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Embrace Your Body Project – Mandy

When Mandy first got in contact with us, she wrote “I have real hatred for my body.” We knew Mandy needed  help, to see how amazing she is.

It all started with a moment of madness

Now, Mandy believes that getting in contact with us was a moment of madness - what we see as madness is how much she hated her body and for how long! Women going decades hating their bodies and how they look is madness, and it needs to start changing.  

"I hated it. I couldn't even bring myself to look at myself in the mirror. It was head only, nothing else."

"Getting in contact was a moment of madness to be honest. I'm not really sure, it was just like “If there is a chance I can feel better about myself, I might as well go for it.” 

From terrified to relaxed in 5 minutes

Nobody ever believes us when we say they'll be completely relaxed after the first few shots. Your session is nowhere near as scary as you think it will be. After those first few shots you realise what a portrait session is actually like, which is typically you, Robin, and your stylist chatting for a few hours and having a laugh whilst you work together to create some amazing photos.

"Terrified, but within 5 minutes, Katrina and Robin made me feel so at ease and comfortable, and we were laughing, and in between the sets, saying “Do this. Do that etc.” Yeah, it was something I never could have dreamed of. I've never felt so relaxed in my own skin as I did that day. "

"After the session though, I was buzzing. I was absolutely buzzing. I never thought I could feel that feeling. I never thought I could stand there, semi naked in front of someone, and not be trying to hide myself."

Some disbelief still lingered

Before her viewing, Mandy's outlook was that if the photos weren't good, at least she hadn't lost anything from it or gotten her hopes up. But a little voice in the back of her mind tempted her to think, if she had her hair and make-up done they must be a little bit better than how she looked everyday, so maybe she would like them? She had no idea just how amazing her photos were going to be.

"Before my viewing I was feeling slightly nervous because, I was like, “if the photos are no good, then I was right all along.” But you've still got that little bit of hope that the photos are going to be better than what you imagined they were gonna be, because you always imagine you're gonna look fat, you're gonna look ugly, you're gonna see your stretch marks. And you just think “any improvement is an improvement, no matter how slight.” I still had that “I can't believe I did it” feeling, and the “I can't believe how good it felt” feeling but I also had that “Oh, well, you know, I'm never gonna look as good as the other ones. I'm going to look at those photos and think “what the hell have I done?” But they're amazing. "

Shocked is a understatement

"I don't think I have ever felt as confident about the way I look as I do right now. I know now that I can look good. I never, ever dreamed I could look good, not naked.

Anyone can hide behind make-up and clothes, but when you're just there... so exposed... I never, ever dreamed I could actually look good, but I do."

A few final words from Mandy for anyone considering taking part

"Oh, go for it. Even the buzz itself is enough, go for it. It's a once-in-a-lifetime chance to be completely and utterly selfish. Think of you, do something for you.

It just makes you feel so proud of yourself, that you were actually brave enough to do it and you've actually got something beautiful at the end of it.

If I can do it, anyone can."

The Embrace Your Body Project is all about empowering women to love themselves and their bodies, as they are, right now.

It's about embracing our bodies, whatever flaws we may think we have, and accepting ourselves.

It's about showing that nobody is perfect, but that we are all beautiful in our imperfections.

And it's about sharing that experience with other women, to help them on their journey to body confidence.

Entries are now open to take part, at our new Bampton studio, from October 2020 onwards.

Embrace Your Body Project – Jo

Jo had been struggling to appreciate and love her body after having kids, she's suddenly realised that 20 years had passed of her not even liking her body, something which is scarily common. Women will focus all their attention and energy on their loved ones, jobs, children etc. and not leave any left for themselves. By the time your kids have fled the nest, or other parts of your life have died down, you won't be able to remember the last time you did something for yourself.

The push to get in touch

"I think most women have a really bad idea of what they think they look like, and I'm no different. I had surgery a year ago, I had my gallbladder removed (which left ugly scars which has only left me feeling worse about my body) and I've had three kids, so I look back at photos of when I was in my 20's and I was you know, young, fit and amazing and then obviously now I've got into my 40's, I was a bit like “I don't really like myself very much” I forgot who I was, really. So I actually came to do this portrait session to just see how other people saw me, rather than just looking at myself."

The session

When Jo arrived for her session, as most women are, she was terrified! That soon changed once she relaxed and realised she had nothing to be afraid of.
Whilst we were having a look at images before her session, she failed to connect the fact that the images she was seeing - were what her photos were going to look like. She believed that her portraits would be some lower level of photo than the ones we were showing her. Spoiler alert : she was wrong.

"I was so nervous coming in, as I think probably everyone is. Before the session I saw the really lovely photos and I remember thinking “I'm never gonna look that good” and you know, not really believing in myself and that sort of thing. So I was very, very nervous about it, for sure."

Seeing her photos

When she came back to view her images, Jo had some last minute nerves, the thought of having to look at herself in photos was not something she wanted to do, in the slightest.

"I think I was fine, until about half an hour before I walked in the door, because I knew that obviously the images were gonna be of me and obviously when I'd come in before they were of of other people and I was admiring those and I didn't know how I would feel about actually seeing myself in the photos. But I was very pleased about it because they're amazing!"

"I actually appreciate my body a lot more now, I've now seen it in different angles that I haven't really looked at before. I know that I had my hair and make-up done on the day, but actually the photos are of ME and I should start believing in myself that I am pretty and actually quite hot."

A few final words of inspiration from Jo

"Just do it. Even if you're really nervous and you think that it's not a good idea, come and do it, enjoy the experience, and start believing in yourself because everyone's amazing."

The Embrace Your Body Project is all about empowering women to love themselves and their bodies, as they are, right now.

It's about embracing our bodies, whatever flaws we may think we have, and accepting ourselves.

It's about showing that nobody is perfect, but that we are all beautiful in our imperfections.

And it's about sharing that experience with other women, to help them on their journey to body confidence.

We are now taking submissions to be a part of the Embrace Your Body project from October onwards!

Embrace Your Body Project – Sharon

Sharon, like a lot of women, was really struggling to see the difference after experiencing a large amount of weight loss, and hoped we could help show her just what she has achieved.

 "I have lost a lot of weight over the last year but I still find it really difficult to see myself as anything but overweight and ugly. I hit 60 too, and could really do with a boost to my self esteem. This looks like an ideal way of seeing myself looking gorgeous!"

The Embrace Your Body Project is all about empowering women to love themselves and their bodies, as they are, right now.

It's about embracing our bodies, whatever flaws we may think we have, and accepting ourselves.

It's about showing that nobody is perfect, but that we are all beautiful in our imperfections.

And it's about sharing that experience with other women, to help them on their journey to body confidence.

Embrace Your Body Project – Tia

When Tia first got in contact with us she had worked hard to lose weight, but more importantly had pulled herself through suffering with depression. "Just did huge weight loss (-40kg) and healed from depression. Still learning how to love my body after all I've  been through." Tia knew she needed something to lift her up, and make her feel more confident after all her hard work, so she came to us.

The Embrace Your Body Project is all about empowering women to love themselves and their bodies, as they are, right now.

It's about embracing our bodies, whatever flaws we may think we have, and accepting ourselves.

It's about showing that nobody is perfect, but that we are all beautiful in our imperfections.

And it's about sharing that experience with other women, to help them on their journey to body confidence.

Embrace Your Body Project – Rachel

Before having her shoot, Rachel let us know why this was so important not only to her, but to helping her be a better advocate for self-love for her clients. "Over the years my body shape has changed a number of times and even as a personal trainer, I still have my battles, but one thing I like to advocate to my clients is that its about you as an individual not what you compare yourself to on social media."

The Embrace Your Body Project is all about empowering women to love themselves and their bodies, as they are, right now.

It's about embracing our bodies, whatever flaws we may think we have, and accepting ourselves.

It's about showing that nobody is perfect, but that we are all beautiful in our imperfections.

And it's about sharing that experience with other women, to help them on their journey to body confidence.