The effects of isolation

January was named for the Roman god Janus, known as the protector of gates and doorways, who symbolizes beginnings and endings. Janus is depicted with two faces, one looking into the past, the other with the ability to see into the future. As we are entering the third year of a global pandemic, it’s easy to get discouraged.
At the beginning of this journey during necessary isolation, many of us learned things like how to bake sourdough bread, found ourselves in leisure wear and purged our closets and our possessions with all of our “spare time”. I remember thinking “Oh! These are things that have been on my to-do list for so long! Now I have a few weeks to complete all my tasks.” What we originally thought would be a couple weeks has turned into over 100 weeks (and counting). Most of us are no longer in lockdown (thankfully) but it’s been off and on for longer than I’d like to calculate.

Lessons from New Years’ resolutions

Before this new normal started, we were encouraged to look at the new year as “New year, new you!” Time to lose weight, start exercising, eat right, quit smoking, etc.

Our new paradigm has made me realize that acceptance of who we are, our true selves, is important year-round. I for one have never kept a resolution for a whole year and it can be tiring to know that it’s not going to stick.

So I offer a counter-option—just be you. Grow when you want to, eat better when you want to, exercise because the energy feels good. Instead of what we are “supposed” to do—do it out of self-love.

You are perfectly you

In our diet-crazed society, we have been programmed to believe that our shape and the number on the scale is everything. I encourage everyone to do whatever it takes to feel healthy and live your best life. However, I can also tell you that the lines of your body do not define you.

On Martin Luther King Jr. day we revisited that it is not the color of your skin but the content of your character that encompasses your true self. In my opinion, the most amazing thing about humans is that we are all so different.

Imagine if we were all clones of a perfect mold. How would we express any individuality? In that, who you are right now, what you look like right now, and what you weigh right now are perfectly you.

boudoir before photo

In the eyes of a woman photographer

As your photographer, I look at you through the eyes of love. I often hear things like “I need to lose weight” or “my nose is too big” or “can you photoshop my double chin?” Or if you are slender, you worry that you don’t have the curves to look voluptuous.

The very things that you see as perceived flaws are often what give you a youthful appearance! Who doesn’t love to kiss the double chin on a baby’s neck or the rosiness of a toddler’s cheeks? 

My own mom’s journey

I’ve talked about my mom before. She had never had a photoshoot until January of 2021. She was the first one to leave the room when the camera came out. My mother is a combination of extrovert and introvert. The extrovert will show all of her attention to you, but the introvert has protected her inner self her whole life.

It was difficult for her to transition to the attention falling on her. Those of us in her circle knew that we were important, and she gave off an aura of self-confidence, but with little thought given to her own needs. In that, she didn’t want or like the attention being on her.

The experience of a full-blown photoshoot in my studio with amazing mother-daughter time has changed her world view of what it means to be her!

Growth can come in any stage of life

Enter January 2022! My mom came into my studio and strutted her stuff for this photo! She and three of her amazing friends decided to write a book to encourage women of a certain age to fulfill the greatness of their wisdom and experiences.

In just one year there was a complete paradigm shift in my mom. During this span of 12 months, she had co-authored a book (currently at publisher) and found new gifts within herself of which she had been unaware.

This time when she came in she was sporting a black leather jacket and was unapologetically herself. She was eager to be in front of the camera.

Growth can come in any stage of life, and to partner with my mom, who gave me life, in this new evolution of who she is made me proud of her! It has strengthened our already strong bond.

The value in trusting your photographer

We never stop learning from our parents. This experience has opened my eyes about seeing ourselves in a different way. If she hadn’t trusted me, we couldn’t have made these self-view changing images. She has reignited my fire for celebrating exactly where you are.

As your photographer the expression of you at every stage is of value and worthy of being celebrated. When you see yourself through my eyes and lens it is my wish for you to exhale, knowing you are practically perfect in every way.

Express your individuality

Who you are right now, what you look like right now, and what you weigh right now are perfectly you.