"Nothing makes a woman more beautiful than the belief that she is beautiful..."
That's one of my most favorite quotes, and one I believe in with all my heart after watching so many gorgeous women of all shapes and sizes step in front of my lens. I've watched them time after time let go of their fears, insecurities, imperfections and self-doubt, and instead choose to embrace and celebrate their beauty, their strength, their individuality and their femininity as a woman.
These women are just like you and me...they're wives, mothers, daughters. They work hard at keeping their jobs, their homes and their families running like clockwork. It's exhausting. And it's easy to get yourself lost in all of that. To let it pile up on you and bury who you are at your core. I can relate because I've felt that a lot in my life, and it doesn't get easier as you get older. Life is hard ladies!
So I decided it was time for me to put my money where my mouth is. Yes, I stepped to the other side of the camera for a day and it was exhilarating. I was so excited to finally see my images last week from the uber amazing Agnes Fohn of Yellow Brick Collective, NYC.
Agnes is not only a dear friend, but an incredibly talented fellow boudoir photographer, so when I decided to step IN FRONT of the camera, I put myself in Agnes' ever so talented hands with complete trust and faith. I haven't regretted it for a second, in fact it was hands-down one of the most incredible, empowering experiences of my life and I can't wait to do it again!
I can now proudly say, this is what almost 50 looks like. And you know what ladies, it looks good! And if feels damn good! A day of feeling pampered, of feeling rock-star gorgeous and special does wonders for how you feel about yourself. I can now personally attest to that from my own experience on THAT side of the lens.
But let me let you in on the big secret...it's a feeling that continues on long after your photo session is over. You'll think about yourself differently, you'll have that little extra spark and confidence whether you're getting ready for a big presentation at work, rushing the kids around to soccer practice, or getting undressed with your honey in the room after a long day (I don't make a beeline to hide under the covers anymore!).
Now, when I'm having a particularly trying day...a day so busy with taking care of kids, clients and the ten thousand other obligations that have piled on me that I suddenly realize I haven't even managed to get a shower today, much less do anything else for ME...I pop into that folder of pictures and it reminds me that she's still here, that beautiful woman inside me just below the surface, she hasn't gone away, she's there for me to reconnect to any time I need. And that's a good feeling, especially on a crappy day.
So...for all of you who've been asking when I was going to share MY images, here you go!! And for all of you who are on the fence about doing one of these amazing photo sessions I highly encourage you to DO IT, whether it's with me or any other fabulous photographer out there. Just do your homework when you're researching your photographer and make sure they are the right match for you...if they are, you'll have the experience of a lifetime!
So I've been saying for over a year that I'm going to start a blog. I was going to make that leap into the blogosphere with all the other photographers out there. I was really going to do it. Tomorrow. Okay, maybe next week. Hmmmm...do I hear the ice cream truck coming down the street? Squirrel! Yep, focus and balance can definitely be a challenge for me at times! But today something entered my life via Facebook land that really clarified something for me. So I figured that instead of just posting this on my page, maybe today's the day I blog. For real. ;) Yep, tick blogging off my bucket list! So here goes...
I just had a light bulb moment. I read these words on a link I came across on Facebook: Successful women know the value of a true partnership. And seriously, a major light bulb went off in my head. Yes, without a doubt I have this now with my guy. He is truly my rock. My pillar of strength. My confidant, bestest friend and biggest cheerleader. And my funny bone. He believes in me and thinks I'm an amazing artist. He's the one that allows me to dream and to soar among the clouds. And he's also the one who gently nudges me every so often with a necessary reality check. In his eyes I'm beautiful, strong, artistic and feminine, no matter what's going on in our lives at any given time.
But the light bulb moment wasn't in realizing all these things about this wonderful man that I'm blessed to have in my life. The light bulb moment was the realization, after several years, that this was the true reason things failed miserably in my former life. It was the basic, core reason I more or less volunteered to be a single mom in my 40's. It wasn't insanity. It was need. But for whatever reason, it's taken me until now...until I just read those words that clubbed me over the head...to recognize it. To realize that when I burned away all the crap...all the excuses, the guilt, the second-guessing, the blame, the what if's, the why's...that it all boiled down to the lack of a true partnership. It was that simple. Uncomplicated. Completely necessary.
So yeah...I'm feeling kinda good this morning, like I can finally stop guessing and blaming and guilting. Like I didn't do something selfish, I did something right. I have closure on my former life, closure that I can feel good about. Finally. And somewhere along the way I got lucky enough to find a true partner to embark with me on the next chapter of my life. :)
If you'd like to read the article that inspired this post today, you can find it here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/26/things-successful-women-do-differently_n_3787406.html
Until next time...
The Sweetest Moments in Life, by Susan Page Photography, copyright 2013
Taken in Florence, Italy, 2011 outside Grom...the bestest gelato joint in the city!