Struggling With Insecurities

Every single day, I am thinking about Free Spirit sessions. I spend hours emailing women informing them about what the sessions are all about, or arranging to have a pre-session meeting, or lovingly editing their session image-by-image. These sessions were created out of the desire to embrace wholeheartedly the messy, vulnerable, unorganized, honest, real, afraid, strong, courageous, broken, wonderful soul that you are; but when things get busy, it’s easy to forget how much it takes for someone to reach out and partake in a Free Spirit Session with me. Today, I was feeling particularly insecure. To be honest, I’ve been feeling particularly insecure for a while now.  

For the past six months, I’ve struggled with moderate acne that has faded and reappeared week after week. I’ve had some hormonal changes in my body, which has resulted in my skin flaring up as it does it’s best to work to detox and regulate.

I’m thankful that as a teenager this wasn’t something that I had on my plate. Acne is never something that I ever had to think about before, so having it be a part of my life now as an adult completely new territory.

I’m not used to being this self conscious about my looks. It’s scary. It’s silly to admit that, but it really truly is scary.

It’s amazing to me that a physical imperfection can feel as though it takes away a piece of who I know myself to be.

Self portraits have always been an important piece of my life over the last couple of years. They’re never anything intricate or elaborate, but everyone that I’ve ever taken holds so much meaning. Self portraits for me only ever happen when I’m moving through something. Today and facing these insecurities head on is no different.

Today I went out into our yard and I photographed myself with absolutely nothing on my face but this morning’s lotion. This image is make up free, and it's also 100% retouch free. Two years ago, I had a photo session of myself in this same outfit; my absolute favourite outfit. During that photo session I felt more beautiful than I could have imagined, and to this date they are some of my favourite photos of myself (see image on the sidebar). Today I chose the same outfit because I’m at a place in my life where I don’t feel as beautiful as I once did, and I wanted that to be symbolic of these cycles that I've gone through. DSC_5994

Maybe my skin isn’t as bad as it could be, or maybe it’s not as a bad as yours is; but it’s also not the best it’s ever been, or perhaps the nice skin that you’re most used to.

Regardless of where we think we fall on the societal spectrum of acceptance, our flaws are just that: our own; which makes them real and very apparent.

This situation has had my thoughts whirling around all day today.  I need to commend all of the brave hearted who have reached out to me and gone through with a Free Spirit session of their own. I adore your brave hearts. Words cannot express how much my heart and lungs burst with gratitude thinking about the sessions that we've shared. It literally brings me to tears as I think about the amount of trust that you've placed on my shoulders. 

I understand how it feels to have days where we feel like we just aren’t ourselves. Perhaps for some of us, those days have turned into weeks, and those weeks have turned into years.

Physically reaching out and asking me to photograph you hits me right in the gut; it’s not something that I will ever take lightly.

It’s quite honestly a very courageous position to be in; to even inquire about these sessions, and I need you to know that I SEE YOU.

Wow do I ever see you.

I don’t see the physical person who stares back at you in the mirror.

I see Y O U.

That unbelievably marvellous soul that you protect. I see the person that you are, right here and right now. I see you in this moment; at the oldest you’ve ever been and the youngest you’ll ever be again. I see the person who is tired of measuring themselves by society’s standards. I see that broken heart scavenging the ground to collect the pieces. I see the pride that you carry from your accomplishments. I see you trying to be a better person. I see you glowing as a tiny human grows inside of your belly. I see every single little bit that makes up the person that stands in front of me today, and I just need you to know what an honour is it to allow me into your joyfully wonderful, scattered, torn, love-filled, messy, and honest journey.

Thank you just isn't enough.