In January, I made up my mind that I will gift myself with a photo session with a photographer to celebrate turning 35.
Wild? Yeah, I thought so too at first.
So I went shopping for photographer but I have always knew in my heart that I love Bec’s from Viveash Photography style. Ever since I saw her pictures of my friend Ana and her family, I knew I want to work with Becs.
We met up and discuss it sometimes last February. Her warm personality wins me over plus have I told you I love her style of photography?
It wasn’t until this this month that we got to do the photo shoot and I was super nervous about the whole thing.
Really, it’s one thing to take a bunch of selfies but to be in front of someone else and have your pictures taken? That is completely something that is way out of my comfort zone. Few miles way out.
In my 35 years of life, I have never get my picture professionally taken. Of course I’ve done some embarrassing old family photo shoot before but this was totally foreign territory. Having great passions for photography myself, I always felt more comfortable being behind the camera instead of being the subject.
I knew not everyone would be as supportive as my Dan when I told him how much this whole idea meant to me. That’s why I pretty much kept it a secret.
Looking back, I realized I have been through so much for the past 35 years. Maybe, just maybe a lot more than most women I know of. From fighting my personal demons that haunted me for years to learning to fall in love with myself…my journey has been memorable.
And in documenting how I look at 35, I hope one day I will be able to look at these pictures and truly feel unconditional love for the woman I was, am and will be.
In stepping way outside of my comfort zones, I am allowing myself to see me through someone else’s eyes…on this case, Becs’ eyes.
The big day arrived and I came to her place. We got the make-up and hair done by Becs’ friend also another photographer, Teressia who make me look pretty and natural sans the typical Indonesian fake lashes. I totally love my eye makeup!
We started shooting. I was totally nervous but Becs was super patience, very creative, and quickly made me feel at ease. She told me to laugh a lot and I started thinking about funny things and well, laugh.
After we were done, she quickly started the editing process and uploaded a couple of pictures on her Facebook page almost instantly! Talk about great service, people.
Last week Becs emailed me the link to the final pictures. 50 shots of me, just me. I was blown away!
Not only she did a fantastic job with the editing, she captured me. Maureen…in a way that I wasn’t aware of before. It almost feels like I am looking at myself from a different pair or eyes for the first time ever.
These pictures speak volumes for me. I still can’t find the right words to describe how I feel but there were tears of happiness, of understanding that I am the woman I am today and I am beautiful.
Almost as long as I could remember, my mother always told me “Don’t laugh too wide! That’s not lady like.” And her words stuck with me like stubborn glue. If you look at my typical selfie pictures, the smile is always ‘controlled’, never laughing.
Yet when I see my pictures laughing, widely…I recognized that’s how I really am in real life. That’s how my family sees me laughing, that’s how Dan sees me, that’s how my friends sees me too. My father has the exact same laugh, free, joyful and genuine.
So why should I denied me?
Why fit into the cookie cutter of what society think beautiful is?
When I look at my pictures, I see a woman who is coming full circle to love herself, to accept her being, and someone who have a positive outlook in life, no longer a victim or a survivor but a winner that will thrive. Her future is so bright she might have to wear glasses a lot! Hah!
I am Maureen and I have a big smile, big laughter and big joyful life!