I remember the day clearly, the first day I really felt like what I was doing mattered. It was during a family session with precious friends and I asked the sweet mom if she would like some shots by herself. As is typical, she kind of shrugged and I could tell she felt awkward, but she obliged. You see, I am obsessed with photographing women. I tell people that the whole reason I started in weddings is because I wanted to photograph beautiful brides. Maybe it is the 9 year old girl in me who still sits and reads bride magazines and dreams of the day I would feel the most beautiful. Capturing that moment in time when a woman feels like the most beautiful creature on the planet is thrilling for me as a photographer. As I photographed my friend that day, I felt that familiar thrill. I was getting so excited (those who've been photographed by me know what I'm talking about!) so I decided to show her the back of my camera. I watched her face as she took in the image on the back of the camera. She almost gasped and looked a little stunned, then she looked at me and said, "I've never liked a photo of myself before." NEVER?! How can that be? This beautiful woman in front of me has never seen herself the way I do, the way so many people do. Realizing that in that very moment she stood there and felt it.. wow. This is what I was made for.
It's the most interesting thing in the world, but I find that even the most effortlessly beautiful women don't actually know how beautiful they are. We (yes, even me) pick ourselves a part and are our own most cruel critics. I am on a mission to eradicate this mindset! I myself have avoided the other side of the camera for years because I felt ashamed of the way I looked. It's the worst feeling in the world to not want to look at yourself in the mirror for fear of what may look back at you. But I, and so many of us, have done ourselves a horrible disservice, because there is so much beauty to be beheld. I decided this year that my own hypocrisy needed to end, so I had myself photographed on several occasions. The craziest thing happened as I decided to let go of all of my insecurities and to see past the flaws. I actually love myself the way I am.
The Blackbird Collection. Because every woman should get to feel this way.
Special Thanks To:
C. Johnson Makeup
Genica Lee Makeup Artist