Up close & personal

It always feels pretty random, the way I decide what to write in the mornings.  Today, I knew I wanted to write about Vanessa and couldn’t believe how difficult it was to find a good picture of the two of us together.  This was the only picture I could find (and I know I have so many more).  But I kept looking because this one is just so close!  Then it occurred to me that this one is perfect.  It represents one of the things I love most about Vanessa.

She is all about being up close and personal.

Vanessa is an incredible portrait photographer with a passion for capturing the heart of a woman through her lens.  She loves photographing mothers & daughters, sisters, close friends, and even multiple generations of women.  She has a very unique way of capturing the essence of love and connection between women in her photography.  She’s taught posing, classes two years running, during our “Holiday Ready” Girls Night Out.  And it’s all about how to position your body in a group photo in a way you look your very best, but also brings you together with the others in the photo instead of becoming a chicken wing on the side, by yourself.

She’s amazing at her craft. 

I knew I loved her from the moment we met.  She may not be the first one to engage, but as soon as you get connected in a conversation with Vanessa, you will feel the depth of her soul. She has a calming, empowering presence about her that can’t be matched.  She is warm, authentic, and passionate about highlighting only the very best in others.  She’s less interested in all the things everyone can see.

In her life and in her work, she draws out what’s below the surface.  

As a photographer, she leverages the outside to reflect the inside, and it’s such a beautiful thing to see.  But she does it as a friend, too.  She celebrates the individual beauty of women through photography in ways that bring us all together, instead of pushing us apart.

That’s not possible without getting up close and personal.

In this online world we’re living in, it’s easy to stay back in the shadows, making judgments about others from far away.  It’s hard work to get close.  But the next time you feel yourself starting to judge another woman for her beauty, or her outward appearance, do us all a favor.

Lean in. 

Get closer.  Learn a little more about her story.  I assure you it’s full of struggle and triumph, just like yours.

“People are hard to hate close up.”  ~ Brené Brown

Get personal.

to more love,


(Of course, Vanessa is on our panel of Featured Guests for the “Let’s Get Together” GNO next Thursday, April 5th.  I hope you’ll join us, to celebrate beauty together and get a little closer to beautiful woman of all different cultures!)

image credit: O’Carroll Images

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