Last year I travelled to Florida to photograph the destination wedding of Katie & Charles, which you can find HERE and whilst I was there, I arranged to meet up with an Instagram buddy Jessica Miles to have my very own shoot. I wanted something that embraced me exactly as I am right now in this very moment. Something that made me feel good, accepting of myself and just to celebrate that I am enough.
This feels both weird and scary to be sharing pictures of myself, yet I would always encourage others to share them, celebrate them and get them up on the rooftops. What is that all about! I love them but it has taken me 6 months to get together the courage to share them.
Im going to be honest (and vulnerable), turning forty was a big thing for me and that was 4 years ago. I grow up in a family that doesn’t dwell on ageing and certainly no one in my family has ever had any kind of cosmetic surgery or cosmetic anti-ageing treatments such as botox. They just embrace the process. So its not ever something that Ive considered. Then I am thrown in to a world with weddings where everybody is young and slim, social media grows and here are young women talking about body positivity and several of my colleagues seem to be embracing the likes of botox. This world affects my confidence and how I view myself. Ageing and being in your mid forties,
sometimes feels like you are too young to go grey but too old to be strutting in a bikini saying ‘love your body’.
But why? I think in our current society, pretty much anything goes yet I still feel shackles of age, menopause, hormones, societies expectations at this age and also looking in the mirror and seeing the lines, the changes in my face shape, the spreading middle and the effects of being a sun worshipper. I would be lying if I said I feel completely comfortable with ageing, and ageing naturally, since having this shoot but I am so incredibly grateful, I have these to look back on. I feel good about myself in them and they remind me the feeling of freedom I have when I travel, how when I travel I feel my best self, I am at my most comfortable and I can feel joy in my heart. Its learning to bring some of that home with me and still feeling all that confidence and freedom in my day to day life. My mantra is ‘everyday my life is filled with sunshine’ and each and every day I look for the sunshine within my day, myself and my activities.
I’ve recently launched my very own Portraits for Women and called them ‘Flourish + Thrive Portraits’. A shoot to celebrate exactly who you are at this very moment, in the space you are in and show you that you are enough just how you are. If you would like to know more, please do email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Photographs by Jessica Miles