The end of another year: reflections

It’s hard to believe that this is the last day of 2021. I don’t know about you, but for me the last two years have been a bit of a blur, winding together in my mind with no real distinction between the two. Perhaps that’s because 2020 seemed to stand still for so long.

I’m still here, still doing what I love. I’ve added a few new sets in the studio and planted a gorgeous wildflower garden surrounding a stunning slipper bathtub for summer sessions outdoors. When it blooms in all it’s glory I’ll be sure to share images with you.

The last two years have taught me a very important lesson about what my real priorities are and what really matters to me. You, my amazing clients, are on that list. This studio, and the magic we create together here, matters. The look in your eyes when you see your final images, matters. The way you hold your head a little higher when you walk out of my studio, matters.

My time with the people I love matters too. You’ll find my available dates for sessions going forward is a little more restricted than in years past. This isn’t to make things harder on you, but to take more control of my own time so I can be there more for my family. So I can spend more time with those who I value. I know you’ll understand, because you value me as much as I value you.

So, how has your year been? Has it felt like a blur for you as it has for me? Did you learn anything about yourself as a result of the hardships the world has faced from the last two years?

Happy Valentine’s Day – Love

Love is such a tricky thing. How we love and what makes us feel loved is formed from our first days on this earth. Today is a day to celebrate love.

Being a single woman on Valentine’s day, I often find myself kind of rolling my eyes at this day, and I know I’m not alone in that. But this year I choose to make today a celebration of all love, not just romantic love between partners. Today I’m celebrating the love I share with my children, my friends and for myself.

Romantic love can be an amazing, beautiful thing. It can also be destructive, cold and callous. How we learn to love others, and how we feel loved is the result of our life experiences. Because the first ways we learn about love is through the people we grow up with, those experiences are deeply rooted in our psyche. We are the result of the cumulative experiences of our extended families, and what they believed about what love is, and how to show it to another human being. In short, we are all flawed, imperfect and many times broken. This is what makes romantic love so hard, and yet, we crave it. So much so that it becomes part of our identity. Our social status is tied to our identification as single or married. For hundreds of years, a woman’s worth was determined solely by her marital status.

Our society deems romantic love as the most important kind of love, but I’d like to challenge that idea. I believe that platonic love (love between parents and children, friends, relatives and others) is far more important, and therefore worthy of being celebrated today. This kind of love is so much more forgiving, because it’s not bound up in the social constructs of romantic love. It isn’t used to for financial gain or a change in social status. It’s free to be given at will. It’s a complete choice. The only thing to be lost or gained from it, is love in return.

The best life, is a life full of love. ANY love. Celebrate all the love you find in your life today. Don’t allow the presence or absence or a romantic partner determine how you feel today. Your worth is not determined by your status as single or attached. Your worth comes from inside, from the love you freely give to others and too yourself. Happy Valentine’s Day.

Why absolutely nothing is wrong with your body

January always seems to be the time where most of the world declares they need to lose weight.  Sometimes that means we start out on some crazy diet.  Hopefully for most of us it means resolving to make better choices.  While that is a great thing for our overall health, we tend to focus more on how our bodies look.  We scrutinize all of our perceived “flaws” and usually end up feeling worse about ourselves.

There is nothing wrong with your body.  Women come in all shapes and sizes, and they are all beautiful and sexy.  If we all looked the same, life would be so incredibly boring.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m guilty of this January self-loathing too.  But what I need to remind myself, and you do too, is that it’s natural to gain a few pounds as the weather cools down, and it’s natural to drop those few pounds when it warms back up.  People in general are more active in the summer than in the winter.

Here’s what I know for sure: I see all different kinds of women, and no matter what their body shape or style is, their boudoir images are always fantastic.  And it has nothing to do with Photoshop! (I don’t change anyone’s body in Photoshop anyway.) It’s because they are embracing themselves, loving themselves, and enjoying the process.  That inner beauty shines through in their images, and nothing else really matters.

Bitnami