Chicago Portrait Photography: This Body of Work

I couln’t be happier to be a photographer for This Body of Work, which is a guided exploration of the internal narratives women hold about their bodies. Founded by photographer/writer Jen Hecht and collaboratively led by an international team of woman portrait photographers, the aim of This Body of Work is to unravel and discard the negative stories women hold about their bodies, and to actively create new narratives of body love, gratitude, self-compassion, and joy.

I met Laura, who was getting married and wanted to be a part of this Chicago portrait session.  We scheduled our shoot at David’s Bridal, who graciously allowed us to photograph Laura trying on dresses inside their store.  I loved Laura’s text for this project, which is included at the bottom of this post, and I love anything that helps empower women.  Thank you, Laura, for allowing us to tell your story.

Chicago Wedding Photographer Candice C. CusicChicago Wedding Photographer Candice C. CusicChicago Wedding Photographer Candice C. Cusic

From Laura:

“Who I am right now is my very best self. And that deserves celebration! I deserve to feel gorgeous in my own skin. I owe it to myself to live my life as happily as possible. I think feeling beautiful is step one. I owe it to my future marriage to bring my best self. Why not realize I am confident and capable? Why not be as happy as possible? I don’t think there is a better way to live life than that.”

“I hated every little bit of my body. I felt like every extra bounce or ounce was because something was wrong with me. I couldn’t possibly be a beautiful bride if I didn’t like like a cover model from The Knot. I was so worried about my wedding. People were going to look at me. ALL DAY. What if they noticed the weight, too? What if, instead of focusing on the love, they thought I was bigger than I should be? I felt like I had a skinny bride on my shoulder, going, “Wouldn’t it be better to be like me?” The stress and anxiety were exhausting!

This body has been to Paris and New Orleans. These hands have written a book. This body has jumped out of a plane! and now, in THIS body, I am going to marry the love of my life. And it will be beautiful. Because I AM beautiful. Love – self love – has made me that way. Yes, I have curves. Yes, I am gorgeous. Yes, I deserve to be celebrated. We all do, because we are ALL beautiful. I want every person reading this to say that aloud. Soak in the joy of self acceptance. It’s been a long time coming, and we deserve to celebrate!

During the project, I experienced shifts from self-hatred to self acceptance. From worried bride-to-be to beautiful bride-to-be. From a place of anxiety to a place of joy, and it is where I hope to stay. Where I WILL stay. Who I am right now is my very best self. And that deserves celebration! I deserve to feel gorgeous in my own skin. I owe it to myself to live my life as happily as possible. I think feeling beautiful is step one. I owe it to my future marriage to bring my best self. Why not realize I am confident and capable? Why not be as happy as possible? I don’t think there is a better way to live life than that.”

— Laura

See Laura’s experience: http://goo.gl/weXbqm

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  • Larissa - What an amazing thing to photograph out there in Chicago! Such a great story to tell and cause to fight for! And beautiful Chicago portraits to boot!ReplyCancel

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