Having your portraits taken by a photographer is always something special. Not only can it be a fun experience and a treat for yourself. But also you may fall back in love with who you are.
Earlier this year I had my hair done blonde again. I have spent the last couple of years going back and forth between long flowing waves and short curls, dark brown to blonde and back. I had gotten rid of my glasses and it seemed every year I looked a lot different than before.
So the last picture I have been using as my profile picture on LinkedIn or my website was actually outdated A LOT. And I am not only referring to the color of my hair, but more apparently to the wrinkles that were not there before my 30th, before kids, before those grey strands of hair.
It was time for new pictures that actually looked and – more importantly – felt like ME. And the minute I decided to have them taken, I knew there was only one person to trust with this project: My dear photographer friend Nikki Harris in Vienna.
That afternoon with Nikki was a gift to myself. A time to just be, to dance in a corn field (how cheesy is that :D) to listen deep, who that woman is when you strip everything away – the kids, the house, the business, the family, the obligations. I look at those vibrant, colorful and joyful photos she took and hell yeah, I feel comfortable with where I am in my life.
And even though I always feel younger (Or is it wishful thinking? Forgetting chronic back pain and grey hair there?), I look into the mirror and I can see the years I’ve lived. I could have taken better care of my skin, using more sun protection in my 20ies, but so what?
So, yes, I do love every inch and every day of my grown-up life. I will turn 36 in a few weeks and I only know so because my older daughter is fantastic at maths and keeps counting the years for me. But 36, woman! What a gift!
I read about a woman who put dozens if not not hundreds of tattoos all over her body because she sees it as a canvas and when she dies, it will be nothing but a painted, hollow husk, her soul free as a bird.
So while I wouldn’t cover my body completely in inked drawings, I do agree: We have been given a body to move, to eat, to dance and laugh, to give and to be enjoyed. So we might aswell make us of it with delight.
I love that my yoga teacher Maggie calls me “lil lady”. Because the truth is: You can be both. You can be the girl. And the lady. Show up in heels and your elevator pitch in the mornings. And in Chucks at the playground. ON the swing.
Don’t decide where your youth ends. Be you. In every way.
PS: Thank you, Nikki, for your inspiration and your companionship <3
PPS: Check out Nikki’s website, she is a master of exposing beauty in women and showing them their inner strength and light. You rock!
All photos (c) Nikki Harris Studio