I had a wonderful session with a gal who had booked previously but before the first shoot cancelled as she was not happy with her self in the mirror! She was a friend of Maya's whom I blogged about before Christmas and she booked again for a session. Happily this time she was feeling better of her self image and she and I traded ideas back and forth as to style of the shoot she was thinking about. We decided to try and emulate a style we had both seen posted before from bodybuilding.com.
After her shoot I quickly edited this image as it was one from the shoot I very much liked! After sending it to Dana she posted the following to those that follow her on Instagram,
"dananicole111A sneak peak from today's photoshoot. This portion was inspired by @bodybuilding.com bodies of work. Maybe I will get some hate posting this considering I am naked but really nothing that shouldn't be exposed is exposed.
I wanted to start this season off with a photoshoot because I can not stress enough about how important it is to love your body and yourself at any state your body may be in. As many competitors do, I went through a stage after my show where I was unhappy how my body was looking, I was doing insane amounts of cardio and still felt "fat". Although I was not, I had this mentality and uneducated understanding that the post show body should look just as it did on stage which of course is unrealistic and is unhealthy to keep year round.
After a few months of "suffering" from body image issues I realized and took it upon myself that the only way to reach my goals was to move forward, keeping healthy and eating clean and not stressing so much about that stage body. I finally started seeing results with both my state of mind and how my body was looking. Every day I inspire myself with how far I have come, physically and mentally. I will always strive to be the best version of me I can be, loving myself and body along the way. Be happy with where you are but never stop working towards where you want to be. Here's to an awesome 2016 season. 💜💜💪🏼🙌🏼 📷 by Tony Dathan"
Dana is such a beautiful person with wit, charm, a great sense of humor and attractive!
Its funny how we all have images in our mind of how we look vs how we want to look! I joke I'm old and fat, last year I lost 80lbs, this year I'm up 30 ish. I'm worse than the stock market for weight swings! I hear from women all the time that they'll come in when they lose 5 lbs or they are concerned the camera will put on 10 lbs! With lighting, posing and computer darkroom finishing I can more than overcome the cameras supposed 10lbs! I was chatting with a beautiful lady online the other day after we had met the week before and something made me ask her if she was thinking of a shoot, she said no quickly. Then admitted to thinking maybe. But no. Then to me she dropped a bombshell, she said she has never had a photograph of herself she likes. Never, that's such a long time and makes me so sad, if she sees this I do make a commitment to you; we will get an image you like of you, period!!! We need to be far less critical of ourselves and be more like Dana and "strive to be the best version of me I can be!"
Another beautiful young lady I photographed last spring has also posted of issues she faced,
"#flashbackfriday to my prep for BCs last May, after this show I wanted to prove to myself I could stay lean all year round which led me to a no fat, cucumber and egg white based diet and losing 15 more pounds after this photo shoot. Before each workout was an hour of cardio which depleted me to the point of every weight workout getting harder to get through and only being able to lift half as much as I once could. As I got leaner I still wanted to keep going to reach a satisfaction which I now realize could never be done. Pushing these habits from May until after my last show in November got me a lean body, But it also brought health problems such as metabolic damage, adrenal fatigue and hypothyroid that would have been permanent if my diet and obsession with cardio did not change. Because I was an uneducated silly 18 year old girl, I did not supplement in any essential vitamins that are needed for your body to function, leading my mental health to go down the drain. I was constantly on a low, I missed out on many activities because I was so tired that nothing I did was fun. I was not my energetic, silly self anymore and with that, I still wasn't satisfied with my body image. I am now on a healthy, balanced diet to bring my body fat up to fix the damage that has been done and as hard as it is to see myself filling out, I have energy, killer workouts, I'm not a bitch, I can play hockey (I still suck) and I have fun. After seeing what can happen when pushing things past their limits, I'm fully committed to putting health first while still doing what I love. I write this to remind anyone out there that your mind and body is fragile..you only get one. So listen to it and when chasing a goal, CHECK YOURSELF BEFORE YOU WRECK YOURSELF.. literally #annoyinggymgirl"
And am thrilled she is being healthier and balanced! And even if Syd still sucks at hockey she is always welcome in my studio but if you want to be better at hockey you need to be bigger, faster and stronger on the puck, Lol!
Syd please stay the course and be healthy above all else! These gals are very driven to do well in the bikini fitness competitions and have placed very high in their classes but glad they are looking to be healthy first and foremost!
I am truly blessed with the gals I photograph, some are more self critical than others but there are some that keep me grounded! One is so brittle if you hug her too much she will break but fights to look the way she did when we first shot years ago and always will ask me to make her images resemble more what she sees in her minds eye than what she might see in the mirror which is OK! Another special gal who is way over due in my studio has other issues! I asked her once what she does for a living and she hummed and hawed before saying she was kind of a professional patient, to which I asked more and she said what she had was not a lot of fun but one thing she said makes me think of her any time I have a challenge and that is that when she wakes up in the morning she knows that will be the best she will feel for the rest of her life. A beautiful and special lady that I am long overdue to make more images with!
Other gals trust me with all the phases or their lives from wild and single to the boy friends and besties to the weddings and then pregnancies and then to the mum and child shoots! When you book me for a shoot it is not something I ever take lightly as usually I know or hope it will be the first of many shoots!
You can do your own makeup or we can call in a very talented Makeup Artist. Regardless of how comfortable you are in front of the camera, weather in lingerie or formal gown or Jeans and T's! I promise you I have spent 1000's of hours studying posing, lighting and editing and I will bust my fat ass, maybe not that fat, to give you the best damn images of you I can!