Neena, 36

“While I don’t have any biological children, I raised my younger sister from the time she was eleven and I was 23. I am a ‘workaholic’, dedicated to improving the lives of women. I work full-time at YWCA Great Lakes Bay Region, creating programming for women in the GLBR. On the side I coach women in how to network and create professional relationships to help them to reach their goals. 

I was extremely uncomfortable with being photographed without make-up, I don’t leave the house make-up on. Prior to this shoot the last time I was photographed was my professional headshot – for which I had my hair and make-up professionally done for the photo. The reason I wanted to do the For Real Campaign was because my word of the year was Fearless, and being photographed with make-up was terrifying to me, so this was an opportunity for me to face that fear. And I have always wanted to be photographed by Trish Hadley. 

At the beginning of the shoot I was extremely nervous, I’ve never been comfortable in front of a camera. However, working with Trish was incredible, she put me at ease very quickly, and made me feel like a real model, and more importantly she made me feel incredibly beautiful during the entire shoot.

The Reveal was indescribable…I know Trish is an amazing photographer – but I was still blown away. That was ME, WITHOUT ANY MAKE-UP. And I looked stunning…I looked up at Trish with tears in my eyes and said, “I am beautiful.” To which she responded, “Duh, I’ve been trying to tell you that!” I felt like I was finally seeing what others see.

The For Real Campaign was an opportunity to do something JUST FOR ME. No one else. I spend a lot of time with other women, reminding them how beautiful and incredible they are, but I don’t see how beautiful I AM. This photo shoot gave me the opportunity to feel that way, both during the shoot, and looking at the photos afterwards.”