I was lucky enough to be a test-subject for a super sweet, super talented photographer, Ruth Yaro, who wanted to sharpen her portrait skills in her home studio. I don't generally enjoy images of myself but I jumped at the chance to be photographed by Ruth. Her work always has such a beautiful, ethereal quality to it. I can't say I was shocked the images of me were good (because Ruth is so good), I just didn't know what seeing them would evoke in me.
Ruth managed to capture what I really look like (albeit a bit cooler): a lady who is consistently mistaken for someone who is either angry, annoyed, shy or snobby. That last one really gets to me, because I don't feel I'm that way at all, though I do admit to being annoyed quite often. I've gone through life lifting up my eyebrows to reduce the bitchiness of my resting face, sometimes forcing my big smile to put others at ease. My sister has had the same issue and through the years we'd discussed our problem often, well before "resting bitch face" had been coined. We used to worry about it a lot. But you know what? This is my face, this is what it looks like, and what it will generally look like for the rest of my life. And if I'm actually pissed off, you'll know it.
Ruth also captured who I am, in very simple terms, right now: a lady in the last year of her 30's, back to being a blonde, minus a gallbladder, and in love with, and loved by, FIVE Fox boys (one husband, two sons and two pups). Now, I realize you can't tell all that from the images but I can, which is why they've become so special to me. This is what I look like as a wife and mother, firmly set in some ways, TBD in others. Further, with my usual suspects of pink tones, pearl jewelry and fur accents visible, these images also show the essence of my sartorial style: I like basics and neutrals but with pretty, luxe embellishments and accessories.
Finally, the seated image of me calls to mind the chic sensibility of my maternal grandmother, an opinion echoed by my step-mother. Seeing it myself is one thing, being validated, unprompted, by someone else who knew her is quite another. My Nan Nan was an elegant lady from birth to death, someone admired for her grace and good manners, someone who also loved the color pink, pearls, and (real) fur accents. She was immensely influential in my life, and while I would never dare to say I hold a candle to her elegance, I'm grateful to have some of her DNA. I would benefit by putting that to use more often...
As I approach my 40th birthday (in a few months, thank you), these images remind me of who I wish to be: someone who values less, but better. Quality over quantity in all things... possessions, friends, food, dates on my calendar, and so on. I may never take another picture as lovely as these two. I'm okay with that. I feel these perfectly captured the best version of me at midlife, and in the future, I want my children, and their children, to look at these images and see the person they knew and loved. #goals