You might not guess this about me but I love having my picture taken. By whoever happens to have a camera. Go ahead and take your best shot.
I also love looking at pictures. I have big photo albums stuffed with pictures of friends and family. Pictures from vacations, White Sox games, Chili and Doughnut Night, and hanging with my sweet nieces- and nephews-in-love. Every so often, I'll swing an album off the bookshelf and flip through the pages.
Of course, I have opinions on how I look in these pictures but I'm no Mariah Carey demanding to be only shot from the left. (Or was it her right? No matter. Suffice it to say Mariah has more opinions than I do.) I cherish my hot bridesmaid pictures and the others in which I recognize my beauty.
Last year I turned down the chance to be photographed by a phenomenal photographer. I was on a retreat with friends and feeling out of sorts. Sleep-deprived, emotional, not fully myself. I wasn't ready to be seen. I knew Kelly would really see me in my not me-ness and those pictures would be no good. Except they would be good because she's that good. Which really just means I was crazy.
This past weekend we all traveled to the same magical place and Kelly, sweetheart that she is, offered to take my picture again. This time I was prepared. I requested pictures be taken the first day, instead of waiting til the end. (Good decision since I was overtired and emotional when I left Sunday.) I packed my new favorite dress- a stellar thrift find by Danielle Vermeer. I asked Amber to do my makeup. I now want her to do my makeup every day.
Throughout my session with Kelly, she remarked on my beauty and my sass. And wouldn't you know but it shows? This is me. The me that I am and the me that I want to be each day. I'm in the process of figuring out who I really am at this time in my life but maybe all it takes is an afternoon with a talented friend and her camera. Maybe all it takes is one person really seeing me.
Throughout the weekend, Kelly took the time to tell me she saw me. What an immeasurable gift!
I posed and I twirled and I laughed.
I told Kelly I felt special that day. It's fun to put on a favorite dress and have someone do my makeup, especially on what would otherwise be an ordinary day. It's eye-opening to see myself the way someone else sees me.
It started with Uganda and Burundi. I marked it with a pixie cut. These pictures are proof that life is on the upswing, in spite of uncertainty and change. It's not all perfect. Far from it. But I'm working through it and taking the rest day by day.
I'm ready for what's next.
All photos taken by destination photographer Kelly Sauer. I cannot recommend her highly enough. Are these pictures not the most stunning things you've ever seen? Pretty sure you need her to come take pictures of you.