I get SO nervous!

I get nervous every single time I have the images from a session ready for delivery.

One of my amazing privileges is to show women the beauty that I see in them. It is such an emotional and enormous task to have because what if, the images I show them, aren’t to their liking? What if they are going to look at my work, my vision, and turn their nose? Or even worse, what if they are going to look at themselves in their portraits and deem themselves unworthy and ugly?

Model: Amy Halldin

Being a human in today’s society puts a lot of pressure on us. We “need” to look good. We “need” to look young, perfect, wrinkle free.

I have a style of editing, which leaves skin texture and wrinkles. I may reduce them just a tad but I want to show you, that having wrinkles, freckles and beauty marks isn’t a bad thing. Wrinkles tell us about our life.

Those beautiful lines around the eyes, that are so unfittingly nicknamed crows feet, tells the story of SMILES and LAUGHTER!

They tell the story of the rejoicing of the day you gave birth to your children. Or the amazing happiness you felt, the day you got married to the love of your life. They are our signs of good times! They are our battle marks telling the world that yes, the world might be tough sometimes, and yes, every day isn’t pure bliss, but we still SMILE, we still LAUGH. Our happiness is our victory. Why should we hide that?

Now, I get that we are under a lot of pressure by media and society. But we are just humans. The world leaves its mark on us and that is completely ok.

Model: Amy Halldin

Of course, we can have days, when we look at ourselves in the mirror and is less than happy with the skin not being as tight as it used to, or the fat on our arms seems to have increased, but should we hate ourselves for it?

The other day I was standing in front of the bathroom mirror and I noticed five, red, violently visible new stretch marks on my belly skin. Mind you, I have yet to have children. My heart just sank. That moment, I really didn’t feel beautiful. I felt defeated and miserable, fat and ugly.

Everyone who knows me, know that I have an ongoing on/off struggle with my body image and I have always struggled to lose weight.

I often have a hard time believing when people call me beautiful.

Model: Amy Halldin

But why is it that I don’t trust my fellow human beings to help me see the beauty they see, when what I do for a living, is exactly that?

I became defiant. Not about my body or the way I look, but about the way society tells me I NEED to look.

Every day since I discovered my new battle scars, I have stood in the bathroom, in front of the bathroom mirror, looking at myself, and telling myself I AM BEAUTIFUL! I look at my face and find my favorite features. I look at my waist and praise it. I look at my freckles and love them.

I am worthy of self-love despite age, fat or battle scars. And so are you!

Yes, I am nervous every single time I have to deliver my work to a client. I am nervous that they will turn their nose, that they will cringe, feel ugly and defeated.

But I hope, they will see what I see. A human. A fighter. A lover. A mother. I hope they will accept the beauty that I see. I hope that maybe, I have helped them love themselves just a little bit more, as others have helped me.

Model: Amy Halldin