The blogs about women were long. Real long.

For the sake of none of these women’s honest, heartfelt words and loving messages from their friends and family going unseen, I’m going to be posting each in a single blog every couple of days or so until I am able to finally get the teen session executed and up to share. So that you can take just five minutes and read one woman’s “story” and maybe find comfort in the way you can relate/understand/empathize/etc.

They will be in no particular order…drawing numbers 1-18.
Tonight’s number: #3.

I give you aarde.
(aarde’s story can also be found in Part 1 of the women’s blog posts: https://alanatphotography.wordpress.com/2013/02/11/women-raw-honest-loved-part-1-2/)

aarde’s words ~

“My insecurity is being overweight/unhealthy. I suppose it’s because I have back fat, a double chin, my mom’s stomach, and I feel like no one will really love me enough to see past it. My brain is so caught up on my weight that I can’t be confident in my being. It doesn’t help that a douche chose to use that as a reason over anything else to break my heart. I know I should exercise and eat better but when I have time to do it, I just get sad like I can never accomplish it, so I eat. I eat for comfort, I smoke for stress and I sit for rest from everyday pressures that feel out of my control. Sometimes I feel beautiful and then I see a picture of myself and think…is that what I really look like? What a gross fat pig, which is a horrible thing to run through your mind, when you thought you were beautiful. I feel like the men I am interested in are looking for someone thinner and look at me as a friend…if only I were thinner and in shape, I know I could have anyone I wanted because I have personality and compassion for days…but it doesn’t seem to matter…which brings me to feeling lame for thinking that I would want anyone that doesn’t see me for how beautiful I really am.”

aarde’s friends and family:

“Positive Trait, hummmm, let me see…
Jenny (as I know her) for me displays these beautiful traits: 
She is magic…. she lights up the room where ever she goes. 
Compassionate . . . .she takes the time to really listen. 
Versatile . . .. ready to climb the ladder or jump in the 
canoe, do whatever it takes to help someone through their 
Humble . . .she does without asking. 
Intellectually stimulating . . .
Beautiful . . .truly…. from the inside out… she is
 sunshine.” – vicki

“Kind, self-confident, self-reliant, resourceful, empathetic, great Mom, patient, quick-witted, creative, and very lovable. Beautiful lips, strong firm physique, pretty feet, nice perky bum, great smile, and pretty eyes. Geesh, the whole package for God’s sake.” – cheryl

“Aarde has a big heart and is willing to help a friend in any way she can. She has a great sense of humor; she is outgoing and will strike up a conversation with just about anyone. I think one of the things that I liked about Aarde when I first met her was that despite what she was going through in her personal life she was always laughing and having a good time. Overall she is a good friend. Even if it’s been years since I have seen her we still pick up as if no time has passed.” – jennifer

“Aarde is an amazing person…she is a great mother, a talented artist, and a wonderful friend. Her sense of humor is so bizarre and quirky; we laugh about the weirdest stuff. Definitely one of the coolest people that I have ever had the pleasure of spending time with.” – jeremy

the original blogs (with backstory) can be found here:



can I bake you all some cookies or somethin’??

I just ate Thai food for breakfast. Because it sounded good, and because “breakfast” didn’t happen til noon.

You know why?

Because I’ve been sifting through the outrageous amount of notifications here in WordPress, in response to the women’s project blogs (…and because I didn’t get out of bed until 10:30).
I’ve had a permanent smile on my face, so, thank you all for that.
It’s so awesome to see not only women all over the world relating to the message behind this project, but also men all over the world appreciating the project as well, and agreeing that it is time for a change.

This here blog post is really just a big THANK YOU to not only Michelle and the other editors here at WordPress, who were so incredibly awesome as to “Freshly Press” the ‘Jamey’ blog, but also to all of you new followers who have taken the time to read the posts and tune in to see more. I’ve only been blogging for just over six months, so, this is REAL new to me. I would give you all hugs if I could.

So, since you are tuning in, I want to share with you a bit of my plan…which I am slowly attempting to execute with the help of some of the awesome ladies from the initial project.
On the night of April 5th, we will be doing the project with teen girls, my own daughter included. I look forward to this one soooo much. We’re still ironing out logistics of how this evening is going to flow, as we definitely want to do it justice – hopefully empower these girls to work through these destructive messages early-on, and encourage them to keep an open mind when it comes to other girls…remembering that there are so many similarities…to engage in more unified positive behavior, as opposed to destructive. We have some good ideas in the works, so, all should be awesome.

I would also very much like to do this with a group of women in a nursing home. I have a feeling the similarities in insecurities would be a bit shocking…or not shocking, depending on how you look at it.

One of my ultimate goals would be to take the project to schools, too…but, I’m somewhat clueless as to how to do this, considering that we would definitely need funding in order to make this happen. If anyone has some bright ideas or knowledge about such subjects, please feel free to share! I need all the help I can get!

Also, for anyone who has given thought to doing this with their own group of peers, PLEASE DO. If I can help in any aspect, please let me know. I would love to do anything I can to make this some sort of movement with women worldwide!
Can you imagine what it would be like if women all over the world, instead of bitching about each other and being in constant competition, would communicate and find that they’re more alike than what they imagined, and, in turn, SUPPORT one another??
Sheesh. It would be so amazing. I’ve seen it in a group of eighteen…I would love to see it grow.

Anyway, thank you again. That was my ultimate point.
Now I’m going to go play with this guy…



The blogs about women were long. Real long.

For the sake of none of these women’s honest, heartfelt words and loving messages from their friends and family going unseen, I’m going to be posting each in a single blog every couple of days or so until I am able to finally get the teen session executed and up to share. So that you can take just five minutes and read one woman’s “story” and maybe find comfort in the way you can relate/understand/empathize/etc.

They will be in no particular order…drawing numbers 1-18.
Tonight’s number: #13.

I give you Melissa.
(melissa’s post can also be found in Part 2 of the women’s project blogs: https://alanatphotography.wordpress.com/2013/02/12/women-raw-honest-loved-part-2/)

melissa’s words ~

“Beside the obvious insecurities of being “big boned” and my personal fave of having no boobs is… I’m scared… stemming from being very shy. Scared to talk to people, of not being good enough, afraid of hurting someone’s feelings, of not knowing what’s going to happen… the list goes on.
When I was young I was scared of everything. I was so shy; people would be so mean to me. I wouldn’t stand up for myself. I remember when I was about 12 that what I was doing wasn’t working and I didn’t like myself this way. So, I decided to change. Well the “being scared” thing didn’t change; I just had to push through that. I’ve learned to pretend. Pretend to be confident and convicted in my actions and words. Through this game I played with myself, I find myself being a better person.”

melissa’s friends and family:

“You know Melissa well. What doesn’t she do well?
M will make sure everyone she encounters smiles with her.
That girl can LISTEN. Quietly, em.” – bobbie

“She is a great friend. She is a great listener and has a wonderful heart. She is honest, loving, understanding, kind, and compassionate. She has a beautiful smile that can brighten an entire room full of people and she has a great sense of humor. She is so much fun and always knows what to say to cheer you up if you are feeling down. She is full of life and energy. She has become part of my family. I love her very much.” – valentina

“I have known Melissa for around 5 years now. She is an incredibly giving and special person. I have always known her as a fun, energetic person who is up for anything and has a huge heart. She pretty much organized my bachelorette party and it was amazing! She really went all out for me and it really made the whole time so special. She is an amazing mom and always has time to listen and talk about things that may be important. She is a wonderful, true friend.” – jessica

“I love Melissa and could go on and on…. Here are the first few traits that come to mind: 
Welcoming, inviting, warm, quick to offer help, funny, comfortable, hard working, beautiful, and talented. A true friend. She is also an amazing cook and gives great hugs!!” – stephanie

“What can I say about Melissa?? Sheesh. This woman is HILARIOUS, for one. She also has the most beautiful smile…the kind that still radiates in her eyes. I always know that when we have plans to hang out, it does not matter what the hell we do, we will have the BEST time doing it. I think we could sit at a funeral and have a great time…maybe that’s not a good thing…but, it’s probably true.
Melissa is dynamic. I first got to know her when she was a customer of mine in my skincare & makeup artistry days…I always, always looked forward to her visits. She would sit in my chair and we would have the greatest time. She listens oh-so-well…she would be my therapist at those times. And no matter what I may be saying or not saying, the girl is perceptive. She can read me like a book.
Melissa makes people feel at ease in her presence. She is immediately lovable and someone you want to call your friend.
She is bold and commanding, when she wants to be. ☺
She has a wonderful laugh and can light up a room with her smile and presence alone.
She is comforting and nurturing. She is no-bullshit. She is down-to-earth. She is unashamed and open. These are all reasons why I chose her to be in the room with us when I was in labor with my son. She is quite obviously an excellent and loving mama, which definitely shows – especially in situations like that – where someone is relying on her for her calm, comforting manner.
Melissa also gives some of the best hugs ever. EVER.” – alana

the original blogs (with backstory) can be found here:




The blogs about women were long. Real long.

For the sake of none of these women’s honest, heartfelt words and loving messages from their friends and family going unseen, I’m going to be posting each in a single blog every couple of days or so until I am able to finally get the teen session executed and up to share. So that you can take just five minutes and read one woman’s “story” and maybe find comfort in the way you can relate/understand/empathize/etc.

They will be in no particular order…drawing numbers 1-18.
Tonight’s number: #8.

*Sorry, this weekend has been very busy for me – my daughter, who seems to be a natural at acting suddenly, spent this weekend playing Helena in a production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, and she has been AMAZING. 🙂 Needless to say, I’ve been distracted from posting some additional ladies’ stories here…but, here goes again!
***p.s. this story is one of my favorites, because when Kt shared with me her insecurity in just a handful of words: “my insecurity is being a picky eater”, my honest thought was, “REALLY???”…and then she blew me away with her words about it and I felt pretty stupid. 🙂 It very much emphasizes the importance of not being judgmental, especially because you don’t know everyone’s story…

and now, I give you Kt.


kt’s words ~

“My insecurity is that I’m a picky eater. Might sound dumb, but its something I totally struggle with. I’ve definitely gotten better the last few years but I might still be pickier than grey (alana t’s son). Doesn’t help that as a kid my parents didn’t really have me eating fruits or veggies or anything out of the ordinary. In fact, I was forced to just eat the same few meals every week even if I didn’t like it. My dad always ate pineapple at dinner and they literally made me gag, but I still had to eat them everyday, even if he had to shove them down my throat. Made for great family time. Growing up, I only ate grilled cheese sandwiches at restaurants. My mom would even make like Chinese restaurants make em’ for me. When my mom remarried, my step-sisters took to calling me “bread girl” because that was what you could always count on me eating if I didn’t like anything else at the table. It made it difficult to eat at other’s houses or eat meals with boyfriends on a regular basis. Funny thing… I’m even picky about liquids – I only drank water my whole life. No milk, no soda, no juice. Even as I got older, I didn’t start drinking forever cuz, hey, I didn’t want to try any beers or anything. So even tho I’ve been excited about this get-together with you guys… I don’t like wine and I know it’s not a big thing. I’ll bring some beers (I do like me some beer now but its just always been that feeling like I gotta always be the odd ball.) And fortunately I’m not super sensitive and don’t have many insecurities, so I can usually just deal and laugh it off. But It was always embarrassing for me to have to order off the kids menu as a young adult, or once I started eating other stuff, I’d always have to special-order my meals. Plain cheese burgers, meat and cheese only tacos…. stuff like that. On top of being picky, I hate trying new things, but that kinda goes without saying.
One of my boyfriends always wanted me to try new things. We’d go out to restaurants that literally had nothing I’d like and it would totally put me in a bad mood. One time we went to a Mexican place and the waitress only spoke Spanish, so I had him order my tacos – I wanted meat and cheese only, but he thought it would be good for me to branch out and order what he wanted for me without telling me. When my food came, I was totally stuck because I really couldn’t/wouldn’t eat it. It was super lame and again brought the spirits down.
I try not to be like that but it’s really hard. Makes me feel like a kid. There is a somewhat good reason behind it though. I can’t smell. Never really have been able to. I can sense fumes and things like that just not so much fragrances. So therefore I don’t have a great sense of taste either, meaning I rely greatly on texture, and a lot of food has really bad texture. Like, I absolutely hate onions. Doesn’t matter how tiny they are – in my spaghetti, or tacos, or whatever – I can always tell when I bite down on one cuz I’m hypersensitive to it, so it totally grosses me out. So ya. That’s my insecurity in a nutshell. I hate that I’m a picky eater and considering it’s one of those things you do all the time, I constantly have to be like, “Hey look at me, I’m a child.””

kt’s friends and family:

“Katee is driven w/ imagination, focus, and hope! She is determined to develop herself and become successful as a human and w/ her passion. She is the type of person that you enjoy being around cause she makes you want to be a better person also!!!” – sativa

“KT is an amazing loyal friend, unique, confident, one of the most generous people you will ever meet, great with kids, extremely creative, hard working, incredibly positive, destined for absolute greatness and stardom – HANDS down!!! One of the coolest people I know! One last thing … Once you meet her she is one of those few people that are just completely unforgettable.” – brittaney

“KT, You are beautiful. You are so amazingly talented and so creative, your art amazes me. I love that you never stop fighting for everything and everyone that you love. Your love for your family and friends is unsurpassed. I remember that being the first thing I noticed about you, and I said “yea, we’re gonna be best friends.” And, man am I glad that we are. You are one of the most thoughtful people that I know. You give so much of your heart to everything that you do, and that is why everything that you do is always so amazing! And last, but most certainly not least, you are an amazing friend. Good times or bad, you are always right there with me – loving me and being a great friend. I always appreciate it. I am so grateful to have such an awesome best friend whose awesomeness is out of this world! Oh yea, did I mention you’re awesome?! Love you KT” – jenn I e

“As long as we’ve known each other, which is the better part of 15 years, she has been a beautiful human. There’s never been a moment that we’ve had together that she wasn’t willing to help. Or even just exist with another person. Like if you were to need someone around, but didn’t feel obligated to talk – KT is that person. She’s attentive, but not attention-seeking. When she talks to you about your problems, it’s about your problems, not her life in light of them. KT has always known how to care about people without a self-serving attitude.
Creatively, she’s one of my personal inspirations. She views art in a pure space. Where you do what you love, and find even more to love after the fact. She hasn’t let herself stop learning and I’m happy that I’ve gotten to watch her do what she loves and I’ve gotten to watch her hone in on her talents and really bring them out. She’s willing and ready to break out of her shell, but still keep in tune with her own talents and sense of self. We all have problems with knowing ourselves, but she’s actually happy in her identity. It boggles my mind sometimes. While she’s seen me change from this to that, she’s never really strayed from her own identity.
I really haven’t seen KT be anything but a beautiful human. Between inside jokes, drawing together, or just driving aimlessly across town trying to find something to do with no money, it’s always been honest and awesome. She’s a rare person where insincerity isn’t really an option – you get what you get. And instead of that being one of those “I’m a bitch and I know it” people, you just get someone who’s honest, and who hates nonsense. Not because it inconveniences them, but because it’s a waste of time. She’d rather be doing something productive, always.
She’s a brain that would rather laugh with you than find bits and pieces to tear apart or “fix.” And it’s nice to have someone who isn’t brutally judgmental watching you meander through life and love. And laugh at you like a friend when the inevitable happens, instead of pushing the fact that she’s smarter than you. Which there’ve been plenty of chances to do. I don’t know what else to say… KT is just a great person. Creative, beautiful inside and out, and a kind of neutral that seems almost impossible in today’s world. She loves, always. And acts as if that love is the only thing that really matters or holds any tacit value in life.” – chris

“Katee Carroll Wright born Christmas Eve 1986… she will hate that I used her middle name. She prefers KT. Sitting here trying to figure out how not to write a book. She is a very old soul, wise beyond her years. She is my best friend! I have turned to her in many trying situations with family members, she always has the words that make so much sense, when no one else’s do. I’m so proud to be her Mom!!!” – mom

“As for KT, she is an awesome person. My step sister is quite an amazing person. She has always been her own individual that has been judged by her appearance. She has a heart of gold. People have been so quick to do the same as you talk about, whisper like kids and throw dirty looks at first glance, but she is a great aunt that is involved with all her nieces and nephew, Gives great advice, and even when struggling inside herself, still manages to stay positive and rain light on any situation. She’s had her hard times in life, but has always pulled herself in the right direction. 
Not sure what all you are looking for, but KT is a great person, not judgmental, and just fun to be around. She enjoys laughing and having a good time which usually results in her photography as well!” – val

the original blogs (with backstory) can be found here:




The blogs about women were long. Real long.

For the sake of none of these women’s honest, heartfelt words and loving messages from their friends and family going unseen, I’m going to be posting each in a single blog every couple of days or so until I am able to finally get the teen session executed and up to share. So that you can take just five minutes and read one woman’s “story” and maybe find comfort in the way you can relate/understand/empathize/etc.

They will be in no particular order…drawing numbers 1-18.
Tonight’s number: #2.

I give you Becca.

becca’s words ~

“I am insecure about my acceptability to others. (I had to look that up but it seems to go with what I’m trying to say). I don’t measure up. I’m not smart enough, not cool enough, not mom enough, not wife enough, etc. I don’t live up to what I portray myself as.”

becca’s friends and family:

“I can tell you that I think my sister is one of the coolest people I know. I always thought highly of her (well, maybe not always. I’m sure you know how sisters can be.) Though I never truly appreciated her until well after I should have. I think she’s beautiful (not just because we’re twins :D) inside and out. She’s smart, a smartass, hilarious, and a very snazzy dresser. She’s a great friend, always willing to help anyway she can, when she can. She’s a great mother. I don’t know. I just think she’s all around pretty cool.”toria

“Her ability to see the humor in every situation is one of the things I love about her. I don’t know if that’s the kind of thing you’re looking for. But also her smile and dimples. I’ve always been jealous of her dimples…I don’t think she knows that. If we’re going for the physical attributes, also – her curves. Especially since she’s had kids. I know she’s insecure about it sometimes and thinks she has huge hips, but I think it’s just made her more beautiful.”summer-lynn

“My absolute favorite thing about Becca is her honesty. If you ask her how she feels about something, she will tell you exactly how she feels – no bullshit. She’s also always willing to stand up for her friends. If we’re out at a bar with a group of friends and one of our friends runs into trouble, she will be first in line to fight for them. Whether it’s telling some asshole off, or punching some asshole in the face, Becca to the rescue! 
And she always welcomes families into her home that are falling on hard times and need a place to stay and stuff like that. Or offers hot meals to friends or acquaintances who don’t have much money.” – mallery

“Becca is an amazing mother, wife, and sister-in-law. She is kind and generous. She is patient and thoughtful. She is fun and silly. She has a beautiful smile and a great ass! Lol… I wuv her.” – jen

“Becca is a very good friend of mine. I know that when I need to talk, she will listen, not try to fix it. Just listen. That is a rare quality in our one-up society.”
She is a wonderful mother to two very busy boys.
She has a magnificent resting bitch face, not rare, but has been perfected.
She has a great sense of style, which most of the time is “I don’t give a shit what you think. I like boots with shorts. What?!”
After having two kids she went from no butt to having a nice ass!
Becca and I have the same sense of humor and hopefully will love her positive traits I have outlined!
Love You!” – ryan

the original blogs (with backstory) can be found here:


The blogs about women were long. Real long.

For the sake of none of these women’s honest, heartfelt words and loving messages from their friends and family going unseen, I’m going to be posting each in a single blog every couple of days or so until I am able to finally get the teen session executed and up to share. So that you can take just five minutes and read one woman’s “story” and maybe find comfort in the way you can relate/understand/empathize/etc.

They will be in no particular order…drawing numbers 1-18.
Tonight’s number: #6.

I give you Jamey.

jamey’s words ~

I thought for a long while about this project and what it was asking of me. I felt that sharing my easy to admit insecurities (not pretty enough, not thin enough, not educated enough, boobs, butt, hair, etc.) didn’t quite live up to what I interpreted as the heart of the project. I decided I was going to be stupid and brave and try and admit my greatest insecurity. So I thought about it…and then I thought about it some more…and then I realized what it is. Then I argued with myself about whether or not it was honest enough. Whether or not I was phrasing it correctly. I decided there was little I could do to change the way it sounds so, here goes: I don’t believe anyone can love me. I believe I am unlovable. I can say that to you now in the letter, that part is easy…but the hard part comes when you ask me to explain it. If I have to explain it, then I have to consider why, how, I feel that way…and while I now know why I feel that way, (guh) explaining it just makes me feel bad.”

jamey’s friends and family:

“Jamey is one of the best women I know. She has so many wonderful qualities, it is very hard to name just a few, but here goes…
Jamey is one of the most intelligent women I know. She could be anything in the world she wants to be, and, thankfully for her children, she has chosen to be the best mother I know. She is understanding, demanding, loving and nurturing, in her own Jamey way. She knows the pain of a difficult childhood, and has made sure that her three children had someone that loves them unconditionally. This is the greatest gift any parent can give her kids. I turn to her for advice for my own children. 
Jamey is one of the most beautiful women, who I don’t believe is truly aware of her beauty. She has a style that I only wish I could pull off. Despite the fact that she has her own unique style, that style never takes over her natural beauty. She has such a beautiful face. I have to put a lot of my beauty on. She is lucky enough to look gorgeous just as she is. 
Finally, Jamey is one of the strongest women I know. She has seen a lot in her years, but rather than wallow in self pity, or let it keep her from enjoying life, she learns and grows from life’s experiences. To be able to be philosophical about life’s shitty experiences is so important. I think she knows that the sum total of her life has made her the incredible woman she is today. I admire Jamey and all the wonderful qualities that she has. I am thankful and proud to call her my friend.” – laura

“Jamey is a fierce and loyal friend. She’s a lioness – generous, impulsive, and never backs down from a fight. She is tender to those she loves, inquisitive and hard working. Most of all, she is a devoted Mother, who always puts her children first, and whose happiness and well being are her reason to get up in the morning. She is a good wife, and incredibly beautiful. She turns hardship into challenge, and is constantly evolving. She is also a hothead, crazy *ss wacko, and I love her all the more for it, because without this, she would be insufferably perfect. I’d give her any organ I could spare, and maybe a few I could not. I am very lucky she is in my life.” – diana

“Ok, let’s see… words to describe Jamey… thorough — she’s a friend that, if you got lice from your asshole kids, would help you deal with it (since the boyfriend wouldn’t). haha. Kind, an avid recycler, spontaneous, funny– (as in HAHA but also sarcastic haha), brave, strong– (she could take a man down and stands up for her family and those she cares about), smart (hell, she homeschools Ethan) a great decorator, (we’ve all seen her house), animal lover (from her urban farming to cats and dogs and what else resides in the house, haha), good listener (she’ll let you vent but also gives you pros and cons about irrational crazy thoughts), humble, a great cook (all those years watching Food Network paid off), fun (just typing that makes me laugh…she’s a friggin’ hoot) in love (I’m surprised they get out of bed)…..” – jooley


“Lets see…I have known Jamey since we were 6yrs old. She is right in that I can share a thing or 2 or 50! 
Jamey is loyal. Even when years passed between times that we spoke, she has my back. 
Jamey might be the smartest chick I know (person, really). And I’m not just speaking of intelligence, although she has an abundance of that! 
Jamey is so funny…always. She has one of the best senses of humor of anyone I know…& I know some funny people! 
Jamey’s heart is bigger than her person. She cares deeply about everyone she meets (even those who may not deserve it). She cares deeply about causes too – environment, children, animals, human rights…
Jamey is strong. She has gone through things that would break most people and she keeps going, almost stronger after each thing. I am amazed everyday by the person she’s become. 
She is an awesome mother. She’s kind of my “mom” idol. When I have a mothering issue, I often find myself thinking, “what would Jamey do?”
I know this project isn’t about outer beauty, but she has that in spades as well…
I could go on & on about how amazing she is, but I will probably start crying and then I won’t be able to type.” – paige

“Hi Alana, 
I could write an essay about my beloved Jamey and never be able to describe her adequately. But here is the mixed bag of qualities that I admire about her. I think what makes them so great is that they are so contrasting. She isn’t one way…Majestic, Decisive,
Resourceful, Persuasive,
Brilliant.” – jillian

“Hey Alana…
I don’t know…Jamey usually just makes fun of me…
But seriously, 
I think one of the best qualities of Jamey is her confidence. She is funny and sharp-witted. She is also a fantastic mother and very protective of her children.” – greg

“My wife sees a new world. She lives a new world. She spends every single day, at great personal, emotional risk to herself, living and feeling and loving as if the people she knows and loves are somehow better than we are; somehow kinder, and gentler, and funnier, and more caring, than we are, because that is how she is, and that is what it takes to evolve. Every breath is encouragement, to be better – to try and transcend. Jamey somehow manages to live in the big picture, seeing the past and considering the future, while living within each moment, and the macrocosmic power contained within each breath, each touch, each sound, each look. She lives and loves without a net, without hesitation, and with no expectation other than to be treated with the same love, the same hope, and the same promise she gives. Our kids, who – let’s be honest – get more from her than anyone else, are the best testimonial, as they are quickly growing to be even better – their kindness, tolerance, sensitivity and intellect are entirely their mothers fault.
She’s also fucking hilarious – seriously, the funniest person I’ve ever known. Honestly, she’s so funny, she could be kind of a dick and I’d still think she was amazing. Bonus she’s not, right?” – ash

How would I describe her? 
Charming, funny, bright, compassionate, a great mother, a good friend, diligent, hard working, thoughtful.” – rebecca

“Jamey etc etc etc is the kind of woman that deserves to have a four-name-long name. This chick is one of the absolute strongest women I know. BUT, one of the things I especially love about her is that, while I rely on that strength of hers, she also lets those close to her see the other things that make her beautiful – her vulnerability and sensitivity. The woman can cut a chicken’s head off, yell at the asshole down the street, and then come in and cry with me over the latest Parenthood.
She is a friend to the death – incredibly and fiercely loyal – an ally that anyone would want on their side, while also being the secretly emotional woman you need that enveloping hug from that only she can give. She is the friend that I know I can call on to attend a memorial for innocent children that we never knew, but feel their loss as if they were our own. She is the one that will hold my hand at those times that I just need to FEEL.
She is selflessly generous.
She is a super devoted, loving, and protective mother (in the most balanced, perfect way). One that I take many a lesson from in mommying, like how to be nurturing when it goes against your normal grain…
She exudes love for her family and earns that love and respect back.
She is super intelligent and very self-aware and aware of the world around her. As dumb as the world can often be, she is not fazed.
Have I said that she’s beautiful? She is STUNNING. The most fabulous tattoos, always the best hair, the best style (even when it’s a peacoat with yoga pants, she looks amazing), and just the way she carries herself – she exudes confidence. People can’t help but stare at how gorgeous she is. I think one of my favorite things to watch her do is to cover her mouth when she laughs, as her nose scrunches up all cute – I see this gorgeous woman transform into an adorable little girl for a minute.
The chick is HILARIOUS. I could go on for hours about this. We have enjoyed many a night where we just end up in a heap of tears on her kitchen floor from laughing so hard. There are probably pictures. Indeed, there are pictures. But they will never capture the actual extent of the hilarity. For that, you must experience Jamey for yourself. Everyone should be lucky enough to have that privilege.
p.s. she’ll also watch The Cure dvd trilogy with me for many hours in one sitting…gotta love that!” – alana

the original blogs (with backstory) can be found here:

alana. (also known as myself.)

The blogs about women were long. Real long.

For the sake of none of these women’s honest, heartfelt words and loving messages from their friends and family going unseen, I’m going to be posting each in a single blog every couple of days or so until I am able to finally get the teen session executed and up to share. So that you can take just five minutes and read one woman’s “story” and maybe find comfort in the way you can relate/understand/empathize/etc.

They will be in no particular order…drawing numbers 1-18.
Today’s number: #16.

I give you…well…me.

alana’s words ~

“I used to hate my ass. HATE. IT. I’ve always had the bubble butt – the one that made me look like I should have been born a black girl. The one that people would “say” they wished they had, but I was sure they were always just making fun of me. They could NOT be serious. This was before J-Lo. Before Beyonce. Before that Kardashian girl. Before anyone actually believed that guys were really into any curves besides boobs. (Sure, Sir Mix-A-Lot had made his statement, but, c’mon now…)
That obsession kept up all of my influential years, from junior high on…progressed into adding an obsession with any weight gain to my thighs, as well. And then, JOY OF JOYS!, 20 months ago, I had a C-section and was given the curse of an even worse focus to just pile on top – my belly.
The damn belly – where once I hadn’t seen weight stick, I now get to obsess every minute over how the pounds seem to pile on right at that scar. EVERY MINUTE. That is no lie. Every minute, I am self-conscious about my weight.
Despite that this has always made me feel like I’m spending an obsession on something incredibly shallow…despite how I try to remind myself that I’m supposed to just tell myself I’m beautiful no-matter-what…the absolute WORST part about this being my main insecurity is that it goes against everything, and I mean EVERYTHING that I try to instill in my daughter. Everything that I tell her about how our society is completely screwed up at putting such a focus on appearance. How “thin” doesn’t factor into “beautiful”. And I mean all of those things. I just didn’t have an influential female figure telling me the same things. But, that is a story for another day. For now, I would love to change the cycle.

and lose this belly…
and feel truly beautiful, all factors considered.”

alana’s friends and family:

“Well….I love her because she’s Alana, and there’s no better daughter that could have happened throughout eternity for a father.
Sent from Breenholme, North Alaska by dog sled.” – dave

“her ability to laugh when dumb things happen. her smile.” – ravyn

“just some of alana’s many positive traits! please lemme know if you need me to clarify / elaborate
-loving, responsible mother
-great listener, kind & attentive friend
-honest, trustworthy and open
-highly intelligent
-wonderful sense of humor
-extremely creative, talented and motivated
-a smile that warms the heart
-great at improvising plans, seeking & having fun
i could go on and on, i feel like these are some of the major ones
i hope this helps
t” – toby

“The most immediate and wonderful thing anyone notices about Alana is her laugh. Her laugh is big, its loud, it’s enchanting, it’s undeniable. After her laugh you see her humour; by which I mean, she’s actually laughing at funny shit (albeit sometimes dumb funny shit, funny shit all the same). Then you see how beautiful she is, her face, her eyes, that big ass smile…These are the things that EVERYONE notices about Alana. Then you find out she is talented, creative, and bad ass with a camera…These too are things that EVERYONE notices about Alana. These are undeniably super awesome qualities. (Seriously, that’s a lot of really rad attributes in one tiny package it’s almost unfair.) However, those are not the truly impressive qualities that made me love her so very much. My dear friend, Alana, is one of the most empathetic, compassionate, loving, patient, and kind mothers I have ever had the joy of knowing. Not only in regards to her own children, the whole lot of them. Alana is a brave champion of every kids delicate beings. Her intolerance of shitty, thoughtless, and cruel parenting, brings me great pleasure on a regular basis. I have so much respect for her ability to give the truest love so completely selflessly…it’s pretty amazing. I’m so happy to know her, I’m happy my kids know her and above all I am happy Ravyn and Grey get to call her Mom.” – jamey

“The first time I ever saw Alana playing with Grey is when I knew I loved her. The faces and games she shared with her son were completely devoid of authority or patronization. In that moment, she was with him an equal. They were on the same level, playing the same game, and both deriving the same amount of joy. As her and I became closer, it didn’t take long to realize that this is her true nature with everyone she loves, and even some strangers too. Not once during our friendship have I ever felt she was secretly conspiring, or judging me out of some deep conspiratorial competitiveness she hid from the world. No, Alana is absolutely genuine. She will stand up and defend her family and friends for the sake of what’s right and hold her own down to the gritty finish. I am constantly surprised and inspired by her creativity and talents as well as her compassion and desire to make the world a better place to be. She brought us all together here today to carve out a new path for women that would be deprived of judgment, censure, or competition. This act, to which she gave her time, talents, and efforts is one of the most beautiful and compassionate events I have ever witnessed and I count myself as one of the lucky few who gets to participate and enjoy the life and adventures of the beautiful, talented, gifted, and compassionate Alana Tamminga.” – rhi

“Personally the list for me about alana goes on and on. She is beyond selfless in her friendship, taking me into her home time and time again. I truly feel blessed to have her vibrant energy in my life. She has a gift of making you feel both special and awesome in her attention to you. I know one of her major insecurities is a body hang up, but that’s probably because she has so much of her life already on lock down. That lady goes above and beyond, as a cheerleader, a support system, someone to make you laugh and just someone to chill and relax with. I know I can trust her to give me straight advice and remind me of my priorities as well, I am so damn grateful that she is in my life.” – eden

“I’ve actually started this a few times. I am going to simplify things. What I really like most about Alana is that she’s genuine and she expects me to be my genuine self. So what does that mean to me? She’s honest, she has my best interest at heart and she is a true friend. I don’t have to see or talk to her all the time but I know I can always count and confide in her. Alana definitely makes things better just by being her. I love Alana for all these reasons and so much more.” – melissa

“Words of Love for Alana
‘I want to know her.’ That’s what I thought to myself the first time I was introduced to Alana Tamminga. I was working at a Philosophy freelance event for Nordstrom at the Downtown Seattle location for the very first time. Intimidated and nervous don’t even begin to describe how I was feeling when I stepped onto the floor that day. I looked over at the other girls bangin’ out some fresh, fierce faces and I smiled when I heard Alana’s infectious laugh. She doesn’t laugh like most folks. It’s a throw-your-head-back-and-laugh-like-you’ve-never-heard-anything-so-funny-in-your-life kind of an experience.
Once you’ve both stopped laughing, because it is impossible not to join this girl in said giggle-nonsense, you’ll be drawn in by Alana’s beauty. She’s not your girl next door. She’s definitely not the kind that wears mom jeans, though she’s just about the coolest mom I know. Alana is a beauty that is not just skin deep; hers is a beauty that spills out from her soul. My dear friend Alana clearly is a most attractive woman – I mean she can rock just about any style, color and length hair known, her skin is practically flawless, and goodness she is blessed with a whole lot of gorgeous, bouncy booty – but what is truly fantastic about her is her ability to be herself. I not only admire that quality but strive to emulate the same within myself. Alana is kind, genuine, generous, thoughtful, loyal, confident, forgiving, hilarious, talented, artistic, nurturing, fun – my friend.
I am so glad, years later, I can now say ‘I know that girl – she’s one of my truest, dearest friends.’” – mara

“Anyone who has met Alana will tell you that she’s a blast, funny, gorgeous, sexy, and smart. Those are the easy ones and you see them the minute she opens her mouth. I’ll go a bit further and describe what I see and what she means to me.
She has the rare ability to be a sincere friend to lots of different people at the same time. She somehow makes you feel like YOU are special and funny even though it’s her that brings that out in you. She instantly makes most people feel comfortable and at ease upon introduction. I don’t think she’s ever met a stranger, everyone is her friend until proven otherwise (which is rare). All of these things are what make her a great photographer and able to capture the real personalities of her subjects.
Alana is open with her feelings. If she’s happy, mad, excited, she shows it. She puts herself all the way out there even though she’s been hurt before. As someone who loves her, I’ve wished that she protected her heart a little more because I didn’t want to see her hurt again. That’s not her though, she’ll put it all on the line and she figures that if it doesn’t work out, at least she tried. Since I’m the exact opposite in this department, I admire her ability to do this.
She’s the only person with whom I can truly be myself. She’s the only one that I can tell my true thoughts and feelings without being afraid of being judged or loved less. She’s a great listener but will offer fantastic advice if asked. I can trust her 100% and I don’t trust anyone, so that’s saying A LOT. I know that if I needed her right now, she would drop everything and help me in whatever way I needed and I would do the same for her. How many people in our lives can we say that about? I say all of this knowing that there are tons of people out there who feel the exact same way about Alana. She cultivates loyalty by being herself.
She’s real. She’s loving and giving. She’s courageous. She’s one of the smartest people I’ve ever met and is never condescending or arrogant or conceited. While she has some insecurities like we all do, she has tremendous self-confidence in a lot of areas.
We can all see that she’s gorgeous and sexy, but she doesn’t know it…which makes her even more so.” – peni

“Years from now, I’m going to look back at my life and anything that I’ve done, that I’m happy or proud of, will be because of Alana. A baby boy, a daughter… She’s an amazing mom, my best friend, the best companion I could ask for. Beautiful, compassionate, hilarious, dumb (in a good way, like me, she’ll understand), she gets me out of my comfort zone and helps me enjoy things I may have thought I didn’t. I got more than I bargained for but I wouldn’t change anything.” – dylan

the original blogs (with backstory) can be found here:


The blogs about women were long. Real long.

For the sake of none of these women’s honest, heartfelt words and loving messages from their friends and family going unseen, I’m going to be posting each in a single blog every couple of days or so (or daily on the weekend) until I am able to finally get the teen session executed and up to share. So that you can take just five minutes and read one woman’s “story” and maybe find comfort in the way you can relate/understand/empathize/etc.

They will be in no particular order…drawing numbers 1-18.
Tonight’s number: #5.

I give you Eden.
eden’s words ~

“I am terrified of not living my life right, whatever right is. Which is a broad term. But I am scared of being disappointed in myself, not taking opportunities, of being scared of letting myself be alive. I am terrified of being unsatisfied, and stuck in a place of created for myself that I don’t like. In the end, I am scared of being unhappy.

Yikes, there it is.”

eden’s friends and family:

“Eden is one of the nicest and most caring persons I have ever met. She is also prettier than she will ever know!” – ashgan

“As Eden’s mother, I believe she is a bundle full of positive traits. I think her determination is one of her most outstanding traits. When she believes she can do something, even against great odds, she can do it. She makes things happen for herself. Eden also is caring and never intends to harm anyone. Eden is very smart and very capable. She delves into situations and comes away with a more thorough understanding of what is happening than most people do. Finally, Eden is open to all types of people, experiences and ideas. This openness has lead to a large variety of friends, great confidence in herself as a world traveler, being a practitioner of diversity in thought and deed, and much more.” – kim

“She is brave, accepting, and curious about all peoples, and affectionate…and she’s very clean, isn’t she.” – jerry

“I could go on for DAYS about ALL the wonderful things about Eden. She is one of my closest friends at this point and time and I can’t currently imagine life without her. 
She is Adventurous, Independent, Determined, Confident, Caring, Curious, Diligent, Considerate, and Athletic. She is very easy to talk to. Open-Minded. A go-getter. She has a ROCKIN’ Body. Naturally beautiful.” – heidi

is joyous; 
is ever-present;
 is courageous; 
is thoughtful; 
has an inspirational sense of self;
 is authentic; 
is honest;
 is sexy as hell; 
is kind and warm; 
is an amazing athlete.” – alayna

“Eden is: 
One of the sexiest ladies I know (especially the American accent ;))
Unique and not afraid to be herself. 
Always knows how to cheer someone up, such a caring friend. 
The kind of person everyone wants as a friend. 
Soooooo much fun to be around! 
Honest.” – jess

“Eden is an amazing and strong woman. She is fabulous and funny with a free-flowing laugh. Eden is a beauty inside and out. She is a force to be reckoned with – bold, brave, and bright. 
Eden is a friend who cares deeply about those around her. She is a generous woman who has become a sister and welcomed me into her own family. I just plain love this woman!” – kerri

“ahhhhh, Eden. Eden is one of my best pals, for sure. Even though there is nearly a ten year age difference, we have always gotten along brilliantly. She started as an employee of mine at the coffee shop I was managing, and she was always the first to get excited about dumbass plans that I had for theme days there…always ready to join me in some crazy adventure. She is fearless when it comes to letting loose and just being a complete dork. I love and appreciate that about her so very much.
She is sensitive, in the best way. She doesn’t ever want to offend anyone…even if it means that she hurts in the process – sort of a double-edged sword at times, I suppose. She cares deeply about her friends and family.
She is adventurous. She would love to have a reckless abandon when it comes to adventures, and I hope to see her one day be able to experience just that. I’ve loved watching her grow through her travels.
She is honest…the way you require & love & hate a best friend to be.
She is super smart and incredibly humble all at once.
She has an infectious laugh…which is lovely, as we laugh a LOT.
She is sexy as hell, and doesn’t even have a clue that she is.
She is beautiful. To her core.” – alana

the original blogs (with backstory) can be found here:

eat soup. drink tea. have babies.

I’m a terrible blogger.  I know.
I’d like to believe I’m a better taker-of-photos than I am writer-of-blogguns.  Lately, I’ve put off both, however…at the start of the holidays, everything got postponed.  We traveled to Hawaii (amazing and super fun), flew back to Seattle, and the very next morning i flew out to LA to welcome my best pal’s beautiful little baby boy, Milo, and assist the new parents for a week.  Flew back to my own sick little toddler…sick little toddler becomes also-sick-daughter, also-sick-boyfriend, and, finally, also-sick-me.  There you are, up-to-date.  To give you an idea of how pathetic it is…I am currently writing this while watching Freaks and Geeks, with my hair looking like I may have directly applied butter to it while secured by a headband all Bret Michaels style.  If I come out of this with my family still loving me, it will be a miracle.

There was some shooting that happened before all of the above-mentioned awesomeness/grossness, however.  I’m gonna be a little bit short about this blog, only because I need to go back to nursing some tea, eating some soup, and hiding under a furry blanket.  This is a maternity shoot that I did for the always lovable Tiffany, and her fabulous husband, Dave.  They are a super fun couple, as you’ll see in the photos here…just the way I love ’em!  I will share more when I am able to finish editing, and don’t feel like I’m coughing up multiple lungs.  Until then, here are a few.

p.s. the reason for the photos here, Tiffany and Dave’s gorgeous daughter, Presleigh Ryan, was born last night.  Much love to the beautiful little family!!!!

p.p.s. I’m SUPER excited about the photo shoot featuring some brilliantly honest women coming up.  You should be seeing the results of it here, come mid-February.  🙂  (the inspiration for said shoot is detailed here: https://alanatphotography.wordpress.com/2012/12/06/if-you-dont-have-anything-nice-to-say/)
tiffanydave13 tiffanydave10 tiffanydave8 tiffanydave7 tiffanydave3 tiffanydave1tiffanydave19

this. is. a blog.

did i ever think i’d do a blog?
nope.  when i first heard of the word “blog”, it sounded like an alien.  like “alf’s friend, blog.”  or something i had surely heard on mork & mindy. i didn’t get it.  i may still not get it, but i shall do it.  because i am WITH THE TIMES, man.

so, i take photos.  for some reason, i still have a hard time calling myself a photographer/artist/etc., legitimately.  i don’t know what it will take for me to someday be supremely comfortable with saying that….i’m sure it will come.  in any case, the photos i take, and the time i enjoy taking those photos, will be the reason for this blog, ultimately.  i will share these things with you…and quite possibly share with you what i was thinking while capturing those photos, if you care to know.  which, often, i can pretty much guarantee you, will be absurd.

initially, i’ll just tell you a bit about me.  i am creeping up on age 35.  i don’t care that women aren’t supposed to tell their age…whatever…i’m almost 35, and i’m okay with it.  it’s a pretty good time in my life.  i have an amazing, beautiful, smart, witty, hilarious daughter who is 12.  sometimes i still cannot believe that i am the mom of a pre-teen.  it’s pretty weird.  i also have a 16mo old son who is adorable and getting funnier and funnier every day.  i also have a super supportive, loving, incredibly decent man (and the father of my son) in my life.  i am thankful for these three humans every single second of every day. they’re the coolest.

why photography for me?
well, i’ve wanted to be a photographer ever since my grandfather put a camera in my hands at the age of five…
nope.  that’s not true.
i feel like everyone has some story like that, but, that’s not mine.  it hasn’t been something i’ve somehow always desired to do.  i actually had not a clue what i wanted to do as a career for what feels like forever.  brief history: i got married at 19.  that was a bad idea that i stuck with and tried to make work for ten years.  my awesome daughter came from that, so, not all was lost.  but, the majority of my childhood + the majority of my marriage = not happy.  i didn’t have pursuits.  i didn’t have the motivation to have any pursuits of my own.  i just was stagnant.  people kind of had my life mapped out for me and i just was living it.  annnnnnyway, i got divorced almost five years ago.  guess what?  i started taking lots of photos five years ago.  i was finding myself.  i was enjoying my life.  and, apparently, when i am in a happy place, i love to take photos.  THAT, my friends, is what started this.  finding myself as a struggling single parent who was not so keen on the idea of working in coffee shops and doing makeup for the rest of my years to support us…that’s what then kicked this all in motion.  i started thinking about attending college…i didn’t know for what…it ended up being a pretty big epiphany the day that i realized that i could go to school for photography and quite possibly support my daughter and i through that.  there really was a “whaaaaaaaaaaaat?!?!” moment that i went through. it was a pretty good moment.

in any case, here i am.  photography makes me happy.  it gives me a very natural high that i absolutely love.  i even love the editing process, which is kind of weird.
the main thing about myself and capturing photos: if you, as the viewer, do not end up feeling something or being told a story through them, i’m doing something wrong.  that is my ultimate goal.  to tell a story.  to show emotion through photos.  hopefully, i can always achieve that.  if not, i need to reevaluate the shoots that i am spending my time and energy on.

so, yeah.  i’ll be posting photos of upcoming shoots.  i likely will not have another super long write-up like this one, unless you have questions you care to ask.  if so, ask away.

thanks for reading.  i feel like i just wrote some weird diary page for you.

here are those people i was telling you about…

daughter. weirdo. just like her mom. (this is not the best quality photo i’ve taken of her, but it’s pretty accurate…)

son. told you…adorable.

man. supportive AND handsome. ❤

myself…in a nutshell.

myself with my current hair.
i obviously do not take quality self-portraits. sorry ’bout that.