That one time I wasn't skinny enough for a photo shoot.
So we did a photography session with a photographer I have been following since we moved to Jakarta. I started following her when we first moved here because I needed some tips about this city and she had lived in Jakarta for a while. She also seemed to love it here and her images captured that- and there was something of hope there for me, seeing that my first year here was SUPER HARD.
After a while she and her family moved to Kuala Lumpur but I continued following her because I loved how she captured images, authentically and beautifully. I loved her style.
So naturally, when she returned to Jakarta and had an opening for a session I jumped at the opportunity to book her. I wanted photos I would remember.
To be honest, it's been a while since I felt beautiful after taking a photograph. I mean really looked at a photo of myself and was satisfied. Maybe its this instagram world. I'd take what I think is an "Instagrammable" photo and when I'd look at it I'd think: "Well that wasn't as attractive as I thought it would be. Is it the lighting? the filter? Oh man.. no. It's just my face."
To be frank, I have aged. I'm not that 22 year old girl I imagine should be looking back from the photo at me. And I also tend to blame my weight. It's sometimes the first thing I notice about myself in a photo. I told myself this was the motivation I needed to "lose the extra baby weight". When I booked the session I mentally noted that I had a little over a month to lose the 15 pounds... and...then...well... whoops....the weekend of our shoot drew near and it didn't happen.
I mentioned that to Erica in our first Skype meet up- that I had a baby a year ago and was a bit insecure because I had all intentions of being thinner before the shoot- and she quickly intervened reminding me that this is a gift to my children. That looking back, they aren't going to care about my size but our connection and that's what she wanted to capture.
Those words really fueled me before our session, it kind of became my mantra.
But after seeing the beautiful images she captured I am also reminded that this isn't just a gift for my children but a gift to myself. (She had said something along those lines as well but my heart didn't let it sink in, I think, until I saw the final images).
Guys, I look beautiful here. And even in writing that I want to delete it. Is it too prideful? Is that ok to say?
Well....hell yea I think it is!
My whole family looks beautiful too.
I love how she captured my family.
Elena's serious faces and ferocious smiles.
Liam and his toothy grin.
Tezar and his sweet relationship with Elena. His playfulness she so adores and his patience.
He patiently took the backseat in a lot of the shots so that I could be photographed. And can I just mention how he just easily and effortlessly looks amazing (that husband of mine- so stinking cute huh?).
And she was right. When I look at these photos my weight is the last thing on my mind. I see what she meant. And I realize now that I really needed this. I needed to be reminded about my worth. I needed to see my life from someone else's eyes. I needed to feel beautiful not because of a number on the scale, but because it's there. In me. In my family. In their smiles and in the moments and in our connection. All those things that are so easy to forget.
So thank you Erica for the reminder. You were right. I'll treasure these. I can not thank you enough. And when I need a reminder about all of these things- It won't be hard to find and remember.
(Also here is a link to her post about our session and her sweet words)