Austyn, 32

“I’ve been married for 8 years and am the mother of three kids (5, 3, and 1 year old). I’m an ICU nurse and currently in grad school. Prior to the shoot with Trish I had been photographed in family pictures. The last time I was photographed solo was our wedding or a few solo shots in our maternity/family photo sessions. I saw the pictures from a friend’s ‘For Real’ session and thought they were beautiful and I loved the message behind the photos. I thought, “What would it hurt to sign up?”

I felt pretty comfortable with the idea of being photographed without makeup. The last few years I have started to wear less and less makeup on a daily basis. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely rock a full face of makeup at times, but I made a conscious decision to lead by example and show my daughters that, I feel comfortable with just some moisturizer and blush too (oh, and eyelash extensions are the best!).

I was nervous going into the shoot, I had seen some of Trish’s work and I was a little intimidated. I was worried that me, a mom of three with no experience being in front of the camera, would not be able to give her the material needed to produce the beautiful photos I had seen on her Instagram feed. Despite my nerves, Trish put me at ease so quickly! Within minutes she had me laughing and gave me tons of direction on what I needed to do during the session.

After the experience I had a feeling I’d like the photos. The whole vibe from the shoot and meeting Trish, I knew I had been in good hands during my shoot and I expected they would be good photos. During the Reveal, I was blown away. I hadn’t been expecting art, and that’s what I felt I was looking at, beautiful art with my face on it. It didn’t even really occur to me that I wasn’t wearing makeup in the photos. When I looked at the pictures, I just felt like Trish captured me.

As women we are taught early on to buy the lie that being a real woman, with “flaws” and “imperfections,” somehow lessens our value. We give away our self-worth because society tells us that our real faces and real bodies aren’t beautiful and aren’t worthy of love. It’s sad that we give away our power because we can never meet the unrealistic standard that’s been set.

When I look at the photos Trish took of me, I feel powerful and confident. Even though I’m not wearing makeup to hide my “flaws,” I see a simple, strong beauty that gets lost in our daily roles as wife, mother, and employee. Seeing the photos from my session, I just see me, and I thank Trish for the amazing job she did capturing that. You should feel confident in knowing that if you decide to do a ‘For Real’ shoot, you will be in great hands. I whole heartedly recommend this experience. If you’re anything like me or any of my friends, it’s probably about time you did something for yourself.”