photo session with denise at bohophoto.com
photo by denise andrade

like so many other women, i’ve struggled with how i look. my hair is too thin. my skin is splotchy. my arms are too flabby. you know how it goes. i grew up in a household where the women seemed to undermine their beauty over and over again with comments mostly about their weight (even though they were entirely gorgeous and healthy). although the comments were never directed at me, the impact of witnessing the judgement they had for their bodies stayed with me for many years as i tried to find my own peace about my physical skin.

somewhere along the line i began to find a brighter version of my body : the gap between my two front teeth didn’t seem so bad afterall. my booty wasn’t so blah afterall. wow, my spirit is housed in this body. and it’s healthy – even with all the self perceived flaws. it’s all still me, it’s more than enough, and i’m grateful. of course, some days are better than others, but the general acceptance of my body has been a major blessing of one long struggle overcome.

photo session with denise at bohophoto.com
photo by denise andrade

and then i went to the lovebomb retreat where i was really seen. seen not just as a girl who paints, but for all that i am (bigger than my creative self) and who i’m becoming. seen for all of my potential and possibilities. for all the love, friendship, and capacity for connection that i hold. for the first time in my life, i saw myself being mirrored back to me in ways that undoubtedly changed everything about my life. during those few days, the photogs of the group seemed to capture the shift that was occurring for many of us. while all that inner work was happening on the inside, they were capturing the essence of it from the outside with photos like this and this and this. it was the first time i fully realized that photographers capture us how they actually see us and sometimes how they see us is a gift of even more sight into how we see ourselves. oh, that’s me? do you really see me this way? how did you capture how i was feeling so perfectly? they capture the essence of our spirits, what we’re going through, where we are in our lives. quite honestly, it’s a talent that blows me away. and it’s a remarkable gift to give someone – an image of their face, their brightness seen through the eyes of a person who really sees them, not just in physical form, but in spirit, too. that gift of sight is HUGE for those of us who struggle with visioning ourselves of how we’re actually seen.
photo session with denise at bohophoto.com
photo by denise andrade

all of this is to say that i recently had the opportunity to be photographed by denise. having never been on a professional shoot before, i wasn’t sure what to expect, but i’ve always loved her portraits and i thought what the hell, i’ll do it. i was surprised at how utterly delightful it was to get all girly, to roll around in the grass and pretend i was an anthropologie girl. how seriously and simply FUN it was – like being 9 years old and playing dress up while running around your back yard with your neighborhood friend. and then to see the photos that came from that day – well, i’m right back to how i felt in oregon: totally seen.
photo session with denise at bohophoto.com
photo by denise andrade

denise and i did this photo shoot just hours after that release i spoke about in one of my posts last week. i had been crying, tender, and the waterworks of my tears had finally run its course just before this shoot. i loved how joyful this experience was. how she captured the peace and okayness of where i was and how i was feeling. i loved how she saw me, how i turned out in these images, and how in sync they are to how i finally see myself. i would have never seen myself like this before lovebomb. but now i do. thank you, lovebombers, and thank you denise. the gift of these images will last a lifetime.

so yes, i want to say to all of you: go get your photos taken! give yourself the gift of a talented soul capturing you just as you are: beautiful and wild and whole and unique. if you’re like me, then you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it long ago. you’ll find yourself in images that translate to how you feel on the inside and it will help you feel more like yourself, both in physical and spiritual form. who knew this was the magic and gift of talented photographers? i love it.

next up: me, john, and our togetherness captured in photos. i can’t wait. if you’re interested in seeing more of our photo shoot together, go here. and more of her incredible portfolio here.

Hi, I'm Kelly Rae Roberts!

Before I picked up my first paintbrush at the age of 30, I was a medical social worker. I followed my whispers and started playing with paint and everything changed.

Now I’m a full-time artist, author and Possibilitarian, who helps women explore and nourish their creative souls.

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