Hi Friends, it’s me. Just checking in. It’s been a while since I’ve posted a blog (I guess a while is subjective – it hasn’t been a year but it’s been longer than the weekly blog that I’ve been attempting) but, as I’ve just written the end of this blog (I do things backwards sometimes), I’ve decided this is going to be about body love photography. It took me a while to get there and I do a lot of meandering around before I hit the point but stick with me. I eventually figure it out by the end of this. Man, it’s hard to blog on a consistent basis. There’s been a lot going on. A LOT. I know. That’s a standard phrase that people throw around . It’s usually true, right? We all have a lot going on. Some people manage it better than others…Me? Not so much.
Body Love Photography. You’re going to be seeing that phrase a lot through this blog post. Know why? It’s because Google requires a focus keyword and you know what? Sometimes it’s really hard to pepper a focus keyword in throughout a blog post. It seems a bit unnatural to me and I look at all these other photographers who don’t seem to conform to these rules (use a brand new, consistent keyword for each blog – Body Love Photography – ! Write at least 600 words! Have a catchy meta description! Link out to external resources!) and I wonder why they don’t seem to struggle even while *not* jumping through all these hoops…sigh.
Just another example of how my attempts to follow the rules just seems to add more stress and, in essence, paralyzes my forward momentum. Why isn’t it this hard for others? Am I alone? Body Love Photography (peppering the phrase throughout, yes I am).
That’s going to be a running joke in this post now. Body Love Photography. Is Google going to see what I’m doing and put me in contempt? I’m all over the place and this is what’s going to be published as this week’s blog? People reading this are shaking their heads.
I’m truthfully shaking my own head. This is what it’s come to. Hi Friends, it’s me. I’m your local, friendly motherhood photographer and I’m in a rut. There. I said it. I’m in a rut. I think we all get that way sometimes. Most of us just keep it to ourselves and try to pretend that everything is roses and butterflies. I’ve never been good at that fake stuff. That’s actually my business model. I’ve promised from the beginning that you get the real stuff from me, no apologies.
Motherhood is messy and brutal and hard and lovely and poignant and heart-tugging. It’s all of those things combined and I am a living personification of that right now. I’m truthfully just treading water with only my nose sticking out right now. Ever watched a kiddo taking the swim test at the pool and you’re wondering if they’re going to make it out alive before the lifeguard calls time? That’s also legitimately me right now…the one whose nose is the only thing visible above the water.
I guess this rambly blog is the perfect place to put these images from Hannah’s Body Love photography session – and I truly didn’t know that when I started typing. I actually just started dumping what was in my head out on the page with no plan or linear thought. Maybe that’s the best way to blog. Isn’t that what the origin of blogging was? Thought dumping for others to read (or not)? But back to Hannah. I want to share some of the things she said during our consult phone call back in February.
She reached out about doing a photojournalistic session about body positivity, what became the first (and hopefully not the last) of my Body Love Photography passion. She told me that she wanted to celebrate her postpartum body because she’s been feeling out of touch with that body and because, during other family photo sessions, a lot of time is spent focusing on her little girl…which is great and wonderful…but she wanted to specifically do a session that captured authentic photos of her postpartum self.
She wanted raw and honest *without* sexiness (um, sorry, Hannah, but we got some sexy anyway because you’re HOT). She reached out to me because she really wanted the person photographing her session to understand the motherhood journey and the fact that we sometimes (ok, often) get lost in that journey.
To further explain how freaking amazing Hannah is, here’s what else we discussed during our phone consult: she said she wanted to do these photos for her daughter so that she, in time, doesn’t think anything is wrong with HERself. Hannah specifically requested that we focus on the areas of her body that she feels insecure about. As an art therapist, Hannah is a creative. She’s into “meaning-making” which is so inspiring to me.
On a recent work trip with her husband, some photos were taken of the two of them which ended up being very jarring for Hannah. These photos brought up insecurities “is that what I look like???” and launched this idea of her wanting a new perspective of her body, a launching of her new identity as a mother who also loves her Self, separate from her husband and her daughter.
So Hannah and I met at my new favorite natural light photography studio in Savage, MD, and she did *amazing*. She started fully clothed, feeling not super comfortable if we’re being completely honest, but with each outfit change, it was like we peeled back another layer of comfort and familiarity (um, yeah, I guess taking your clothes off in front of a stranger requires it). Hannah was up for it all and I did exactly what I had promised, which was to highlight each of her (perceived) flaws and show her how beautiful she is. That, to me, is the essence of motherhood…flawed and beautiful. More Body Love Photography please!
Featured on Subkit, Liz Viernes Photography is based near Clarksville, MD, and specializes in maternity, fresh 48, posed and lifestyle newborns and first year milestone portraits.