When Caroline first got in touch, she told us "My partner always tells me I look sexy and beautiful, I’d love to see myself through his eyes."
This so perfectly encapsulates exactly what we're trying to do, we couldn't wait to meet her, and show her that different perspective on herself. This is what the Embrace Your Body project is all about!
How to properly personalise a portrait session
In our first conversation, Caroline mentioned that her partner had a motorbike - probably not expecting me to say 'Bring it!'.
This was all quite weather dependant (remember the relentless rain last December?), so we crossed our fingers and hoped.
The immediate high
Caroline's session went really well. Of course it is nerve-wracking, taking that initial step to come to us, but if you can do it, well, here's what Caroline had to say, in a message to her daughters, afterwards:
" I want to let you know about Saturday, the photo shoot, I didn’t want to say too much before - I was nervous when I got there, although I’d been more nervous at home when I was trying on what I’d ordered to wear lol. The people were lovely and I didn’t feel at all uncomfortable, we had a laugh there was me, the photographer and the lady who did my hair and makeup . I felt really great when I was there. I even did 2 poses completely nude (you don’t actually see anything in the photo though) and I was on such a high and buzzing when it was over..."
The immediate low
Now, we would love it if that buzz lasted - and for most people it does, until they switch their focus to seeing their photos. So, usually a few days after the session itself.
Caroline though, started to think about seeing them straight away.
The rest of her message wasn't quite so upbeat...
"...and just as we were leaving we arranged when to go back and view. Then, when we got outside, it hit me, and I started crying and have done several times since..... I just keep thinking 'how stupid am I to think I could look as fabulous as those other ladies, what the hell was I thinking and I have to go back and look at these photos on Saturday and I’m old and fat and what on earth was I thinking of' "
All of the doubts came flooding back
I would love to be able to say that everyone comes back to see their photos feeling excited. It's not true. Caroline's emotions surrounding the shoot are entirely usual. If you think the hardest part is in coming for the portrait session itself, time and again our clients tell us it's scarier to come back and see the pictures.
We never underestimate the bravery that is involved in viewing your photos, because we know that is the moment you most fear your doubts becoming reality.
There are often tears
Viewing your images can be a very emotional experience. You are challenging your perception of yourself - that's deep! To see yourself in a different way - to finally understand what others already see - it is absolutely an overload of emotions.
So, how was Caroline feeling after seeing hers?
"I'm amazing. <Starts crying> Robin did such a good job in the shoot and the photos look amazing. And I feel like a million dollars"
Caroline's message to anyone who's feeling apprehensive about coming along to us:
"Just do it. Take somebody along with you. Especially have somebody who knows you're going to do it, and somebody who can come back with you to look at the photos.
You need someone to come back with you, someone who's going to make sure you come back and help
you choose the best photos because it's amazing.
Absolutely fabulous. Thank 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.