Article written by Dani Nicholson - Hamilton News
Women don't tend to spoil themselves very often, let alone take time out to appreciate and acknowledge our unique beauty.
I am one of those women. So when Jade Thorby called me to ask if I'd like to take part in a photo shoot where I'd get to have my hair and makeup done and dress up in my favourite outfits, I jumped at the chance.
Jade had read about my weight loss journey that I'd written about here in Hamilton News and called me to invited me and my daughter along for a mother-daughter makeover and photo shoot to celebrate the new me. Emma is a girly girl and loves to dress up so I knew she'd love this special treat!
Jade found her passion for photography five years ago and has since carved out a niche in the industry by focusing on capturing beautiful images of women and their loved ones, showing their unique beauty through contemporary, fashion-inspired portraiture.
"Women are far too hard on themselves about how they look - it's a warped perception of how they see themselves, be it from the effect of what society deems as beautiful, or something they have carried with them from childhood or their teenage years," said Jade.
Jade also loves to help women celebrate their relationships with people they love.
"I love to photograph women on their own or with their loved ones whether it be their best friends, their daughters, their sons, their sisters, or their partner. Generational portraits I've shot are incredible."
As a mother it's often me who is the one taking photos of Emma and other family members so I was excited to have some beautiful photos taken of Emma and I together.
We met with Jade prior to the shoot to talk about how the day would go and what we needed to do to prepare for it. Jade suggests to all her clients that they create a Pinterest board with different outfit 'looks' and hair and makeup they like.
I could see merit in that but I already had outfits in mind - and given my partner's battle for space in our walk-in wardrobe, it's fair to say I had a considerable number of outfits to choose from!
I set about throwing outfits on the bed at home and teaming them up with my Emma's clothes to work out different looks.
The day of our photo shoot arrived and we loaded up the car with a pile of clothes. Arriving fresh faced and excited to get our hair and make up done, we settled into chairs and talked through with the hair and makeup artists how we wanted our hair and makeup done.
I asked for soft pink lipstick and smoky brown eye makeup to set off my blue eyes while Emma had just a touch of dewy blusher and pretty pink lipgloss. We each went with soft curls for our hair.
Hair and makeup done, Jade set about talking us through the poses she would be shooting us in.
Using the soft, natural light in her home studio, Jade focuses on creating portraits where it looks as though the woman is looking into the viewer's eyes. Jade calls it capturing her subject's "soul light - that sparkle you see when you look into their eyes".
And capture the sparkle she did. We had so much fun during the shoot with lots of laughter as we worked our "model poses" as Emma called them.
A couple of weeks later was the big reveal. Jade had whittled the number of shots down to approximately four dozen photos which she had printed and mounted with simple matte frames. But before I got to see those photos, Jade had prepared a special treat.
She had put together a gorgeous video of Emma's and my day. Set to music, Jade had incorporated video of us having our hair and makeup done along with still images from the shoot itself.
Already taken aback at how lovely the images were in the video, I was keen to see the printed photos. They were seriously 'wow'.
I've had my hair and makeup done for functions plenty of times, but never have I had professionally shot portraits taken before. I was taken aback at how Jade had captured the mother and daughter photos in particular and how Emma's and my very special bond shone through. It takes a bit to bring tears to my eyes but seeing those images was very moving.
Seeing our portraits was a wonderful reminder of how unique we all are as women and that we are all beautiful in our own way. There was just one negative in this whole experience - trying to decide which photos to order! So many beautiful photos - decisions, decisions!
Jade can be on 027 363 3680, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.jadethorby.com