So for Valentine’s Day I decided to offer really inexpensive portrait sessions for a lot of girls I know who are either married or getting married. The idea was for them to give their favorite one as a gift to their men for V-day. Well, the idea seemed popular as in just over a week and a half, I shot 11 girls. The craziest days were last Saturday and Sunday when I did four shoots in two days and had the pictures ready to view by Monday. All the late night editing was extremely rewarding, though, and I never got tired of the actual job – even though I got plenty tired physically and wanted to rub my eyes out by the last night. 🙂 However, I came away with so much. I learned what camera angles are good for a woman and more importantly…which ones are terrible. I also learned (even though they will disagree) that wind and watery eyes and messy hair can make for some amazingly sexy images. Sorry, girls.
There was a favorite moment with each shoot for me. It might have taken place during the shoot or when I poured over the images in Photoshop, but sometime during each girl’s session, I saw the thing that makes them beautiful. Hard to explain and often subtle, but I saw it in each girl. (of course I mean, rather than the obvious outer beauty) Notice: i am posting some of the more classy pictures from these shoots…there are risky and sexy ones in each shoot but that’s up to them to let you see 🙂
At one point during the shoot, I showed Saundra some of the small images on my camera. She said, “I can’t believe that’s me!” This was the subtle way I saw her beauty – being unaware of her beauty is what makes her stunning. Oh, that, and the fact that she’s pretty much the sweetest person on the planet. 🙂
Nicole holds herself with such poise and grace. She is a serious person, but I among the very few, have seen her crazy, guard-down side and it’s amazing. To see her laugh – a real from-the-gut laugh – is like winning the lottery
Brynn has not one ounce of self-importance. She is a nurse and a care-giver naturally and has a rare ability to set those around her at ease. Oh, and she snorts when she really gets laughing. This is by far, the greatest time to be around her.
Allyson is an amazing photographer and has never been on that side of the camera. During the shoot, she kept encouraging me in what I was doing and we spent more time talking cameras and “the biz” than we did taking pictures. She is an amazing mother and the kind of person that creates warmth where ever she goes.
In case you couldn’t tell, Tira and Nicole are sisters. Just like her sister, Tira has no idea how stunning she is. I have never been around Tira when she wasn’t smiling from ear to ear. From her shoot, however, I got an incredible feeling of strength coming through the photos. I really think she could handle anything thrown at her with style and grace.
Amanda is a volunteer coordinator at the Ronald McDonald House. Since I volunteer there once a week, I’ve gotten to know her and am frankly, quite humbled by her. She remembers the names of everyone she meets and calls them by such when she sees them. She remembers exactly why their children are in the hospital, exactly when they are getting out and every detail in between. I’ve seen this quality in her truly affect people. They know she cares, they see it – they have proof.
Summer and Alexis
Summer – She has insecurities like any other girl, and most of these now are coming from her “after the kid” weight. However, what she doesn’t see, is that to me, when she’s with Alexis, she radiates. She’s the most gorgeous now than she was when we were all skinny in high school. I think her beauty comes from her intense love for that child and for everyone she meets.
I have been twisting Ashley’s arm to do a shoot for a couple of years now. (I mean, come on – she owns a lingerie store!) Her excuse is always, “just 15 more pounds – then I’ll look good” After convincing her that none of us are ever going to be 100% happy with how we look, she regretfully agreed to do the shoot. And I absolutely loved it when she got her photos back and was surprised at how hot she was. She is one of the hardest working women I know – she puts her husband first, loves her friends and gives gives gives all the time.
My dear friend Cassie. Of course, she is model quality, but other than the obvious beauty, I think she is the most optimistic and positive person I know. She doesn’t take life too seriously – she embraces it the way most of us wish we could. She always has an encouraging word for me when I’m getting crazy obsessive about something and she is just good. I don’t use that word lightly – I mean it in it’s purest form. This girl is gold.
Liz is last but only because my favorites from her shoot were horizontal and because, well, someone has to go last. She was the first of my V-day shoots and she is the only girl in the lot that isn’t married quite yet. I have the privilege of doing her wedding in July – yay! Liz is pretty much the definition of fun. Some of her favorite shots were of her making “the face” that she gives her fiancee, David, when he teases her a bit too much. When we were almost done shooting, she began making faces at the camera and we both agreed that that was the “real Liz.” However, as you can see, she has great beauty. I would say it’s almost a quiet beauty because she would never admit it and yet, when she thinks you’re not looking, it comes so naturally to her. I’m sure David would agree. 🙂
Hope you all enjoyed these beauties. I got more out of it than they did and I’d do it again in a heartbeat. Thanks, girls.