...continued below... An hour before my appointment, I carefully blow-dried my hair, reminding myself this is why I don't blow dry my hair. Gray hairs sprouted in all directions screaming their individuality. I covered my face with moisturizer, looking closely at the wrinkles around my eyes...silently cursing myself for ever thinking tanning beds were a good idea. I put on sweats and a sweatshirt, because this is my comfort zone. My go to. Cover it all up.
I drove the quick drive, sat in my car taking slow deep breaths before heading into the studio.
When I walked into the studio, I was quickly greeted by Sasha. I'm not an outgoing person. In reality, I avoid people like the plague. Sasha is one of those down to earth people that immediately makes you feel like family. My heart quickly slowed to a normal pace as my make-up and hair were done by Chelsea. My chair was turned away from the mirror as I chatted with the two of them. When Chelsea was done with me, Sasha said, “Okay, it’s go time!” I hopped up, turning towards the dressing room. She said, “Aren’t you going to look in the mirror?” I turned quickly and looked into the mirror. I saw myself. Me. I wasn’t made up to be some woman I am not. It was me. Wrinkles and years of tanning still there, but turned into something that resembled beauty. Chelsea not only made me feel beautiful, but she did it in a way that let me still be me. She looked at me and she read me. Then, she painted me. I didn’t just look pretty, I felt elegant and beautiful.
I spent the next couple hours in front of Sasha. Thankfully, she guided me on how to sit, stand, pose. She told me when to smile and when to relax. She made me laugh in her attempts to actually try to make me laugh. She fluttered around me like a butterfly sharing it’s beauty. She made me feel comfortable. She made me feel strong. She made me feel empowered.
Her attention to detail is incredible. Every hair, every smile, every pose…was planned. She was in her element and it was apparent. There is something about being around people that know what they want. The confidence…she was professional, but in a way that made her feel more like a sister than a photographer. She strategically helped me feel comfortable in my own skin.
This entire process from the time I opened that card, was empowering. I didn’t realize it at the time, but now looking back, I see it. Empowering means to make someone stronger and more confident in their daily walk of life. When that card fell, I took control of my insecurities, and set the appointment. When I dried my hair and saw the gray, I took control of those negative thoughts by getting in the car. When I looked in the mirror after my makeup and hair were done, I immediately felt confident. Chelsea empowered me to be me. As I changed in and out of clothes over the next two hours, Sasha empowered me to love me. She assured me along the way, showing me quick pictures flipping through them telling me how much she was loving them. After each group of shots, my confidence slowly made its way to the top of the hill…thanks to her assertiveness and passion.
We all have things we don’t like about our bodies. We all have scars, whether they are on the inside or outside. And we are all beautiful. It is hard to feel that way sometimes, but this session, gave me the confidence I needed. It was empowering. Every flaw felt empowering. I felt ravishing in nakedness. And that was okay! Sasha Dale made it okay. She looks through a small hole, and she turns lighting, objects, and an insecure woman into a piece of empowering, exquisite art. That, is a gift. " -Heidi