There’s always more to the story

Since the day I met Vanessa Corral, she’s been dreaming up incredible ways to help the women of the HeartStories community feel more beautiful in their own skin.  She cares deeply about capturing the unique beauty of each woman.  She wants them to see the best version of themselves, not only in their hearts, strengths and accomplishments, but also in the way they look on the outside.  While most media tries hard to convince us that we should all look one way, Vanessa pushes back, insisting that physical beauty isn’t about a cookie-cutter stereotype.

One look at her site or social media, and you’ll quickly see that Vanessa fully embraces the incredible beauty in our diversity.

She’s been taking headshots of our beloved HeartStories Members at our annual Holiday Ready GNO for the past three years in a row.  But lately, Vanessa has been dreaming specifically, about ways to add value to our treasured HeartStories Sponsors.  As a result, we devised a plan for her to collaborate with our hair and makeup artists, Ginger Bay and Erin Blair to create “HeartStories Sponsor Headshot Days”.

Yesterday was the the first day in this series, and it was perfection.  

I especially love this behind-the-scenes image of Talitha, the owner of Big Little Market, giving her daughter Madeleine (who helps run the family business) that wind-blown look for her photos.  I love it because it’s real.  Vanessa knows the tips and tricks to help women look and feel their most glamorous in photos and she employs them to their fullest.  And then, she captures the laughter, the sass, the strength of these women through her lens in ways that are so creative, it’s magical.  In the final images, you don’t see the blow dryer, the stools, the lights, the backdrops and the crazies like me, trying to make her laugh. You simply see a woman who is rocking her own unique beauty and confidence.

All of life is like that. 

We don’t see all the hard work, the tools, the struggle, the learning, and the behind the scenes effort going on with the people we encounter every day.  All we see is the finished product, or sometimes the work in progress.  There is ALWAYS more to the story.

Have grace with yourself today. 

Don’t compare your real life to someone else’s social media feed, or their professional headshot images.  Images are a beautiful tool to capture a person’s unique beauty.  But we all know that’s not our everyday.  It’s not real life.

Have grace with others today. 

When they don’t look or behave the way you want and expect them to, remember that there is always more to the story.  Their beautiful photos might point to a “perfect life”.  But there’s likely a stack of tools and tricks behind the scenes making all that magic happen.  Work hard to see them for who they really are.

Look for the beauty in their humanity.  

There’s always more to the story.

to more love,


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