This was the first of many. And I'm looking for more wild women to join me on this adventure. If your hobbies are more than shopping at Target and sipping on Starbucks, then you, my dear, are a Wild Woman. I'm looking for women who live boldly and unapologetically.
Do you keep chickens? Do you dance? Do you own horses? Do you volunteer? Do you garden or are an herbalist? I would love to book a Wild Woman session to capture you doing what you love most.
This particular wild woman is my friend, Frances.
She is a wife, mother and artist and she particularly loves to paint birds.
She loves to collect birds nests, bones and skulls, feathers of all kinds, dried flowers and seed pods and other things found in nature that she thinks are both interesting and beautiful.
Frances has very few restrictions on life, she connects things that I would rarely put together, and she finds beauty and possibility in the scarcest places.
Frances' beauty isn't like the kind you see on newsstands. There is so much more to her than your first impression. If you knew what she has survived, you would be amazed at watching her now thrive.
Frances is in her early 40s and was so excited about this session. She is a planner and had every look planned to a tee. We had 3 vintage suitcases packed full of outfits, props and make up. And we had my camera equipment. That was heavy. We hiked over 2 miles one way into this property and climbed all over many large rocks and up many hills. We were exhausted by the time it was over, but we had such an incredible time shooting, posing, laughing at ourselves. There’s something freeing about being surrounded by a beautiful lake, woods and having endless creativity.
There's also something freeing about not living under the heavy weight of other's opinions and expectations. There's something wild about finding what you love and doing it without asking for permission.
When Frances got her photos back, she told me that for the first time in her life, she saw a photo of herself that made her feel beautiful. She said that beauty has always been a far away concept for her. It's never been something she thought she possessed.
And that is what drives me.
Yall, I'm done. I'm over the idea that in order to feel beautiful or sexy you have to be a size 2. I'm calling bullsh*t on that idea that your beauty can even compare to anothers. If you are human, you possess beauty. God doesn't make mistakes.
Look at this woman. See how fit and petite she is? See her tattoos? See her scars? Yes- we can all see her physical traits. She is physically beautiful. But can you see her generosity? Can you see her brilliance? Her mischeviousness? Her love for her community? I can because I know her. I can because I see all of that through these photos. All because she allowed herself to be vulnerable in front of my camera.
I don't care what size you wear or if your thighs touch. I don't care how much you paid for your car or if your house is clean. No one does. I care about whether or not you're okay. I care about whether or not I can make you laugh. I care about making this world a better place for my grandchildren. And being me- finding what I was created for and actually doing it- that is how I change the world. I show my nieces and my son what it looks like to do what you love and not apologize for it. That is how we leave our mark.
Life is messy. And so is my hair most of the time. And my house. And sometimes my relationships. If Frances has taught me anything, it's that being real is what is important. Let's change our focus from being perfect because no one is buying it anyways. Perfection has not served the generation ahead of us very well. We all have something about our bodies that we would like to change. But what about your state of mind or state of society would you like to upgrade? Do you need more peace? Do you need to say no more? Do you need to volunteer more? Find something that you love to do- yoga, gardening, writing, giving, meditating, reaching out to support a friend who is also a foster parent, riding horses, dancing, tending chickens, going to the gun range- something that makes your face light up when you talk about it, and do it. Let that be your focus for a bit. You will find that so many revelations will come to you during those moments of being you, untamed.
Women have the power to change the current societal view of beauty. If you keep not doing what you love because you need to lose 20 pounds then you're continuing that mindset. The next generation is watching. It's our turn to show them what beauty is. But we have to have images in order to combat the current mainstream. You and me, my friend. Beauty is all of us doing what makes our faces light up and not asking for permission. Now that is freaking beautiful.
These sessions are for you so whatever you want to wear or however you want to pose is perfectly fine with me. I want you to be comfortable and have fun doing what you love. What will your Wild Woman session be?