As we were wrapping up the session (dang sun going down on us, humph) a few nuns were walking by and stopped to tell her how pretty she was on her senior graduation (it was clear some big senior bash was going on Santa Fe Plaza). We had so much fun…I need to come up with a different way to say that I feel like I say it a lot, but it’s true so eh. After it was over we ate a fabulous South American place, nom. I love eating out in Santa Fe with people after photo sessions, I a lot of places I go normally don’t have restaurants near by like the Plaza does. Sorry, I kinda like food and am getting off track. Uh, well it was a freakin’ blast I love you Kerry Berry, I couldn’t have asked for a better SIL. You have inspired me by a life well lived and I mean well, exceptionally well.
“DeAnn talked me into this photo shoot after I confided in her that I would like a picture of myself in a green dress because I vainly thought it would make my hair look more red. I’m sure she instantly had a vision of the scenery and lighting and my hair and makeup and the flowers on the trees and the color of the brick on the church…because she made sure I found my green dress and set a date for the magic to happen.” “I had witnessed DeAnn’s energy and passion for portrait photography many times over the last several years. I envied the fresh look of the beautiful women in her photographs (many of whom I knew personally), because I knew their everyday work and worry worn faces had been given a day off. I knew her skilled eye could make a photo session transformative for the lucky participant – the layers of a tired mother carefully and respectfully peeled back to reveal the graceful, sensual woman inside. I intellectually comprehended what she was doing (I saw the results!), but I didn’t understand on a personal level how it felt to have my own neglected beauty revealed until I became her subject.” “We picked an afternoon in May and she chose the Santa Fe plaza because she knew it well and loved several locations for backdrops. Before we could head up to take the pictures I had to magically transform into a sexy green dress wearing bombshell though…which I did with the help of DeAnn on makeup and [name] on hair. I felt like a million bucks when we left for Santa Fe, and that was all I needed to fall right into the role of model when DeAnn focused her lens on me.” “She gave me tips on how to hold my chin, shoulders, butt, legs for maximum flattering effect. She’d ask for a smile, then serious, then laughter, then my “smolder”, followed of course by more laughter. I strutted and posed and tried to look DEEPLY into her lens (because as she kept reminding me, “it’s ALL IN THE EYES”) Now, all of this intimate exposure was definitely made easier because DeAnn is my sister-in-law of almost 14 years, not to mention one of my best friends. But even if we’d just met the day of that photo shoot, it would have still been a great experience because of DeAnn’s good sense of humor (which was contagious that night), and her expertise – she was SO GOOD at knowing where to have me sit or stand and what ordinary looking wall would look amazing through the lens of a camera. “ “We spent hours soaking up the good lighting on the church steps, in front of the ivy-covered wall, and even in the middle of the road…and when the light was gone we were both disappointed to be done. The experience was magical because it made me feel beautiful – really truly beautiful. And feeling beautiful gave me the confidence to be sexy, be gorgeous, be bold. DeAnn captured all of that! I may not need 85 pictures of myself to hang in every room in my house, but I NEEDED to capture the experience of feeling gorgeous for a night. Funny thing, when I showed the pictures to my husband I expected him to be blown away…and while he really loved them (he couldn’t pick one favorite…he picked 12 favorites!), he said that’s how he saw me all the time. I guess I was the one who needed to see it. Thank you DeAnn!”
I love this woman. We had so much fun walking around the plaza laughing and talking as we went. Truly words fail me, I guess it’s a good thing I like to express my passion through photography. I am eternally grateful for the opportunities it has provided me. I have spent a lot of time with this lovely SIL of mine over the years and this was a neat and very sweet experience one I will honestly cherish. I am glad I could help her see her beauty the way I see her, the way her husband sees her, we already knew she was pretty, but it brings me sheer joy to prove to others they are. It’s not vain, it’s confidence building. I have never left showing someone their photographs and thought “wow they are so vain, what have I done?” I couldn’t find words earlier, now I just want to get on my soapbox and preach to everyone that there is worth in knowing you are beautiful. We women, put a lot of time and money buying products, applying products to feel good so why not take it a step further and have an experience that will enrich your life.