“I want to see myself in a different way.”

This beautiful woman is a July baby (summer like me!) and currently lives in New Fairfield CT with her husband of 9 years although they are high school sweethearts- so they’ve actually been together for 19! Together Kelly and her husband have a beautiful 6 year old daughter and a 4 year old son.

Kelly is a waxing specialist who is living her dream by owning her own salon which just became a reality this past year!

When she isn’t engulfed in the hustle and bustle of entrepreneurship, Kelly enjoys having lunch with friends, shopping or going to the park with the kids (primarily family time). To her, relaxing is snuggled up with the kids watching tv. (She really loves the Chicago series!) Kelly is a tea drinker and her all time favorite meal is spaghetti.

What brought Kelly into the studio was my 30-Women-Over-30 portrait series. She’s never been comfortable in a 2 piece and is very self conscious of her stomach and legs- but she is working on looking past that and loving herself - every single part of her. She wants to see herself in a different way and she wants to know that she can be and IS sexy. Sometimes seeing yourself through someone elses eyes (like my lens) is just what you need to realize your beauty.

HMUA: Christen with Makeup by CG

If you think you can… YOU CAN.

Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to photograph this beautiful boss-babe, Sarah Michelle, owner and CEO of Honey Map Agency as part of my 30-Women-Over-30 campaign, and it was such a pleasure to get to know her a little deeper than what I’d already learned through our public networking events.

Sarah is a March baby - an Aries… which means she’s creative, fiery, independent and stylish. Having met her, I can attest to all 4 of these qualities! Sarah lives in Columbia Connecticut with her two beautiful snuggly dogs, and works in her DREAM JOB as a CEO Business Consultant.

While she’s pretty busy with clients, networking and helping other business owners find their brands and identities, when Sarah gets some free time, she takes advantage of it by exploring local culture, reading, hiking, trying new coffee shops with friends, watching terrible TV, singing in her kitchen, and exercise.

If she just needs to relax, she’ll enjoy a good book or really anything she can read (her favorite book is Glass Castle, and she also loves memoirs and self-help books). Sarah will also sing, sleep, write, talk to friends, meditate, pray, or find other creative outlets to unwind.

Also- she’s my spirit animal- a coffee lover just like me- and she loves Gilmore Girls (which maybe is also why she’s a coffee drinker like me?) . Her all-time favorite meal is really anything that has lots of starch and carbs- if she had to choose, she’d like chicken, potatoes, asparagus and homemade bread and butter. (literally, the Queen would not approve- fun fact: Queen Elizabeth doesn’t allow potatoes, rice or pasta in ANY dishes prepared at Buckingham palace!)

Sarah opened up with use about her insecurities about herself and her past which has been a major stepping point in the woman she has become today. She grew up in an abusive home and somehow continued into an abusive marriage. Everything she’d ever done or had been was criticized. It has taken years for her to feel ok with being herself. Most of her life, her insecurities were that she felt obnoxious to others or that she frustrated people. She was (and still is at times) insecure in that she doesn’t know what she’s doing and will mess everything up. (spoiler alert! I don’t think anyone really does!!) . Physically Sarah is very insecure about her body. This is so important to know because WE ALL FEEL THIS. We all need to hear someone else share this to realize we are not alone and it’s ok. Sarah’s gone through some personal therapy and growth along with some long talks with God to better understand how much He loves her. Running her own business has taught her a lot because it requires confidence. She has also spent a lot of time researching and understanding abuse and trying to replace her community with healthy people (ALSO HUGE! Surround yourself with people you admire and those you trust). Sarah is inspired by people who can stand securely, and perhaps she doesn’t have one specific role model in life, but she feels a connection to Leah from the Bible- she was unloved and undesired and wrestled through dismissing her need for praise in place of total contentment and acceptance from God.

I always ask my clients to share with me what they would tell the 13 year old version of themselves if they could go back in time. This was Sarah’s response:

“I could write a book. Beauty is subjective. Know that God made you the way you are and that He doesn't make mistakes. Don't give other people power to dictate your beliefs. You are beautiful and amazing because you are different. Don't trade your unique beauty for fickle and undependable temporary praise.”

This photoshoot was a way for Sarah to remind herself how strong and fierce she is…to remind herself that she can be beautiful and desirable without any other human having to desire her.

HMUA: Makeup by CG

Aerial Yoga Lover & Hair Care Enthusiast

Meet the beautiful Lori. Her mission in this life is to ignite women's vibes and unstick the stuck with inspiration and magical toxin-free hair care products. She warns women to NEVER underestimate the value of loving their hair. If you’d like to learn more about what she sells- visit her page at! 

She loves to travel, relax, read and do yoga…did I say yoga? A meant AERIAL yoga! Seriously how cool is that! Lori is a beautifully spoken woman who has a very peaceful aura about her.

She came in and joined us as part of our 30-Women-Over-30 portrait series and she totally rocked it! So excited to share these photos!

“Be the light”

This is Jen! She lives in Holland, MA with her loving and supportive husband Rob, and their three children! She works as a Realtor and it’s a job that she loves and has dreamed of doing. Jen loves to hang out with her kids, watch movies, spend time with her husband during date night, and of course, loves to go on vacation! When she needs to unwind and clear her head she reads, mediates, journals and sometimes the occasional nap!  

Jen is really a motivating person, who strives to learn more about herself and grow as a person. She spoke with us about the insecurities she has dealt with in her life, like so many of us who deal with the societal pressures expected from women, her personal insecurities revolve around her body image and self worth. To lift herself up and continue to live a healthy life, free of self-judgement, she says she continues to push herself out of her comfort zone to become more confident in many areas. This is definitely something we can all try to do more of!  

Right now, the beautiful quote that speaks to Jen is: ‘Be the light.’ 

HMUA: Christen Gundersen Makeup by CG

Our Deepest Fear is that We Are Powerful Beyond Measure {Margit, Branding & Beauty}

This is Margit! She lives is in Uncasville with her husband and three fur babies (all cats!). She works as a photographer and office manager but she is dreaming of the day that she will be able to do her photography full time. Margit loves to spend time with her husband at home cooking and she especially loves breakfast time (cant beat some good hash browns!). In her free time Margit loves to work out, snowboard and do calligraphy. She says that she tends to get stressed out easily so to stay relaxed she enjoys reading inspirational books or bingeing some episodes of Gilmore Girls.

Margit spoke with us about what insecurities she has dealt with in her life. Like so many other women she struggles with a few things including her body image, her abilities and the choices she makes. Something that has really helped her work to overcome these insecurities in her life is speaking about them and also bible journaling which has been a tremendous aid. Knowing everything she does now if she was able to share some advice with the younger version of herself she would say: ‘Don't be so hard on yourself, relax and enjoy the time you are in now.’

These words are part of a beautiful quote that inspires Margit every day: ‘Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.’

HMUA: Christen Gundersen, Makeup by CG