Raquel, 33

“I’m a mother of two teenage daughters and I run a tattoo studio. I also work as a medical assistant instructor and teach CPR. I haven’t had photos taken of just myself for many years unless for family or group photos. 

I did the shoot because I wanted to start appreciating my self again, flaws and all. My self confidence over the years has been crushed and I wanted to see my self through a realistic view and not the distorted version we sometimes have of ourselves. I dont wear alot of makeup in the first place, so I was more nervous really with the more thought of actually having to look at myself in general. During the shoot I was more comfortable because Trish was able to make me more comfortable. But I was still nervous about seeing the results. 

For the Reveal, all of emotions and thoughts came to mind that I didn’t expect. I looked at myself different and almost doubted that ‘that’s how I really look’. What I feared to see as flaws I saw more as characeristics-— like I could accept this is me and that’s it. One thing that hit me was that I realized alot of that self doubt is really in our heads. 

I struggle with anxiety that drives me to some pretty severe compulsions and as a result Ive struggled with food and eating disorders. Prior to this shoot I was recovering from those issues and trying to become more comfortable with myself. When I saw the pictures I was a little overwhelmed with mixed emotions. I liked the pictures and I couldn’t believe I liked them. I felt guilty for liking them. But then I didn’t like the realization it made me face, and that made me cry because despite having recently gaining back roughly 20 pounds, I still looked small. To know I was now 20 pounds heavier and still be so small makes me wonder how my view of myself prior could be so off. I was disappointed I could do that to myself. Looking at those pictures with all these emotions, how I could let my own distorted view impact my health so heavily? Why do we do this?

These pictures showed me how that regardless of how I look or even how I THINK I look isn’t as important as the status of my health and how I feel as a person. They showed me as a person, not an object, not just something needing corrections and edits. It’s me, there are things that cant be changed, things that shouldnt be changed, this is me. Im learning to appreciate myself, the way I would want my daughters to appreciate and accept themselves. I’m a real person, a mother, a productive business woman, a teacher–– not someone who needs to be edited. We all have traits inside and outside to value…let’s focus on those instead.

Thank you, Trish. I didn’t expect to get that much out of this.”