From client: "Hi! I am 26 years old and I am a legal secretary, I finally took a leap after ending a bad relationship that did a lot of mental damage on me which was after another relationship that was emotionally and physically damaging. I sat down and was just saying horrible things about myself that were lies they instilled in me for the past year or so. I grew up in a very aware body image Southern California and didn't have the ideal body type. I think something in me just clicked one day that what I was hearing was lies but I didn't know the truth. I had done therapy before for family things and even body image and not that it didn't help but there was no lasting impact or tangible thing to remind me of my progress.
I had been a part of Alyssa's page for a year or so and saw all the loving comments on pictures and I just thought "I wonder what it would be like to be the one being photographed?" I trolled the page for a year or so and thought "one day, one day" and then finally in September 2016 I had had enough of the lies I was hearing from myself from past people and thought "no, I refuse to turn 26 in March without erasing this bs" so I booked it as far out as I could before my bday so I could figure out finances. When I told my close friends they were all so excited for me & I think the support of that helped immensely too. I was just done believing lies and wanted to finally know the truth about my body and what others see.
What if everyone sees my stretch marks?! What if they think I'm not pretty enough or small enough?! How the heck do I pay for this?! What will everyone say behind my back if they see these pictures?! Sooooo many thoughts that could have kept me from it. But because of the need for the truth of myself I dug really deep to find the confidence to eventually not care what other people think. I was doing this for me & that's all that mattered at the end of it.
To choose my favorite part of the whole process would be literally impossible to say because the ENTIRE EXPERIENCE was my favorite part. But I'll pick two highlights: the first was the beach location. I felt so glamorous and like a celebrity having my picture taken on the sand, in the sand, on the rocks, in the cold water. Like Sports Illustrated status! Also the beach just means so much to me it was definitely something I had always wanted to do.
My next highlight was obsessing over myself at my viewing. I couldn't believe that was me. I floored myself. The quality of the photos and the memory of the experience behind just put so much emotion into that I was just shook by it in such an eye opening way. I'll never be the same. So maybe that's my favorite part, that I'll never be who I was before the shoot & that's something I never thought I'd break out of. When I saw my video and photographs I was just speechless. I didn't know I was capable of looking that way. And as the girls reminded me, even if I'm not made up everyday like I am for the shoot, that's still me. That girl in those photos is still me and is in me every day. I'm sexy, fierce, sassy, playful, lioness powerful. Everyday.
Advice for women seeking to do this?! Literally just do it. You can not and will not regret it ever. This is something I will have for the rest of my life. And when my down days come I will be able to pull out a Polaroid and remind myself how sexy & badass I actually am. I can do the thing. Whatever the thing is in the future, I can do it.EVERYTHING CHANGED. I have so much confidence in myself now. I strut instead of stroll. I check myself out instead of judge myself. I talk to myself in such a positive way now & can't believe someone could ever tell me that I am any other than the gorgeous sexy woman that I am. F the haters. Am I right?"\
A HUGE thank you to Alyssa for sharing these beautiful images with us via Two Bright Lights! For more information on this Orange county photography, please visit her (stunning!!) website!