grit + grace
a celebration of the journey of women.
"...but true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul.
it is the caring that she lovingly gives,
the passion that she knows.
and the beauty of a woman, with passing years, only grows."
Are you a woman over the age of 40?
If so, this project is for you!
I used to think 40 was old. When I was born, I had one grandma who was 41 and the other turned 40 the day before I was born. As I grew up, 40 still seemed old. Everyone I knew who was 40, acted old but seemed to have had it all figured out. I'm now half way through my 40s and I have a totally different opinion of 40 and a different definition of old. As I look around at my friends who are also in their 40s but also friends and family in their 50s and 60s (and even 70s), I can tell that the overall opinion of "old" has changed. Women have discovered that we don't have to have it all figured out by 40. We can still start pursuing dreams at any age. It is perfectly acceptable to have babies and send our babies off to college, all during our 40s. Our fitness journey can start at anytime and be successful. We can battle illnesses and trials and still come out on the other end, stronger than ever.
While I don't consider myself a feminist, I do take pride in the fact that I am in control of how I look and feel and I can celebrate each and every chapter along the way.
Over the next year, my goal is to photograph 40 women over the age of 40 in a unique, inspiring and uplifting way, embracing self-love and the beauty that we all have as a result of each of our stories.
Why should you invest in this project?
To celebrate your story.
Every woman's journey is different and yours is worth being celebrated.
To see and honor your beauty.
Each curve, every line, and every scar deserves to be loved.
To change the narrative.
We're not all built like Barbie. The generations after us, including our little girls, need to learn and see from real women in their lives, what aging looks like.
To embrace self-love.
It starts with us. The next generation can only learn from us if we ourselves believe that we are beautiful.
For almost 17 years, I've been photographing young families.
My focus has primarily been on babies and families with young children. The natural progression of my business though, has led me to a place where I've both grown up and watched other moms grow up and we've both reached this point in our stories together. We have high school kiddos and middle school kiddos and we've turned 40. Through that timeline I've watched moms step back and put everyone else and everything else in front of them; both figuratively and physically. Some moms don't even include themselves in portrait sessions anymore. Other moms show up in person, but not in spirit! They want a child in front of them or sitting on their lap. When I ask a mom to be in the center, with no one "hiding" her, you should see the panic in her face. I want to get to a place where we don't feel the need to hide. We can be the center of our family portrait and be proud to stand there.
Because the last 3 years have been brutal.
Amen? We've had to learn to exist in a world where there isn't a precedent. And truth be told, some days are just that...we simply exist. For those of us who are moms, we've had to learn how to parent a generation where there is no guide. Our children are facing things that we didn't go through. We live in a world that is so divided that I wouldn't be surprised if we started arguing if our American flag is really red, white and blue. Women belittle instead of build up. Social media has created this atmosphere that leads us to compare ourselves to another persons split second of time instead of seeing her whole story. Our initial reaction most of the time is to judge or justify.
I want to provide an outlet where we can face our insecurities about aging and celebrate our journey, no matter how we got to 2023. The scars, the laugh lines, the crows feet, the stretch marks...it's all a part of who we are.
What is included?
~A pre-session consultation: I want to get the preface to your story to start planning your session. We'll chat about the look you want to achieve, how many outfits that you'd like to include and just your overall why.
~Access to the studio wardrobe: you are welcome to bring your own fabulous outfits but you'll also have the chance to wear some unique pieces from the studio.
~Session: a fully guided session in the only.young.once studio. Studio sessions allow for controlled temperature and controlled lighting without having to worry about the weather or daylight. Most sessions last between 1 and 2 hours, allowing ample time for you to utilize several different looks without feeling rushed.
~Portrait reveal: we'll schedule a time for you to come back in to view all of your images!
~1 framed portrait: you will receive 1-8x12 framed print with the corresponding digital file.
What can be added on?
~Hair & make-up: I struggle a little with offering hair and make-up because I don't want your images to end up looking like Glamour Shots! But, I want you to feel your best. My recommendation is to arrange your own hair and make-up appointment prior to your session with someone you know and trust. If you do want to add hair and make-up onto your session, you absolutely can! Just tell me during the pre-consult.
~Additional people: Do you want to schedule with a friend or with your mom or grandma? Please do!
~Additional images: my hope is that you love all of your images! You will have an opportunity to order additional products at your reveal.
How can I apply?
Start by filling out the application form and I'll contact you with more details about the project. Please recognize that Grit + Grace sessions are not like anything I've ever offered before. They go beyond, to include your stories that will speak to women and their feelings long after your session is over.