“What will you do one day when your children look for photographs of you and there are none?”Sue Bryce
I want to talk about Moms. None of us would be here if we didn’t have one and some of us have carried that legacy on by becoming mothers ourselves. There has been a shift in society over the last couple of decades, where celebrating women has become more mainstream but I wonder, are we truly honoring Mothers of all ages and walks of life? Women 40+ are one of the most unrepresented and looked over demographic. I’d like to change that. Hang with me a bit and you will even get a sneak peek at my 72-year-old Mother’s session with me.
2017 will always be a momentous year for me. When I rang in the new year in January, I had a lot to be thankful for. My son was 2 ½ and FINALLY had kicked chronic illness from ear infections. My business had been slowly growing for about 4 ½ years and I was hitting my stride. After living in a construction zone for over 5 months, we were starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel for our “fixer-upper” we had purchased only 7 months ago. I felt like I could breathe for the first time in almost 4 years.
January through March is conference season for photographers because it tends to be their “slow season”. (Which is the total opposite for Boudoir photographers!) Professional Photographers of Iowa host an annual convention in Jan/Feb featuring world-renowned photographers. Speakers come to teach about running your business, client experience, and give tips on creating amazing imagery: really ALL THE THINGS! It had been several years since I had attended and my husband encouraged me to take the weekend. Go, learn, refuel that creative tank.
As a new mom, I was having a hard time juggling long Saturdays away and I had just made the difficult choice to step back from weddings. I thought “this will be a great opportunity to get some perspective on what the next chapter of my photography will be”. Little did I know, I would meet the photographer that changed everything for me.
Sue Bryce is a New Zealand born photographer with over 30 years of photography experience under her belt focusing on women’s portraiture. She is a Canon Explorer of Light (which is a huge deal) and was the keynote speaker at the convention I was attending. I had never heard her speak and didn’t know what to expect. SHE IS AMAZING!
The passion she has for making women feel beautiful through her art washes over you like a warm blanket fresh from the dryer. She pulls you in and you hang on every word. I’ve never witnessed anyone who is that passionate about their job. I realized my clients deserved to have someone with the same intensity as Sue photograph them. I was on a mission to find where my true passion was.
It was a few months later I finally found my calling. I photographed my first boudoir session for my last blushing bride and the rest is history. However, something Sue said that cold January day still sticks with me. “What will you do one day when your children look for photographs of you and there are none?” I still get teary-eyed every time I think about it and hear her words.
My Dad passed away suddenly in 2012 and the only photograph I had was of him and me at my college graduation. I had to photoshop myself out of the picture so we had something for his memorial. Last March, my Mom turned 72 and I realized it had been years since she had photographs taken. Sue’s words came jumping back to me. I had lost the chance to take my dad’s portraits and I wasn’t going to miss the chance to capture my mom. So as her birthday and Mother’s Day gift, I treated my mom to a portrait session.
Now when I presented her with her “gift”, I heard all the excuses: “I weight too much. I don’t like the turkey gobbler hanging under my chin. What do I need pictures of myself for? You can’t think I’d wear lingerie do you?!” No Mom I’m not going to make you wear lingerie… Unless you want to? I told her I’d take care of everything and if it made her feel better, we would even include the grandkids so it wasn’t all about her. I rented an evening gown and a cocktail dress for funsies and had her bring a casual outfit. It was so much fun seeing my mom through the eyes of both a photographer and her daughter that day. As her child, I don’t see all of the things she dislikes. I see my mom, full of joy, the same woman I saw as a child. This is the legacy I want future generations to experience when they look at her portraits.
Over the last 5 years, I’ve been honored to photograph over 200 women and created portraits that gave them the gift of confidence and a renewed sense of self-worth. I’ve shown them their beauty and power and reminded them your worth is not determined by your weight, your body, or any of the reasons that have kept you from stepping out from behind the camera. You deserve to exist in photos.
So starting in May (April if you are a past client or join the early bird list below), I am honoring you. I am inviting you to a photography session with me. Any type of session: boudoir, portrait, you & your mom, you & your children, you and your besties. Just step out and be seen! See yourself through the eyes of those who love you the most. We are powerful women deserving of being celebrated in any way that makes you feel loved, cherished, and worthy.
Hair and Makeup by Danni Manning of True Beauty