Helping women to see themselves in a new light is something I’m passionate about. Ashley had a session scheduled but decided that she didn’t want to go forward with it. She told me that she just didn’t feel like she was in a place where she felt comfortable enough with herself to have these photos taken. She didn’t feel like she could “be sexy”. You see, Ashley was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes as an adult. It has taken its toll on her health and drastically changed her life. She has experienced many symptoms that have affected her self-esteem and her confidence. The biggest factor was the fact that she wears an insulin pump. The insulin pump and sensor are secured to her tummy area and constantly monitor her sugar and regulate her insulin levels as needed. They are very small, but to her, they were a HUGE part of why she didn’t feel like she was ready for this. She told me that she is very self conscious about them and that she can’t even enjoy herself at the beach because she refuses to wear a bathing suit in public. She spent her entire vacation in a t-shirt.
No, no, no. I can not sit here and be okay with this gorgeous girl feeling so bad about her self that she is psyching herself out of her session. I know that if I can get her in front of my camera, I can show her the beauty that everyone else sees in her. I can show her that she is still strong, sensual, vivacious, and incredibly sexy regardless of any health issue. Regardless of how her body works. Regardless of any piece of medical equipment that she considers an eyesore. To be quite honest, I wanted to create images of her where you didn’t really notice or couldn’t see the pump and sensor she wore so that she would see that they aren’t a big deal. But I also really wanted to take some images of her where the pump and sensor were clearly visible and weren’t hidden. I didn’t want her to think that they needed to be hidden for her to be stunningly beautiful. I wanted her to realize that even if they are visible, she is equally beautiful as when they are not. More than anything, I just wanted her to get to have this experience for herself.
After talking for a while, she decided that she didn’t want to let this opportunity pass her by. She not only decided to go through with her session, she decided to give me permission to publish her images in the hopes that maybe another girl out there who has similar struggles would see these images and be empowered as well. I really enjoyed photographing Ashley and helping her in this small part of her journey. Her images are as stunning as she is.
“I can’t thank you enough for what you’ve done for me. It’s been quite an emotional journey these past few weeks and I have you to thank for that. I have never felt so great in my life. I’ve never seen myself as someone who could do something like this, let alone share them with other people and you’ve helped me push through those fears and insecurities……… “
“I’m still a little nervous about them being posted, but what I’ve seen from other’s experiences is that somehow you’ve rounded up an amazing group of women who just lift each other up, and I think someone saying “you’re beautiful” is something so soul touching it’s worth putting myself out there. From the bottom of my heart thank you so so much.”
To join this “amazing group of women”, click here.