Josianne is 52, when I shared her photos to people, they couldn’t believe it, “She looks so young” one woman said. Josianne is one of those women I came across, looks gentle and cute from the outside and deep down is a very strong woman. The first time we met in my studio was in February, we booked her shoot in March but we had to reschedule because the Coronavirus cases was raising, the government asked us to shut down. There was no date when we could reopen again, so we waited and waited. Finally we had her shoot at the end of the April. Josianne has acting experience, she took part in local and foreign productions, so it was easy for her to work with the camera. It was fun, she was the star of the day!
Here she share her photo shoot experience and also some very encouraging and empowering message that I love!
I had been mulling over the idea of having some professional photos taken of myself for quite a while back but never felt quite comfortable doing so. However funnily enough, although over the years my youth is slowly fading away and my body has suffered the ravages of time and childbirth, I have never felt as comfortable in my skin as I am now. And that is why I distinguish between the adjectives ‘beautiful’ or ‘pretty’. Maturity brings forgiveness and confidence. You forgive your own imperfections as you dwell on the fact that they are worth trading off for extra time to enjoy the beauty of life and your loved ones. Confidence comes with knowledge and experience gained over time thus developing the ‘sangue froide’ to not give a hoot about what others think of you or how you should behave. This is what makes a woman truly beautiful which unlike prettiness, withstands the test of time. So when I saw your advert, I thought that I was definitely ready for that beckoning camera now.
During our first meeting I was blown away by the stunning photos taken of other women who like me may have decided to get out of their comfort zone and get themselves in front of the camera. So then I thought – if they could do it, then why can’t I? These beautiful Women over 40 CAN actually still ‘rock’!
We have all taken selfies, family photos or immortalised special occasions on film, (ha ha film – you can tell my age!) however just having someone totally focused on you and making you look your best is an experience I will treasure forever. This is not something you can push anyone to do – someone can be comfortable making an inspiring speech in front of a large crowd whilst someone else would feel daunted by it and would prefer to inspire by writing powerful words alone from the corner of a quiet room. I can however encourage this as a positive experience as you, Amanda, surely made me feel at ease and gave lots of instructions on how best to pose. You also took lots of photos so I figured that there would surely be the ONE favorite photo. And that’s when the surprising problem arose – there were so many lovely photos that it was a difficult task to choose. I wanted them all! This was a surprise as I really didn’t know what the outcome would be.
So, how was I to choose a photo that best represents me? Do I go for the contemplative one or the one with the smile and twinkle in my eye? They are all different facets of me. Which ‘me’ do I like? Going through my various photos and poses I was bombarded by many thoughts and emotions: Is it narcissistic to like your own photos? Would you be called big-headed or vain to think that your photos looked beautiful? Do I really look like that? Do others SEE me the same way? Do they know what is behind that smile? When people look at my photo, can they imagine my life story, the trials, tribulations and triumphs that life has entrusted me with? In the same vein, when I look at another woman’s photo, can I ever imagine the joys or hardships she has had to endure? Is she smiling because of them or in spite of them? We all look so groomed and ‘put together’ in these photos. They capture a moment taken out of context of one’s life and therefore they can be whatever we wish them to be – for me they were an escape from my reality and a celebration of the person I have become.
Seeing my photos and that of other women I couldn’t help but think of Mona Lisa – a beautiful unknown woman with a mysterious and enigmatic smile that has captured the attention and curiosity of many a viewer. Just like Mona Lisa, women over 40 can be just as beautiful and mysterious and their picture can just as well hide or express an emotion in a moment in time. Amanda’s Mona Lisa may be over 40, 50, 60 or 70, who cares? Her life is incomplete and is still unfolding. She still has an exciting HERstory to tell!
Thanks so much Amanda for capturing me, myself and I in more ways than one! I’m so glad I gave it a shot! 😉