July 7, 2015
I hear it all the time, I look terrible in photos, I take a horrible photo, I hate myself in photos. And you know what? I know what that is like, as I did too.
Now I like to say people, you just haven’t met the right photographer for you yet.
I was plagued with negative self perception throughout my teens and twenties. On the outside I am sure it looked like I had it all, but on the inside I was a mess.
Constantly calorie counting, slave to a punishing exercise routine… a totally distorted perception of what I was actually seeing in the mirror directed by horrible self talk that I would never even dare sling at my worst enemy.
And in my early 30’s post the break down of my marriage and ultimate separation, I was not feeling at all good about myself.
In the same month I became separated, I also had a major crash, wrote off my car and lost my drivers license. I lived 45 minutes drive from my studio at the time, and had to rent out my house and move into my mum’s so I could cycle to work.
Wow, when I actually reflect on it now, I can’t believe how it all played out.
But the universe had a purpose. Out of all the darkness and sadness, there came this new found strength.
It was July, middle of winter and in Western Sydney that can be pretty chilly in the mornings. Yet everyday I took my lil miss to day care on the back of my bike, cycled over the river to pilates, and then cycled to work.
I would often turn up to shoots on my bike with my camera gear strapped to the baby seat! What a sight.
But you know what, like anything you are faced with in life, I made it work.
I soon discovered yoga, and I feel it was here, under the guidance of a really special teacher, I really began a healing process, that is still ongoing to this day.
And it was not a healing process to do with my marriage, although that is how it started out.
This was a different kind of healing.
Forgiveness, compassion, patience towards myself
Towards self love
Coincidentally, or perhaps prophetically, about this time I came across a photographer called Sue Bryce, and was instantly attracted to her brand of photography
I called her straight away. we met for coffee and within a week I had my first shoot with her.
This photography experience, in her loft apartment, on her couches, was like nothing I had experienced before.
On my wedding day my top lip quivered for the entire day
She was funny, I felt comfortable, I relaxed, felt safe and above all, I felt beautiful
When I saw the images, I was gobsmacked. I had been told I was pretty growing up but never felt it. I was skinny from starvation in my twenties, so didn’t know how to feel good in my body.
But here I was, staring at myself, I could see what Sue saw in me reflected back in these photos.
And I could see a healthier body and a calmer mind in these eyes from all the kind ways I had been treating myself.
I felt beautiful, sexy, grown up, and proud to see myself staring back at me.
Needless to say I bought them all
The few I dared to share what I paid at the time thought I was crazy to spend that much money on photos of just me, but it was a present to myself
For all the hard work I had put in to healing
For being brave enough to stand up and say I wanted more
And because I deserved it god dammit
To me that present was priceless (and still is)
I have not shared these images with many people at all. In fact the images are nicely stored in a folio box in my room, and I had to search the archives to dig out these low res digitals. And I only want to share a few, as they are for me, just me
But you know what, they are there when I need reminding… as I often do.
They bring me back to that time, when I turned a major corner, overcame some pretty big obstacles, and you know what, I kicked it. And I am not ashamed to admit that now
And that is what led me to what I love to do today.
Cause if I can do what Sue did for me, even for just one person, then I know I have been of value and service
I was lucky enough to go on and be mentored by and work along side Sue before she left to conquer the world, and I feel so blessed for the lessons she taught me
But above all, I am grateful to her for helping me to see, what I could not see before.
A beautiful and deserving woman
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