Michelle M | Fab@40+ Project 2022 | Sherry Penner

This is Michelle. Michelle is 40, she lives in Sylvan Lake and is a RN at RD Hospital. She was born and raised in BC and moved out to AB in 2007 for work. She loves baking, modifying recipes to make them her own creations and running.

Michelle wanted to be a part of this project because she never takes time for herself. She is always taking care of others, and wants to start making herself a priority.

Michelle was open and talked about her journey to where she is today and a lot of it is very personal and I wont speak of it here but what I do want to touch on a little is the old cliche “don’t judge a book by its cover”. And these are my thoughts and feelings about Michelle’s session from an outsider looking in.

I am not going to lie Michelle was super easy to photograph. She is physically very fit, beautiful women with flawless skin and she chose my favourite style of glamour which is the Old Hollywood look. Michelle naturally seemed to know how to move her body and I could just let the session flow seamlessly. (I will add a little disclaimer here, I do not expect my clients to be easy to shoot, the opposite in fact, because most have never been in front of the camera in this manner, we are real women and not models and so most of my clients need my guidance in posing and that is what I am trained to do.)

I was excited to share Michelle’s images with her at the viewing, she was very happy with them as we sorted through and picked out her favourites. When we were finished Michelle got emotional and told me how much she appreciated what we were doing here, that she had never seen herself this way before and that most of her life she hated her body, and just now as she heads in this next stage of life she is learning to accept herself. And I was a little shocked. Shocked because I judged her by her “cover” and looked at her with envy because on the outside she seemed perfect to me. I know better than this, I know as women we are cruel to ourselves and never happy or even satisfied. I look at each women I photograph and each one of them is beautiful, we are all flawed, and we all have our own insecurities no matter where we came from, or what shape we are or what age we are. And sadly sometimes we look on others with envy and not know what journey that person has taken to get here, and to find their own acceptance.

Every shoot I am amazed by the women of this project, each one a separate story but each one the same, we all need to work hard to love ourselves. We, as women, need to lift each other up and celebrate that. Thank you Michelle.

HMU Robyn Lynn Makeup Artistry

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