“…I didn’t want to have regrets…”

RCLet me start off by saying I have not felt good about my body in a very long time. When I started this journey I weighed 200 pounds.  My knees hurt and I couldn’t even make it up the stairs without stopping to catch my breath.  When my husband was called up to serve and deploy, I saw my chance to make a change. I wanted to surprise him and, well, me too in the process.  I started my weight loss journey.  It was a few months into it that I thought that I might be able to actually lose the weight.  I decided if I lost the weight I would find a way to surprise my husband with my transformation.  How about a photo shoot?  I lost 50 pounds. What’s funny is even though the weight is gone, I still see myself as weighing 200.  I was nervous about taking pictures, even more so if those pictures involved really showing off my body.  It was now or never, and I didn’t want to have regret later on down the line, so I decided to go for it!

I’m not sure how I stumbled across MUSE photography.  I like to think that God had a hand in it.  How else would we have found each other?  I texted Gerald back and forth voicing my worries about how my body looked. He said this would be a great way to celebrate my accomplishments and to see my body as others see it. Those of you who have weight issues know what I mean when I say no matter how much weight you may lose, you still have a mental image of what you think you look like.   I came to the conclusion that this shoot could be my gift to my husband for our 25th wedding anniversary, and a testimonial for me.

So, I bought about $500 worth of “clothes”.  Ladies, no need for that.  I actually used one outfit for most of the shoot.  I added a jacket and a belly dancing outfit that my husband got me in Iraq the first time he was there. (Yes, he has been there many times.)  I literally took a pic here and there with the jacket and belly dancing outfit just because I wanted something of him on me and a remembrance of past deployments.  I could have spent nothing on wardrobe and just used what I had and it would have been fabulous.

After the shoot, I reflected back and realized I learned a few things on this road to discovery.

Lesson #1: Don’t deplete your bank account.  Have an outfit in mind and go with it.  I started off with the “Librarian” look and Gerald basically told a story using that look.  It was amazing!

Lesson #2:  No awkwardness.   Although I took off my top for a few pictures, Gerald was in the other room or turned away from me until I got into position.  I never felt as if I was on display and it was all done in a very professional manner.  Exposure was limited and once the picture was snapped, I was able to cover up quickly. Gerald is very respectful and extremely professional.
He has a way of making you feel at ease.

Lesson #3:  Incredible photographer.  I never realized I was beautiful.  It wasn’t until I saw myself through the eyes of his camera that I began to believe in myself again.  I don’t know what kind of magic took place but I saw a person I didn’t recognize.  This experience has made me realize I am my own worst critic and I am overly critical.  I finally saw what others see when they look at me….and it was beautiful…..I was beautiful.  It is hard to express the feeling that came over me when I realized I wasn’t who I thought I was anymore, at least on the outside.

Lesson #4:  Artistry at it’s finest.  Gerald has an eye for making simple things extraordinary.  I never knew seeing my legs positioned on a stairwell could look sultry and sexy.  I can’t wait for my husband to see it!  And that was with clothes on and everything.  🙂  Sexy doesn’t mean that you must expose yourself completely.  It is the way picture and you are presented.  When Gerald asked for me to lean over a chair I thought he had lost his mind.  I had come for “sexy” shots and I was leaning on a chair???  I must admit, I was skeptical.  Not anymore.  That shot was/is one of my favorites and there was just enough skin to tease and keep one guessing.  In essence, amazing!  Another example of ordinary to extraordinary!

I know I have rambled and it is very difficult to get my feelings and emotions across on paper.  I keep looking at my pictures over and over again, still mesmerized and amazed at what Gerald was able to capture.  My husband has not seen me since he left in August.  He knows I have lost weight but does not know how much.  This is my gift to him.  And this gift of me could only have happened with the help, guidance, and support from MUSE photography. Our 25th wedding anniversary will be extra special and I truly believe Gerald and MUSE photography made this happen…… and very quickly, I might add.

My heart is filled with much love and happiness.
Thank you!
“Miss R.”