Working with amazing//beautiful//dynamic// women is easily one of my favorite parts of being a photographer. The bible is rich with text about the beauty of women and how God created us to be and I've always loved exploring these elements with my camera.
Behold, you are beautiful, my love, behold, you are beautiful! Song of Solomon 4:1
In February, J and I paid a visit to a new Irish restaurant. That's right, Manhattan, KS has an Irish restaurant-- miracles do happen I guess ;-)
During our visit we were taken care of by a super-sweet//bubbly//new waitress named Rachel. She was kind to answer my 9 million questions about the menu and had a beautiful smile that made me feel less foolish for not having a clue what to order.
Throughout dinner I had been talking with J about my desire to do more glamour//headshot//modeling work when my little internal voice [or squirrels as J fondly calls them [HA!] shouted--
"ask Rachel if she would be interested in modeling for you, ya dummy!"
A scary, yet interesting thought.
After all, I'd know this girl for about 20 minutes and was sitting in the middle of a dark irish pub. Talk about a creepy setting for me to approach someone point blank and "ask to take their picture".
But, I got brave. We paid our bill and I made my way across the restaurant to the servers' register.
"Hi Rachel. I just wanted to say thank you for taking great care of J and I tonight"
--insert look of terror and confusion and "I'm-a-new-waitress-please-be-nice" on Rachel's face--
"I, uh.... I think you're really beautiful, you have a great smile, and I'm wondering if you'd ever be interested in modeling for me? I am a photographer [hands her business card-- at least part of this interaction wasn't completely awkward]. If you're interested, please send me and e-mail. If not, no worries and thanks again!"
Later that night I received a sweet e-mail that essentially said "I'm on board!"
"WOO-HOO"-- going out on a limb can pay off!
I sent a response with some questions to try to get to know both Rachel and her style a bit better and her return e-mail included the following:
"I am really flattered you asked me to do this and it really is a confidence boost! I have recently lost 10-15 pounds and although it may not seem like it from first impression I've always struggled with my self-image and self esteem… I definitely think we live in a culture that leads to and even promotes low self esteem in girls and young women. So you asking me to do this means more than you will ever know… so thank you! "
Her words left me in awe.
I always refer to captured as a business ministry: a place where I can conduct ministry through my business and where God moves first, not me.
How amazing that He brought Rachel across my path, gave me courage to ask her to model.....such a testament to His work within captured. I couldn't wait to move forward!
We e-mailed back and fourth for two months, she sending pictures/style guides and me throwing out ideas and trying to tie the loose ends together.
Finally, May graced us with a beautiful day [after snow had fallen earlier in the month-- AH!] and the session was a go.
To be honest, it fell right in the middle of our packing//transitioning//moving craziness and the afternoon of the shoot I was so tired and uninspired.
But, just like Rachel had been blessed by the extension of my offer to shoot, I was blessed and encouraged by our time together during her session.
It all just fell away, even when the floral shop called and said that I would need to make Rachel's head piece myself. [Insert J running to Hobby Lobby to buy floral tape//wire//shears].
It was an amazing night. J said he hasn't seen me shoot like that. Ever.
It was a much needed, creative juices a-flowin' kind of night.
I'm so thankful.
Everyone needs nights like this, right?
I learned a lot from this process and am so thankful for God's promptings throughout Rachel and I's time together. I know my heart//mind are in a better place to be brave//go out on a limb//trust in Tampa because of this experience.
Rachel, thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your vulnerability is beautiful and admirable. I am so thankful to have met you.
"Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come."
in His love, Laura