After Barbara came to see her photos, we sent her an email with a few questions about her time with us, and how her 'Embrace Your Body' experience has affected her body confidence.
How were you feeling about your body, before your portrait session?
"I have always hated my body. I have been over weight since I was young. Until recent years I have felt useless and unworthy after all who would find me attractive?
After having 2 children, I have stretch marks and bruises from injecting insulin for the past 10 years. My body was a mess, but I wanted to love it."
How did you feel about the session, on the day itself?
"Gosh, I have wanted to do it for so long but feared doing it, (I don’t think Anna knew that I had deliberately given her the wrong phone number when I first contacted her; that way I felt I had made an effort but she couldn’t get hold of me to follow up.)
On the day I was very nervous, not really knowing what clothes to take, how I was going to get through i,t and asking myself "why am I doing this ?".
I’m really proud that, despite the fact that I have issues with anxiety, I controlled my anxiety and feelings of sickness, I didn’t back out of the appointment, and I was able to do something I’d wanted to do for a very long time."
How were you feeling about coming back to see your photos?
"This was actually really hard, I had my fiancée with me to hold my hand and I wanted him to see all the pictures , I walked in and wow, a huge picture of me stood in front of me, I had to look twice, it really was me.
I was feeling sick and wanted to run having convinced myself there wouldn’t be a decent picture among them."
How are you feeling about yourself, now that you've seen your photos?
"OMG is that really me, how do I look so damn hot?!
I was totally elated and the look on my fiancé's face told me straight away he loved them.
I now have my chosen picture in our Sitting Room (it will be in pride of place on the main wall and the first thing you see when you walk in the room)
I look at it all the time with a smile, and ask "who is that gorgeous woman?".
I am so proud of myself for taking part. Proud enough to put MY BODY on display. I am still buzzing weeks later, and so grateful for the opportunity."
Is there anything you'd like to say to anyone who's feeling apprehensive about having a session of their own?
"Sign up, take a breath, count to ten and just do it - you will look and feel amazing.
Do it for you ."
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.