Some people come into your life and leave a mark on your heart and soul that will never leave.
Diana is one of those people.
We met almost 7 years ago when our husbands were deployed overseas on a Submarine together and my husband sent me an email asking if I could find a way to get in touch with her. Her husband had spoken to him in confidence that she didn't really know anyone in the area and was going through an incredibly difficult experience in her life. I can only describe what transpired from our initial introduction via a simple Facebook message as something that both God and fate planned, due to what I would experience with her over the following months.
Although I was with her through it all, her story is not mine to tell but the emotional, mental, and physical pain that she endured and the strength that she displayed while going through it all is something that has stuck with me and will continue to stay with me for a lifetime.
When you go through such a tragic experience with someone, a bond is created that can never be broken. Even when life gets crazy and you go entirely too long without catching up or checking in, you know when the time comes that you do see each other again, it's like reuniting with a sister that you haven't seen in years but you pick up right where you left off the last time, even if it was years ago. That's how it felt when Diana got in my car this past weekend on the way to this shoot.
She's the kind of person that inspires me in every way. Her ability to come out of something so incredibly dark...something that would completely break so many people, combined with her work ethic, her drive and determination, sense of humor and ability to not take herself so seriously, and the major life goals she has set for herself and continues to accomplish with each passing day inspire me to push myself harder and even further out of my own darkness that I've experienced in recent years....and find my way back to being the person that I am fully capable of being. She's the kind of person you want in your corner... one who will be your biggest cheerleader you when you need it the most, but also one that won't hesitate to take off her big hoop earrings and "handle business" should the situation call for it... she may not look like it while wearing a long, flowy dress in these images, but this woman is a complete badass.
When I decided to restart my photography business, I knew I needed a shoot that would inspire me at the creative level that I so desperately needed. I also wanted to photograph the strength and beauty that women possess and while I love boudoir photography, it's not a niche that I feel I would excel at. At the same time, I want to be able to provide an experience for women to be photographed in a way that makes them realize just how beautiful they are, but with a more natural approach and in an environment that makes them feel completely comfortable in front of the camera.
Diana was the first person that came to mind to help me bring this idea to life so I approached her about it and she agreed. Not only did we have so much fun shooting together, but we got the chance to have some long overdue time to catch up and remember that we need to not let so much time pass before we talk or see each other again.
She absolutely NAILED it during this session and gave me so many amazing images that I had a hard time narrowing down the ones I wanted to edit. It also doesn't hurt that she is stunningly gorgeous with that natural flowing mermaid hair that I would give anything to have! Also...can you believe she has 3 kids under the age of six... one not even being a year old yet?!? Talk about a bounce back from pregnancy...and the motivational boost I personally needed to take back control of my own body, considering my youngest is now 5 and I have no more excuses.
I hope you love these images as much as I do and if you're wanting your own "empowerment session" so you have a reminder of how truly beautiful and strong you are, don't hesitate to contact me so we can set something up!