confident in his personal appearances. It's amazing to me what make up can do for people. Often we forget it can help men as much as it can help women.
Recently I chatted with Eli about men's beauty:
"For five plus years I have struggled with acne and have never been able to truly get a hold on it. It’s simple - I’m 20 years old and hormonal. My acne doesn't affect how beautiful I feel or look. I am attracted to people’s confidence level, smile, their generosity, creativity, and heart. I dress to the nines everyday, but beyond the exterior I strive for perpetual positivity. I assemble beauty in my special way both on the outside and inside for me, and not for anyone else.
Beauty standards are absurd and I believe that we must live this one life we have living true to ourselves and what makes us happy. If you are living by what the world tells you is correct, I encourage you to ask yourself if you’re happy, comfortable, or truly expressing YOU in those clothes, with that hair, body, etc. I have lived my life exuding beauty from the inside out. I don't need to have six-pack abs, chiseled cheekbones, clean skin, soft hair, long legs or whatever.
In business, looking like a Ken doll does have an impact on the amount of business I convert. For example, I may show up to a meeting with an acne covered face, a nice Henley, jeans, and boots and be taken not as seriously as if I were made up from head to toe. I appreciate and utilize the influence that external beauty has on how others perceive me in business, but I believe that I attract the best customers when I am true to me and don’t put on any sort of facade.
How I eat, live in my home, and treat my employees, these things influence my definition of beauty. My confidence level, smile, generosity and buckets of creativity - all of this goes to the sense of self."
Men's beauty and how they present to the world has changed dramatically in the last 20 years. Eli is part of this new generation which embraces cosmetics.
Eli has taken all these personal philosophies and created a new program for professionals to build their confidence in front of the camera. An incredibly important skill set needed for today's world of business and social media, his program is launching in October of this year. And the beauty of the program is it can be done from anywhere in the world. Want to learn the secrets of being in from of a lens from an internationally published photographer? Eli is your guy.