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BRAVE + Beautiful: Kim

This summer I gave away 3 BRAVE + Beautiful Sessions to 3 brave “real women” models from our community here in Germany. I was extremely excited to begin offering what I believe is just one way to really recapture the beauty in every woman that tends to get forgotten about in the day to day routine. My very first real woman was Kim.  Before_small

I felt like we were already  friends when Kim came for her session because I had been helping her decide what she wanted to wear for her portraits, and I was excited to hug her and begin our girls’ day together! The short video below is a highlight reel from our fun during her BRAVE + Beautiful experience (hair and makeup by Maxine McCallum, and of course Maxx the cat stole the show for a moment lol.). Enjoy living this moment with Kim, myself and Maxine! 🙂

 

I was super excited to sit side by side with Kim later the next week and show her this highlight reel. Watching her relive that day with smiles was perfect confirmation that I am in love with offering this new BRAVE + Beautiful portrait series to encourage and empower the women around me! Here is Kim’s take on it it :

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“Where do I start? Well, I have never won anything until I got chosen to do this photo project with Brittany. Who am I? My name is Kim and I am a wife, a mother of two, and working on my Masters right now. My oldest has autism; my husband is in the military so my boat is really loaded. This being said I let my self go. I have undergone my fair share of surgeries. The biggest thing is the major brain surgery I had January 2015. Between my husband, my kids, and my health, I come last. I never really think about myself (unless I want some Dr. Pepper ha-ha)! It has been brought to my attention by several people of recent that I do not have time to myself; I do not do anything for myself. After loosing almost one hundred pounds, I still have a really poor image of myself.

To this day, this Brave + Beautiful project with Brittany has been completely overwhelming to be honest. I showed up to an absolutely beautiful flat in Amberg to one of the best photographers and a makeup and hair artist. As we got to talking, I hear Brittany talk about some of the awesome symposiums she has been to, and Maxine talk about her modeling, and doing hair and make up for famous German celebrities, and I started panicking more (did I mention I have bad anxiety?). I did not feel like I was anywhere close to being qualified to be in a room with these talented people because I’m just a stay at home mom, right? NO!

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Talking to them as I was getting my hair done, I started realizing something, that they were people just like me in different ways. I started with a dress I had not been able to wear in over 7 years (the black with teal polka dots). Brittany was awesome in helping me come out of my shell (again this is way against anything I have ever done). I had so much FUN during the shoot, with TONS of laughter (to include a blue candle haha!). I was so excited to see the pictures and she messages me a few days later telling me she had them she wanted to come by.

I know I probably did not express this well at all, but I was almost star struck if that makes since. I looked at my pictures thinking “Oh my gosh, I AM BEAUTIFUL!” I could not pick favorites easily. Everything I was self-conscious about was gone. I have survived five major surgeries, so many moves, dealt with so much I now realize why I am BRAVE. I faced going into the operating rooms thinking I was going to come out worse than before or not come out.

The common thing I noticed however is what makes me BRAVE + BEAUTIFUL? My husband of almost nine years, and my two kids are what make me who I am. My message: we are ALL human. Reality does not have to be and is not ugly, and that is one valuable lesson that I learned during this project.” – Kim

“When a woman walks into the room and sees you looking at her,

she is not looking at you.

She is looking at how you are looking at her to determine how she looks…

and she is gaging how you are looking at her not through reality

but through the filter of how she feels about herself at that time.”

– Sue Bryce

I believe that women today are in a vicious cycle of having to look in the mirror each morning year after year and fight the urge to feel less than beautiful while living life amidst a nip-tucked, over-sexualized, over photo-shopped, fantasy-lit world of advertisements and Hollywood-warped  “reality.” While it is extremely important to mention that I personally do not believe our value and self-worth is determined our appearance, I believe a lack of confidence in this area often reflects in how we portray and carry ourselves especially as as a wife but even as a Mom, boss, colleague, or friend. I believe that wives today forced to compare that woman in the mirror to these warped realities often haven’t a clue at the beautiful and sexy person they are meant to be to their husbands.

The heart of Brave + Beautiful is for this wife.

Women see bad photos of themselves every day. 10,000 selfies to get one decent one… a picture someone posted with you on social media that you wish you could slap them for. We are constantly aware of our flaws and bad angles. And it’s a healthy generous portion of reality that keeps us humble and prevents women from being even more consumed with their self-image. But if bad lighting and angles are all we see, how will we ever know, recognize, and be confident in the natural beauty we do have in a way that allows us to be confident and feel beautiful day to day? I want women to see that anyone can feel beautiful if they allow themselves to…and that taking the time to have a beautiful portrait taken of you can help bring into proper proportion the warped evaluation that you may have when comparing yourself to the Covergirl.

I believe that many women are desperate to feel beautiful, yet they are often afraid to try and evoke a sense of confidence or beauty in the way they carry themselves. This can be either because they are afraid to look conceited or vain…or because they do not allow themselves to feel beautiful because they don’t feel beautiful that moment, day, week, month or year. You can tell a woman she is beautiful, but it is as if she stores compliments in a leaky container that continues to empty itself; yet repeatedly this same woman can tell you specific derogatory or critical comments that were made to her in middle or high school that she remembers word for word. If sticks and stones are the only thing that can break a person, why is it that those injuries heal yet our scars are so fresh from harsh words attacking our self-image? Unfortunately more often than not, this woman not only remembers but often even relives exactly how she felt the first time a critical remark about her appearance was made every time she thinks about it.

Why do we as women ignore the positive words spoken to us and instead choose carry the criticisms into our 20’s 30’s and the rest of our adult life like a little urn of ashes as if we must show them to ourselves and the rest of the world…as if to respond to anyone that tells you “You’re beautiful” by holding the urn up and saying  “No I’m not, see?”

I believe just one of many reasons this happens to countless women is to bring to our attention just that – the fact that we are not perfect. But I want to point out two things –

  1. I believe that how we feel physically is also a picture also of how we are inwardly. We are not perfect. And it is very healthy to come to understand this as reality.
  2. I believe a woman may not be perfect, but she IS beautiful. Every. Single. Woman.

My goal is to help every woman take back the sexy beautiful wife she was created to be. I believe that my portraits will help women see themselves in a more positive way that can balance out the self-induced negativity we hold so tightly to. BRAVE + Beautiful is designed for the woman who is seen as amazing to so many around her, but she just maybe doesn’t see herself that way between loads of laundry, hectic demands from work, her children (or both), and washing the dishes for the gazillionth time. 

If you or someone you know would enjoy a day to be pampered and to celebrate their journey in life, contact me today to plan your very own BRAVE + Beautiful Experience (Details below).

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Christie Moreno - October 19, 2015 - 2:29 am

I am so impressed! Kim, you’re beautiful! Maxxine and Brittany – – wonderful work, wonderful project!