Confident + Brave = Beautiful | Water Street Dreams Headshots | Chicago

Back in January I received a text from a stranger,
asking if I could do headshots for her upcoming milestone birthday.
She’d received my name from her neighbor,
a repeat client of mine.
Of course I said yes!

What made me super excited was
that this particular woman was celebrating her
60th birthday
and wanted to capture
who she was at this stage in her life.
At sixty.

She jumped right over 40 and landed on the big 6.0.
She was fine with her wrinkles.
Laugh lines? Bring them on!
She was celebrating and I couldn’t have been more delighted.

So if you’re wondering what a
confident, brave and
beautiful sixty-year-old looks like,
wait no longer.

Beautiful, right?
I mean, come on.
No way!
Yes way.

That day,
as she drove off after her session,
I thought
“Well that’s a victory for women the world over.”

A woman celebrating her age and stage
and body and beauty;
inside and out.
As we all should.
Confident and brave equals beautiful.
It just does.

I think there’s a lesson to be learned somewhere in all of this.
At least for me.

You see,
the dilemma we women folk face is that
we tend to be our own worst critics.

If only you saw the emails I receive prior to a photo shoot.
“I’m really not happy with my body right now.
Can you make me look thinner?”
“You Photoshop double-chins out, right?”
“Can you make the wrinkles around my eyes go away?”

For the record,
my answer to all those is nope.
I don’t.
I celebrate the real you
and I showcase what your loved ones see.

They see your beauty.
And when you squint and tilt your head when you laugh,
THAT makes them smile.
And when you're long gone,
THOSE will be the images they go back to
over and over and over again.
Because that's you.
And you're beautiful.

(And they really don't give a rip about those
extra five pounds on your hips.
Honestly, they don't.)

Now yes,
I can position you in flattering ways,
and I can find just the right lighting
that will highlight your natural beauty
and gorgeous eyes.
I’ll get rid of that darn crazy zit that
showed up the day of your photo session
right on the tip of your nose.
I call it 'light touch ups.'
My love of photography is capturing the actual.
The raw.
The real.
The unpolished.
The what really is.
I capture the beauty
that shows up in front of my camera
and not what I can hide/add/take away
using a computer.

We’re super self-critical, aren’t we?
I’m as guilty as the next lady.
Seeing our flaws,
wishing we were thinner,
less wrinkled,
less curvy,
more curvy,
less facial blemishes.
We wish our hair was blonde instead of brown,
or straight instead of curly.

The hours we waste – and by we, I am SO talking to myself –
wishing away our own beautiful bodies
for the magazine vision of manufactured beauty.

But somehow,
we convince ourselves that we really must look just like
the magazine cover in order to be enough.
For ourselves.
For our hubs.
For our people.
I said all of that above to say this:
It's time.
You've been putting off getting family photos
because you're not crazy about how you look right this minute.

But I say,
your people,
especially your little people,
and specifically your daughters,
need to see you embrace how you're made.
They need you to know that you're beautiful.

It's time to be confident and brave.

I’d love for you to book a session with me.
I promise we’ll capture images that showcase YOU.
Beautiful YOU.

And I promise that you’ll love what I capture.
And if you don’t,
I’ll give you your money back.
That’s my guarantee.


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