Hi! Ashlee here. I have been thinking about how to bring this inspiring story to you for quite a while now. I had the pleasure of photographing some serious beauty in early December. And I don't mean that my subject was simply beautiful with sparkling eyes, an enchanting smile, and effortless grace. I mean this woman, her journey, and her friendships were something to behold. I could not have asked for a more fitting session to christen the studio with.
I was first contacted by Miss A's closest friend who was on a mission to gift a photography session, a surprise boudoir session to be exact. She told me that her friend was going through probably to hardest summer of her entire life. Miss A was being treated for cancer. She was battling through chemo and was due for surgery. This friend though, she had all of the love, hope, confidence, and positivity that Miss A was going to come out on the other side stronger than before. She knew she wanted to show her that she is beautiful, inside and out. Happily all of her treatments went as well as they could and as the Holidays drew near Miss A had clean scans! It was time for the surprise!
I can't tell you how excited I was to finally shoot in the new space! We had white washed everything, got our cute bed together, and of course had so much vintage furniture to use! I was so proud to be able to create a comfortable and beautiful space where clients would feel excited to show off! Stephanie dolled her up as they sipped bubbles and we got to squeal about how she reacted about the surprise. I was so happy that she was excited to work together. As we shot I was in heaven. She was fluid and just plain stunning in front of the camera. Like all women she had her insecurities. But they were about her hair and scars from surgery, not that she wanted to lose 5 pounds, or had weird shoulders, hated her ears, or any of the other usual obscure complaints we are all guilty of. I was humbled.
As we drew to a close we decided to go very minimal and Marilyn-esque. Just her and the white sheets. They are some of my favorite images to date. Finally, I asked if she would take off her wig. I knew it was going to be upsetting. But I couldn't let her leave without capturing this evidence of what she had been through. I wanted her to have a reminder. To be able to look back years from now and see exactly how gorgeous she is, even in the face of cancer. I'm so proud of her bravery! I also wanted her good friend to jump in too. Even if we were only able to grab 1 shot before the tears come. I wanted to preserve the beautiful gesture she had made.
I can't thank these ladies enough for trusting me to reflect their beauty and for allowing me to share their story. Here are just a few of my favorite images, I hope it inspires you to count your blessings. Xoxo-