SELF LOVE PROJECT: ALEXIS | CHATTANOOGA PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHER


Beyonce "Pretty Hurts" Cover by: Amanda Cole | YOUTUBE CHANNEL

A few months back I was listening to Beyonce and one of my favorite songs of her played.  The name of that song was Pretty Hurts. Listening to the song gave me an idea for my Self Love project. Most of the people that I shoot are female. They are constantly criticizing themselves before, during and after their shoots.  I decided that I wanted to do a project where I can empower females to love themselves as they are whether they wear a gorgeous dress and makeup or just a random t-shirt and jeans. We don't need society to tell us how we should dress, look or act. You are all unique and your individuality makes you who you are.

With this project we focused on three aspects of ourselves as females. First off the way society wants to see us.  With our hair perfectly done, full face of makeup and dressed to the nines. Next I wanted to focus on stripping away all of that to get to the bare beauty. After we stripped away the fluff I focused on what makes each female special and gorgeous. 

When I first started looking for models for my project I immediately thought of Alexis. After she heard of my idea she was 100% excited to be apart of it. Alexis is a pageant queen and knows first hand how vicious society can be on a larger scale. At first glance you may think she is gorgeous she can't have any insecurities, but everyone has them. Your looks, intelligence, or social status doesn't make you immune to the pressures of society. When I meet with Alexis I immediately fell in love with her personality and her ability to make you feel like you are her best friend.  I ask her what she struggles with and how she works to overcome them. She gave this amazing response... 

"I used to struggle with the moles on my face. I was made fun of for them all through middle and high school, and even at one time, thought about having them removed. But then I realized that they are something that make me unique. I've learned to embrace them and love them and know that they make me unforgettable.

I also struggle with severe anxiety and have previously dealt with depression. There were times I didn't feel like continuing on but I knew that it was temporary, even on days it didn't feel like it. I have family and friends who love me and knowing how destroyed they would be if I ever gave up on myself and my life kept me going every single day. Eventually the depression went away. I still struggle with anxiety regularly and it's hard, not being able to control my thoughts and the situations around me but I've learned that you have to put one foot in front of the other, take some deep breaths and remember that "this too shall pass".

I have been in an emotionally abusive relationship before so I struggle with that, still to this day. I was told every single day, in some form or another that I wasn't good enough and I still have days where I feel like I don't deserve the love of a good man and I have a hard time trusting people and opening up to them because of the way I was treated by someone I thought loved me. I was torn down, manipulated and controlled and led to believe I didn't deserve the absolute best.

That has been one of my biggest struggles and I want other women to know that they are not alone. They can get out, they can walk away. No matter how much they think they need to stay, and no matter how hard it is to leave. They need to know they can be courageous and walk away because they are incredible and they deserve God's absolute best for their life and he didn't create them to be treated with anything but unconditional love and respect." - Alexis


Instagram: alexismcraewhite
Snapchat: alexismcrae

If you would like to be apart of this project email me: bridget@goldygates-photography.com



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