“I’m learning to love myself again and I can’t thank Karen and the team enough for their hard work in helping me on that journey”
I’ve never had an abundance of confidence, always felt like the gawky, awkward, slightly masculine female surrounded by people who seemed so at ease with themselves and how they looked. Little did I realise that we all deal with our own struggles and some just hide it better. So I bumbled through life not understanding how I felt and how to begin being comfortable in my own skin.
When I was 23 I had a bad breakup, it put me in a spiral and ultimately in a very dark place, without the support of my family I would never have been able to start my journey of recovery. But it had a knock-on effect, and my self-esteem was at an all-time low. It took over a year before I really faced the fact I wasn’t well and started Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) through the depression and anxiety service. This service was a godsend and allowed me to realise a lot of my thought patterns were unhealthy and ultimately, I was just going in circles punishing myself. By this point I was and still am in a healthy relationship with a wonderfully supportive fiancé, who despite bad days, blue days and the in-between days where it’s hard to feel much of anything, has been my rock and everyday would be much harder without him (our two dogs Scruffy and Morty help quite a bit too).
But how did I end up doing my shoot? Well, my sister got married a few years ago and she had done a shoot as a wedding surprise for her fiancé, I already followed the page so I remained tempted by consistent photos and updates of other people’s experiences and pictures. Her wedding book was lovely and she had such a buzz about the shoot with nothing but good things to say. So when my fiancé proposed I thought it was my opportunity with the wedding upcoming to do the shoot as a treat for him. That’s what I told myself but, in all honesty, it was just for me and I’d do it again 10 times over! It was wonderful start to finish!
Getting my hair and makeup done by the brilliant makeup artist, who made me up in such a way I honestly didn’t know possible. It was amazing and I felt so glam! And Karen my photographer was brilliant, putting me at ease on the phone, through messenger, and in person, I had no idea what I’d be comfortable doing going in but she was on hand every step of the way.
I had the experience in September but I waited until December to pick the photos as I was saving up to make the most of it. Going through the pictures was a whole extra experience with the variety of possibilities and cutting it down to 10 was extremely difficult. And now my house is gradually becoming a shrine to myself but looking at the pictures every day is a reminder that, even though I might work in a kitchen and spend the majority of my time outside if work cleaning up after the dogs not looking particularly glamorous. I’m still a woman, and I definitely forgot that for a while under my black cloud. I’m learning to love myself again and I can’t thank Karen and the team enough for their hard work in helping me on that journey!