I have lived in 4 different countries, and have moved over 20 times in my life. The nomad lifestyle and travel has been an integral part of who I am as early as I can remember. Although I have many places that I consider myself to be a local, and many places I love to visit, I don’t have one specific place in the world that I feel like I can truly call “home.”
It is often said that the true meaning of home is shaped by the people around you, but I would argue that home isn’t shaped by the people around you, but rather the true essence of home exists within you!
Your body is your house, and your thoughts and mind are what furnish it to make it feel like home. Our body is the one home that will always follow us wherever we go.
This idea of feeling at home in our own body is something that I take with me when I photograph others because I want people to feel at home in themselves when I photograph them. To me this means that I as a photographer will do everything I can to make others feel uplifted, comfortable and free to be themselves. I always want the space in front of my camera to be a place of belonging, where anyone and everyone is welcome. A safe place and refuge from judgment, insecurity, and self-doubt. It is in these kinds of environments that people will truly start to feel at home in themselves. It is in these kinds of environments that true joy – sometimes the loud and laughing kind and sometimes the deep and silent kind – can grow!
I personally have and continue to go through stages of feeling more or less at home in my self and body. I have fluctuated physically and mentally throughout my life. Even so, I have always tried to keep a loving and grateful mindset for the house that is my body and the home that is my mind.
This summer I decided to head to the beach to have a little photoshoot to celebrate my body- my home. Over the past years, my weight has fluctuated quite a bit, and if I am being honest this is something I have really struggled with at times. But I have also worked really hard to adjust my mindset and the way I decide to see myself, talk to and about myself, and what it means to love myself and my body – no matter the stage it is in. This summer’s photoshoot wasn’t a celebration of a “before and after” success. It wasn’t in celebration of a major weight loss or muscle gains.
It was simply a celebration of BEING me, exactly as I am, in the now. Because true belonging is found in acceptance.
To some it may not seem like a major feat to stand in a swimsuit on the beach while having pictures taken, but for me it was. It was a reminder of how important it is to feel at home in ourselves, and to love ourselves at every stage of life!
I encourage you, no matter your shape or size and no matter what stage in life you are finding yourself in, take a moment to truly CELEBRATE who you are now. Exactly as you are, with no thought as to who you might once have been, or who you wish to become. Allow yourself to celebrate your present self, and to truly feel at home in who you are!
And then reach out so we can celebrate you together through a photoshoot!