jen.

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: #17.

I give you jen.
jen wasn’t able to actually join us the night of the shoot, but she was a part of the project, nonetheless. So, here she is being rad with her kids. 🙂
(jen’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/)

bayrykwatermarked2

jen’s words ~

“Although I’ll be joining you ladies in spirit, my insecurity is: always feeling like I’m failing as a parent, and not getting over bad decisions I’ve made as a parent.”

jen’s friends and family:

“Jen was actually one of my very first friends when I moved to Oregon! She is such an accepting person and would do absolutely anything for her friends! She’s a very dedicated and loving mother – she loves unconditionally! You can also tell her that I think she’s absolutely gorgeous!! She’s willing to go the extra mile for her friendship and give it all she has. She’s a free spirit and strong-willed! She’s also a great cook!! I’m sure I can go on and on about her forever but she should know she is truly cherished as a friend. And you can tell her she’s the L to my C… she will get it, hahaha!!” – maggie

“1) She’s an amazing mother. She has such patience. So much so that she has no idea how patient she is. She has a calming tolerance for dealing with her children even when they are driving her nuts. Her patience is something to be commended…especially since I have a toddler the same age as her, and I wish I had her patience. 
2) She has a beauty about her that is just natural. She doesn’t believe that it is there and almost seems shocked when someone compliments her on her appearance. She has an effortless beauty that shines even when she hasn’t done anything. She can throw her hair up in a clip…claim it’s a rats’ nest, yet she carries herself and appears as though she spent an hour forming it in that particular “up-do”. 
3) She has a childlike, playful side. She laughs and finds humor in silly things. An innocence that shows her youth when she giggles, yet, being a mother of two and an amazing homemaker girlfriend/wife to Justin makes her appear so much older than she is. She has wisdom well beyond her years, and I believe that is from taking such good care of herself and her family starting at such a young age. 
4) She is beautiful. She tends to think she needs to exercise, or diet or lose weight…. but she is absolutely beautiful. I think her insides exude just as much beauty as her outside does.
When I first met her, we clicked so fast. She said I looked like her family member or something. We decided that we were Italian sisters from another life, lol, our mutual love of the movie Goodfellas was a kismet thing for us and we understood each other instantly. Like we were always on the same wavelength. Our boys were born two days apart in the same hospital. She came into my hospital room while in labor just waiting out her contractions while I sat there …she was so strong and tough…she carried on a conversation with me during contractions. It amazed me – her strength – in so many ways.” – stephanie

“Jen is one of the strongest women I know. She has been through so much in her 25 years. She is one of the best moms I know, too. I look up to her, straight up. She is such a positive influence on me. It’s friends like Jen that make me grateful for social networking, not only because I would never have reconnected with her if it weren’t for Facebook, but also because she’s moving away from me again soon and I’m sure that ’cause of Facebook and such, we will keep in contact forever, and I will be able to ask for her advice anytime. Jen also has a good sense of style. And is never afraid to try new things. I admire that. So many people out there fear change. Jen welcomes change.” – mallery

“Even though I’ve only known Jen for less than a year, she has become one of my favorite people for many reasons. The more obvious reasons: she’s hilarious, a fantastic mother, and she makes awesome food. But anyone could see these things in a first meeting. When you get to know you her, you come to learn how thoughtful and caring she is. Jen is just a super genuine person and, I’ve already said it once, but, she’s one of the funniest people I know.” – alicia

“She is a woman I highly admire. She is beautiful, both inside and out. She is an amazing mommy first and foremost. I love to watch her interact with Bay and Ryker. She is playful, loving, and understanding, yet they know she means business. She has a way of teaching independence and responsibility to her children that I find amazing. She takes great care of my cousin Justin and their home. She’s an awesome cook and so crafty. She’s a great listener and easy to talk to. She’s funny. She is an amazing woman!” – mandy

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

https://alanatphotography.wordpress.com/2013/02/11/women-raw-honest-loved-part-1-2/

https://alanatphotography.wordpress.com/2013/02/12/women-raw-honest-loved-part-2/

mallery.

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: #11.

I give you mallery.
(mallery’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/)

malleryblog

mallery’s words ~

“I feel self conscious when I wear noticeable makeup. I will totally blush if someone comments on the fact that I’m wearing makeup. Then I’ll rush into the bathroom and wash it off my face…. I don’t know why but growing up, instead of asking my mom to buy me makeup, I just observed my little sister while she experimented with makeup and all that girly stuff. Now, I’m almost 29, and I finally have a makeup bag along with makeup. But I still have noooooooo idea how to properly apply it, I can’t pluck my eyebrows into a shape I feel is attractive, I just bought my first pair of high heels last year. I swear I’m a dude trapped in a woman’s body! A gay dude. hahaha. Only I bet a gay dude can put makeup on better and feel more confident in heels!!! Haha”

mallery’s friends and family:

“Mal is beautiful. Duh! haha – MOST hilarious chick… EVER. She’s a huge flirt with the best laugh and voices. She’s very smart, strong, creative, happy, talented, sweet, caring, thoughtful, classy, practical, and easy to get along with. I have shared many memories with Mal with traveling and being best friends for so long. She is a great mom, great friend, and she is like a sister to me. She has a great family and we share many friends. She’s a great artist, has great taste, cute tattoos, she’s fun and adventurous. She had a beautiful wedding too. I love Mal.” – tara

“Mal is a really, really good mom. She’s super generous when she has something that someone else does not. She listens to you when you talk and does her best to empathize with you. She’s absolutely gorgeous. She’s hilarious.” – ashlee

“Mallery is a super talented artist—photography, editing, painting, etc. She is absolutely gorgeous and has a figure to die for. She is hilarious. She is kind to a fault. If I told her I needed pants, she’d give me the pair she was wearing—-literally!!! Oh jeez. I don’t know what I’d do without Mal. I swear she keeps me sane some times. I can tell her ANYTHING–and I mean ANN-KNEE-THING—and she doesn’t judge or think badly of me or anything or whatever. She just sympathizes or comforts or gives advice; whatever is needed. She makes the party, yo! She is completely honest with me. She makes me feel comfortable and I know I can be honest with her. She likes me despite the fact that I’m kind of a B and am crazy, so how can I not like her? LOL She is always there when I need her. As I said, I can be honest with her and tell her anything. I just love her to death. I’m not sure what else to say…I’m sure I’ll think of something. I really can’t say enough nice things about her. She is so great. She is one of my besties and I can’t imagine NOT having her in my life. Love love love that little lady.” – becca

“1) She has a kick ass sense of humor.
2) She is amazingly loyal. Not only to her family, but her friends also. There’ve been so many times since I’ve lived in WA that I just needed another human being, and she was always there for me. No matter how little gas she had, no questions asked, I needed her and she was there for me. She got me through my first 6-9 months of being in WA, for sure.
3) She doesn’t realize how beautiful she is. Inside AND out. She could be in a room full of people and light it up, with not only her personality, but also her naturally bright and beautiful complexion. I’ve seen it happen.
4) She is insanely patient. And I know she’ll laugh about this one, but this is true. With adults and kids alike. Especially my kids. That’s AWESOME.” – jen

“She’s hilarious, artistic, beautiful! She has so much passion in what she believes in and just in everything that she does! She’s a great mom and a strong woman! Oh and a very good friend, heheh.” – jennifer

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

https://alanatphotography.wordpress.com/2013/02/11/women-raw-honest-loved-part-1-2/

https://alanatphotography.wordpress.com/2013/02/12/women-raw-honest-loved-part-2/

cheryl.

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: #4.

I give you cheryl.
(cheryl’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/)

cherylblog

cheryl’s words ~

I have just started to finally be able to tell myself that I am not ugly… that I can get by to some degree regarding the physicality part…still have a hard time when people look at me or a photo is taken. 
I still feel unlovable, mostly for the reasons stated below.

I was made to feel boring and unintelligent if I spoke for very long. I was never going to be bright enough, pretty enough, or talented enough to follow the dreams that I had. 
Any feeling of self-worth as a kid was squashed. 

So, here I am, a 50 year old woman who still feels like an ugly, stupid, and boring kid unless I give myself a good talking-to, which I do quite often. 
I started my own mantra when I was seven to get me through the day and I still use it over and over. 
I feel bad for that kid and for my four of the six brothers that lived with us while I was growing up. 
There you have it – the raw and the short of it.”

cheryl’s friends and family:

“Cheryl is my constant friend from high school! She is usually the one that inspires the girls get-togethers. She enjoys friendships from so many different walks of life, the young and old alike. She is a nonjudgmental person. She is a woman of confidence. She enjoys life and seeks adventures. She loves to travel the world. Her heart is in Europe. She enjoys the finer things in life or just reading a book at home. I am proud to call her my friend.” – patrice

“She is bold, passionate, caring, kind, beautiful, hilarious, intuitive, creative, fun, almost psychic, loving, smart as a whip and so much more.” – amanda

“She is intelligent, unique, supportive, a good listener, inspiring.” – aarde

“Cheryl is: 1. Loyal 2. Fun 3. Vibrant 4. Eccentric 5. Generous. These are five traits that come to mind…” – annette

“Cheryl is a dear and trusted friend. * Cheryl was an avid social networker before Facebook existed. She has a great way of making a connection with people. * Cheryl is someone who knows her friends very well.” – deette

“Cheryl has the ability to liven up a room wherever she goes – people are drawn to her self-assurance. She puts people at ease and can get them talking, making them comfy in any situation. She is strong-willed (which is not a bad thing). She would do whatever it took to protect someone.” – vicki

“My ten words about Cheryl: the glue that keeps friends in touch. Worldly, knowledgeable, opinionated, worthy, adventurous, passionate, outgoing, fierce, independent, loyal.” – kim

“Cheryl is a very kind person. She is the most generous person I know. One of my very favorite traits about Cheryl is she is trustworthy. If you tell her something in confidence it will go no further. When we get together, we are silly and laugh. I am so relaxed with her. She does not judge anyone. Gossip, NO WAY. In fact when a conversation starts to go in that direction she is the first to say, “lets change the subject.” She really values friendships and over the years has been the one who has kept our friendships going. We all get busy in life but Cheryl is NEVER too busy to get together with her old friends. She makes me feel safe and cared for. Cheryl is one of the best women I have known in my life. I really look forward to all the fun years to come.” – deena

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

https://alanatphotography.wordpress.com/2013/02/11/women-raw-honest-loved-part-1-2/

https://alanatphotography.wordpress.com/2013/02/12/women-raw-honest-loved-part-2/

it’s all in a name. help?!

So, I’ve been brainstorming.

It’s sorta getting me nowhere.

Here’s my dilemma…I have big ideas regarding the women’s insecurities photo project. Probably bigger ideas than I should even think to have. But, I have them anyway. And some of those ideas shall take flight and become something…I feel it.

The problem: I need a name for the project.

Until this point, I have been calling it “the women’s project” because, quite simply, that’s what it is…but, it’s going to become more than that. I mean, in a matter of weeks it will also be the teen girls’ project. So…what is a name that encompasses all of what it’s about (insecurities/affirmations/anti-bullying/anti-cattiness/positive-thinking/beauty-within)???
I’m putting this out there to you all because you have cared enough to read about the project and many of you have written me because it has touched you somehow. I totally trust that you can help me. ??

Whatever the name becomes, it needs to be…

simple

catchy

unique

And, just so you know, I have thought of “the beautiful you project” and “the beautiful me project” – both of which seem to be taken. “the YOUnique project” also is, though, the second that came into my head, I grimaced. I’m not a fan of puns…yeah, I’m THAT girl. And my boyfriend loves me despite of that, thank goodness. 🙂

Another one that bounces around…”the undeniably you project”.

Yeah, I don’t know. That is why I’m putting it out there to you all. Help??? Please??? I’d superduper appreciate it.
thanksamillion.

Maybe I should eat some food. Or drink some beer. Maybe that will help. Well, I will also do those things, but meanwhile, I’d love your input…

mona.

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: #1.

I give you mona.
(mona’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/)

monablog
mona’s words ~

“Ok, so I wanted to go with the standard too fat, and too old to have a four year old, but I decided to be a bit deeper and vulnerable.

Takes deep breath and here goes:

I’m afraid that one day, I will wake up and everyone that I deeply care about will have stopped loving me. That somehow I am secretly undeserving of their love and that they will realize I am not worth it and leave me.

Because of this, I work really hard to show everyone who I care about how much they mean to me. But no matter how secure I feel in my relationships (I have been with Scott for 20 years, good relationship with my mom, many of my friends go back decades), I still have that little seed of doubt that maybe I didn’t do enough, care enough, listen enough, give enough, etc. to deserve their love.

There you go. That was hard. 
Oh and I am fat and old.”

mona’s friends and family:

“My friend, Mona, has a LOT of amazing traits but I’d like to focus on what makes her uniquely Mona.
When I think of her I picture her in a black and grey super-hero cape adorned with a super sparkly, super flashy “J” for Justice. Her cape would perfectly match her black and white coordinated superhero outfit, complete with 3-inch heels. Her sense of justice for all is what drives her other wonderful qualities – her compassion, empathy, and kindness, helpfulness to all human beings, and her deep love and loyalty to her friends. She is the superhero that coordinates and pulls together to help all, but especially her friends in need. What draws people to her is her acceptance and her sense of community.
All of this pushes me to be a better friend to other people, and that will be her legacy. She drives people to be better because she is so good at being a friend. Mona puts much thought and care into her friendships and truly understands what it means to be a real friend. As a friend, she works so hard to build you up, to support you. She is so giving and loving, and always has your back.
To sum it up, our Justice superhero is one of the best friends I’ve ever had. Her support has helped carry me through these last 4 years and I am so grateful that I get to call a beautiful (inside and out) woman like her my friend.” – noelle

“Mona: *Gives more of herself to others than any person I know
 *has an astounding capability to keep track of all the loved ones in her life – and knows exactly when to check in to celebrate a happy time or make a bad time feel better 
*is devoted to guiding her daughter into strong womanhood
 *is not afraid to say what needs to be said 
*is just a damn good friend.” – sara

“I’ve known Mona since high school… um she is an incurable spaz, seriously have never known anyone as erratic and off the cuff as she is. It’s the most beautiful thing ever!! She would bake you brownies, organize your yard sale and take a bullet for you, tirelessly!!” – andrea

“Strengths: Passion, Determination, Beauty, Brains, Compassion.” – wendy

“I admire Ramona for so many of her positive traits, but I would have to say her tenacity, wit and loyalty are among the very top of that list.” – lisa

“Mona has the biggest heart of anyone I’ve ever met. She is first to help anyone in need. She is one of those rare people who is beautiful inside and out. The definition of the word friend. Loyal even if it hurts her.” – ally

“What can I say about Ramona? I have known her all her life, maybe this due to the fact I am her Mom. She has always made me very proud of her and she still does.
Ramona is the type of person you would like to have in your corner. She is very kind, considerate, helpful, etc. She will help you selflessly, give you a shoulder to cry on, be your ally through thick and thin. When you need a friend, you can count on Ramona.
When you need help with anything, you can count on Ramona. The only thing she will ever ask for in return, play it straight with her.
I could go on and on but I think you get the picture.
I feel very blessed that she is my daughter and I love her very much.” – sylvia

“Can light up a room with her smile.
Constantly re-invents herself.
Truly cares about her friends and family and will do anything for them.
Fantastic mother & wife.
Great role model.
Super compassionate.
She always makes you feel good.
My perfect balance – “she completes me.”” – scott

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

https://alanatphotography.wordpress.com/2013/02/11/women-raw-honest-loved-part-1-2/

https://alanatphotography.wordpress.com/2013/02/12/women-raw-honest-loved-part-2/

aarde.

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/)
aardeblog

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 
day. 
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:

https://alanatphotography.wordpress.com/2013/02/11/women-raw-honest-loved-part-1-2/

https://alanatphotography.wordpress.com/2013/02/12/women-raw-honest-loved-part-2/

melissa.

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/)
melissablog

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:

https://alanatphotography.wordpress.com/2013/02/11/women-raw-honest-loved-part-1-2/

https://alanatphotography.wordpress.com/2013/02/12/women-raw-honest-loved-part-2/

kt.

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.

ktblog

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:

https://alanatphotography.wordpress.com/2013/02/11/women-raw-honest-loved-part-1-2/

https://alanatphotography.wordpress.com/2013/02/12/women-raw-honest-loved-part-2/

becca.

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.
beccablog

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:
https://alanatphotography.wordpress.com/2013/02/11/women-raw-honest-loved-part-1-2/
https://alanatphotography.wordpress.com/2013/02/12/women-raw-honest-loved-part-2/

jamey.

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.

jameyblog
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

“CONFIDENT, BEAUTIFUL, A GREAT MOTHER, AND SHE IS GREAT AT BURYING YOUR DECEASED PETS WHEN YOU JUST CAN’T FIND THE COURAGE….” – sara

“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,
Brave,
Direct,
Unflinching,
Commanding,
Fierce,
Nurturing,
Resourceful, Persuasive,
Authentic,
Tender,
Protective,
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

“Jamey…
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:
https://alanatphotography.wordpress.com/2013/02/11/women-raw-honest-loved-part-1-2/
https://alanatphotography.wordpress.com/2013/02/12/women-raw-honest-loved-part-2/