Empowerment Desert Portraits
Each time I travel for workshops, I take on a few portrait sessions for clients in that area. These empowerment desert portraits were one of the sessions I scheduled while in Arizona. You can hear about that workshop in my Senior Photo Education blog! My gorgeous model for this shoot, Miss Lexie, was one of the seniors I photographed 5 years ago when she was in Washington. One of the reasons I love my job so much is the connections I make with women across the U.S. Over the years, I am able to reconnect with my clients and photograph them at various stages in their life. Helping them celebrate the women they have become and will grow into. That is why we decided to call this session our empowerment portraits. A celebration of who Lexie is at 23 and the journey it has been to arrive at this moment!
Beauty and Honesty
I was fortunate enough to hear from Lexie about her life as she reflects on it now. The following stories are a combination of her own words and my interpretation of them. I’d like to start off by saying how much I appreciate Lexie telling her story and opening up to me and our community both in words and through these portraits. AHP is all about empowering the people we photograph through beauty and honesty, and this shoot epitomizes those very values. As does Lexie.
Growing Up and Fitting In
From simply looking at the woman in these portraits, you would never know the journey it took for her to get here. Growing up, like I am sure many of us can relate to, Lexie felt an enormous pressure to fit in. She molded herself to the images of the 13-year-old girls around her, struggling to shrink her 6’2” body to look like everyone else’s. Picking herself apart for not fitting in was a daily occurrence. Today she knows that is where she went wrong, where so many of us go wrong, in trying to find happiness, because “Comparison is the thief of joy.” It wasn’t until Lexie entered college that she was able to let those comparisons fade and begin the journey of discovering her true self.
Find What Makes You Feel Confident and Powerful
Transitioning from a small town to one with more people, more opportunities, and more diversity gave Lexie the space she needed to flourish. As a new player on the collegiate softball team, she was introduced to a group of people who fostered her personal growth and gave her new tools to gain confidence in who she was. One of those tools was weight training. Though Lexie was an athlete her entire life, she had never been taught how to use exercise in a fun way. She dedicated herself to her sport and over time, lost 80lbs. Though losing that weight helped HER gain confidence, she remains an advocate for body positivity, and loving yourself at every stage of your life. “Everybody is different,” and every body is worthy of love.
Every Body is Art
Today, Lexie takes her journey and seeks to empower others through a source that has brought her closer to her own body: art. She says, “Every body is art because there are no 2 that are the same. My art not only is to help others find the confidence in themselves but to show that no matter your shape or size you are beautifully unique, and that is art.” Whether it is photography, painting, sculpture, or writing, art is a way of expressing the truth in humanity and brings us all closer together. These portraits in the beautiful place Lexie calls home, are a reminder of that. And so is her story. To schedule your own empowerment session dedicated to your unique story, head to the bottom of the page. I can’t wait to hear from you!
Follow me on Instagram @amandahowseseniors, to learn about how YOU can get photos like this also!! Whether it is Arizona, Washington, or another one of the gorgeous locations I plan to visit in the U.S., it would be a blast to shoot with you! Send me a message on Insta or reach out on my website to get started!